GM Law Firm Student Loans Guide - A Quick Overview

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In today's world, going to college is an "opportunity" to learn all about loans as much as it is to learn all about Medieval French Poetry or Astrophysics. There are, of course, a number of different types of student loans available for prospective scholars, both public and private. 

Justice Art. From GM Law Firm Student Loans Guide - A Quick Overview

Keep in mind that the very best option available is to use no borrowed money at all when acquiring an education. There are many government grants and scholarships that should be taken full advantage of before a single dollar is borrowed. Every penny that you can obtain as a grant or scholarship is a penny you do not have to borrow and then pay off for years after graduation.

Unfortunately, the price of education at a reputable institution is such that grants are most unlikely to cover the full cost of attendance. Most institutions complement their grant programs with work-study arrangements. Often, no more than 20 hours a week is allowed and the pay scale is humble but, again, uses everything else before you borrow money.

Once all other avenues are exhausted, there are two primary options: various government loan programs and loans from private institutions, such as banks and credit unions.

Government loan offer much more favorable repayment terms, no credit check, and do not require payment to begin until several months after graduation. This allows the new entrant in the workforce to find a job and get settled before payments kick in. Likewise, many government loan programs offer income-based monthly payments. There are even options, such as entry into public service, where the loans can eventually be fully forgiven. Use these programs first.

Unfortunately, the one big catch with government loans is that you can only borrow so much per year, and none at all once you hit the overall cap. This serves as an incentive to actually get your degree in as little time as possible, since those who dawdle may find themselves "capped out" just when they need it the most.

Private loans can go beyond the government limits, but their terms are less generous and usually require someone with reasonable creditworthiness, such as a parent willing to be associated with the loan, to participate. There are no provisions for reduced loan payments or loan forgiveness when using private funds for an education.

Everything starts by filling out the government's free-and-easy online unified financial aid form known as a FAFSA. This will give you a good comparison between the actual cost of your education and the various grants and loans available to make it possible. 

One last word about student aid of any sort: No funds are ever disbursed to the student until after the semester drop date has passed. This typically means that students are on their own, so far as living expenses are concerned, for the first several weeks to a month of every semester. 

Keep in mind that the idea is to get through college as inexpensively as possible. If you have your fun in college, you will pay for it once you graduate. If you work hard and live frugally in college, you can have a lot more fun afterwards with limited student debt and a six-figure salary.