Anyone who has looked at tuition prices lately knows how expensive college can be, whether a student carries a full course load or not. Not only can they spend hundreds of dollars per course unit, but there’s also the added expense of books, student services, medical costs, and lab fees. More students are applying for a college student loan these days than ever before, to help cover such expenses.
Student loans are available to all students, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to come by. Depending on the state and the college or university, expenses for a year’s course of study can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and the prices go up for State university locations. The decision to apply for a student loan may be the only reasonable option that many people have to fund their college education. Still, there are several things to consider before shopping for one.
First, take stock of your finances. Are you looking at the student loan to fund all of your school expenses or only a portion of them? When figuring the amount you’ll need, try to add in everything that involves school costs, even food, and extracurricular events. If you already have a job, great, but if you don’t, you need to sit down and figure out precisely what you need for class fees and right on down to paying for your school I.D. card. Many people forget such costs as student services, parking, and the medical insurance that is offered by most school campuses, so make a list and check it twice.
When it comes time to shop around for your loan, try local banks in your area first, especially if you have an account in a local branch. The good thing about student loans is that you don’t have to start paying them back until your schooling is finished but keep an eye on the interest rate that is attached to your loan repayment plan. Interest rates may vary depending on state and area. Still, you may be able to obtain a lower interest rate if you have already established some credit or banking history. If you have a job, so much, the better.
If your local bank branch turns you down, try other lenders, most especially student government loans. Many universities and colleges also offer student financing, so check their interest rates too. Knowledge is power, and that goes for education and finances.
Bad credit and overdue bills don’t look right, no matter if you’re nineteen or ninety. To increase your chances of not only obtaining a loan but also getting the amount you asked for, try to go in with a good payment history to back up your claim that you’ll be able to repay the loan when it becomes due. Earning a college degree is something that can’t be measured with money, but unfortunately, it’s what makes the world go round. When you obtain that loan, you should already have a tentative plan in place to start paying it back.