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Make Wise Decisions Regarding Student Loans

Written By Devi Kristanti on Thursday, July 17, 2014 | 12:33 AM

Students just entering college may quickly start to worry about money. The cost of tuition is consistently rising, and incomes really aren't. Meanwhile, students who qualify for only small amounts of aid or none whatsoever may have no choice but to accept student loans and the possibility of going into debt. Let's face it - most people, even the financially stable, cannot afford the steep price tag that comes with a college education. Therefore, if you are one of these struggling students, here is some information that can make you feel a bit more comfortable with the loan process.

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Federal government loans can be applied for through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which also informs students if they are able to receive grants. Fill out the form on the website with your birth date, social security number, and more. Once your results are available, you can choose from a few loans. You may decide to accept them all, or only one.

Two common forms of loans are the government loans and the private loans. The federal Stafford Loan is a government one, and can be applied for when you fill out your FAFSA, but a private loan will be through a private organization or lender. These loans are more costly, but helpful if the government loans do not cover your college costs. You will need a decent credit score, though, because this will be just like taking out a line of credit.

Do not think that you are one of the rare students to get stuck in the student loan debacle. In fact, the need for student loans is increasingly more common, with the majority of college students succumbing to loans. Not only that, but consider the average amount each student borrows - it is $23,186. Therefore, even with other forms of aid out there, loans are still in need by a large amount of students.

There are some valuable tools available online to help you better understand how much you could owe with certain loans. Use a financial aid calculator to figure out how much you can owe with different loans, including interest, once your education is complete. This way, you can see a blanket figure to determine if you find it to be an acceptable amount for you to repay, and you can compare a few different loans.

Student loan debt is definitely a challenge to overcome. It grows extremely quickly, especially if you miss payments. Therefore, it is important for you to make your payments on time. Also, you should consider making the highest payments on your high interest loans that are accruing the most debt. This way, they do not skyrocket your debt even higher. In addition, consolidation of loans is an option, as well as getting tax deductions for your interest.

Student loans are easily available, but you should still address them with caution. Your loan provider may allow you six months after graduation before requiring repayment, but that may not be enough time to find the job you want. In addition, if you do find a position within your field, it may be entry-level and possibly low-paying. Thus, the cost of your loans could end up being an enormous burden. Those who have trouble finding satisfying careers within their fields often take any jobs they can find, just to be able to pay their loans.

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