Thursday, 25 August 2011

See How Easy Student Loans For The Undergraduate Really Are

If you are one of the millions who are on their way to college and don't have the money in the bank, or family who are able to help, have no fear.

The opportunity to get student loans for the undergraduate is there and easier than ever. With both Federal and Private student loan programs available the choices are nearly endless.

The first step is to get an idea of the amount of financing you'll need to go to school. The school you're planning to attend will have a financial aid department. All schools will have different requirements when it comes to tuition, books, and other fees that may be present. You'll also need to consider living expenses if you're not planning to work while you attend school.

It is important to complete applications months before you're planning to begin school. For example, if you're planning to begin school in the fall, the spring season is not too early to begin investigating your financing options.

When your applications include those for federal student loans for the undergraduate you can plan on the process taking a little while. Everyone knows how slow government bureaucrats are, well student loans are no exception. The best place for you to start the process is to go to the financial aid office at your school. They will let you know what programs are available and tell you what you need to do.

The popular type of student loans for the undergraduate is in the Federal loan category. These loans are ones such as Stafford or Perkins loans. Often when you apply for financial aid, you will also be considered for grants and other financing opportunities to help you attend school. There are also work-study programs to help with the costs of education.

The less discussed section of student loans for the undergraduate is the private loans. If you're considering borrowing from a private source to attend school, make sure to investigate your credit rating and history before you begin the application process. Your credit standing will determine to a large extent the interest rate you receive on any loan.

Now after your four years of college....or maybe 5 or 6, you will have to start repaying the student loans extended to during your studies. They are deferred while you are in school, but a year after you graduate, or stop being a full time student, you must start repaying them. Federal loans tend to have more flexible options for repayment, where as private lender do not.

So again what you need to do as college approaches is to pay a visit to the financial aid office at your school and let them help you out.

It is recommended that you don't even consider private lending sources until after this avenue has been investigated.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Private Student Loans - How to Consolidate Them

It's very common for students to have to take out one or more loans to finance their further education and anyone who isn't eligible for Government assistance must look to private student loans. Unfortunately, once that education is complete and they have a job, many find that the interest rates and periods of repayment really can't be met from their salary.

Consolidation of private student loans is one good way around this dilemma because it's easier to deal with just one debt rather than several and the problem of compounding interest on the original loans is also solved. Here's how to go about the consolidation of private student loans, if you find yourself in that position.

First of all you need to make a spreadsheet of all your loans with interest rates and monthly payments. Add them all up so that you know what your monthly outgoings on loans should be.

Secondly, check out the small print of each loan to make sure that you know what the penalties are for repaying early. Add this information to your spreadsheet.

Thirdly, clean up your credit rating. Get a credit status report and check it carefully. If there are errors, for example unpaid balances which are actually paid or late payments which weren't late, get the proof together and contact the credit agency to get the record set straight. Your credit rating will have a bearing on whether or not you are able to consolidate your loans and the interest rate you pay for the new loan.

Now, decide how much you can afford to pay each month and star looking for consolidation loans. Don't forget to find out the interest rates, the repayment period, the monthly payment and the charges for late or early payment. You will probably need to look at at least ten potential loans or companies to get a good cross-section of what's available.

Make another spread sheet with the loan information and put all the loans in order of preference. Contact your first choice lender and make sure that they know about your good credit score. Find out whether they will offer you a loan and at what rate, etc. If your first choice are prepared to offer you a loan, just try the next couple on your list to see if you can better that offer.

Do some calculations to see whether you can afford to consolidate all your loans and decide which ones. Choose your favoured lender and make sure that the terms and conditions are as you understood them to be.

Consolidation of private student loans isn't that hard but you need to be methodical and take your time; don't just rush into the first consolidation loan that you find.