For high school students, getting help deciding on the best student loan can be found with a school counselor. High school counselors are responsible for making sure students get the information they need to choose the best school program, as well as the best student loans that are available to them. They often keep information about certain schools in their counseling office, as well as the phone numbers and email addresses of well-known student loan offices and other contacts that you may need to start submitting your application for financial aid.
If you or someone you know is out of school, there are places you can go online to find advice on borrowing money for continuing one’s education. Student Loan Hero is a great site to check out if you are in need of financial aid counseling or if you need to know your options. Using a student loan calculator (available on their site) may help you too see what your actual interest and payments might be. This can be helpful as you plan for your student loan and financial aid choices.
Many lending institutions are now offering IBR (income based repayment) plans that allow you to pay back what you can afford based on the income you receive from your job or career. This is a fair way of doing it and most graduates state that it works for them. However, if you find that you cannot afford any payments, you will have to use a forbearance option until you can afford regular payments.
Thinking ahead and planning what you will do before you take out a loan will help ensure that you will be able to pay it back once payments become due.
Many universities and colleges offer on-campus student loan counseling before students are allowed to take out their financial aid. The purpose of these sessions is to educate borrowers about the interest rates and the way that student debt must be paid back. They don’t want students to take out more money than they can afford to pay back. The problem is most students just go through the routine of listening to the presentation and they don’t really internalize it as something that affects them personally. They are often too excited about their college curriculum to consider the debt they will have upon its completion.
But it is important to think about it and to compare various types of student financial aid before committing to any one plan. Apply for Pell Grants first or other forms of aid that won’t have to be paid back. Some students qualify for these grants due to the profession they are pursuing or their level of current income.
Check out the college grants that you might be eligible and read about various grants then decide what you want to do.
Explore all of the options regarding grants and student loans and find a student loan counselor on campus or look up one online to help you through the process.