There are so many expenses involved with getting a proper college education these days. Although federal student aid, scholarships, grants, and government loans such as Stafford or Perkins loans do help, oftentimes they are not inclusive enough to afford the student everything that is required for their education. Government rules often do not take into account all of the many expenses the student will bear, including housing (either dormitory or off-campus), books, tuition, computers and computer hardware, clothing, food and dining, laboratory fees and equipment, testing fees, and many, many more expenses that pop up on a day-to-day basis in the life of a student.
Work Less, Study More
Many students participate in Federal Work Study programs which pay them the federal minimum wage. These work study jobs, although valuable to mold the student into the world of work, sometimes take up to six hours of the day that could be spent more wisely on studying and coursework. Unfortunately, many students are forced to devote a big portion of their day to jobs like washing dishes, cooking, and cleaning. These students can benefit greatly from a student loan that lets them work less and study more.
No Payments Until You Have Your Degree
A private student loan works much like any other student loan that you may have received – the difference is that, unlike the Stafford or Perkins loan which may be partially subsidized by the United States government, a private student loan is obtained through a private lender. The payback conditions are typically the same – you can defer payment on your student loan until you have received your final degree, or until you drop below half-time enrollment. There are also student loan options that let you (or your parents) begin making payments while you are still attending school – whichever option is best suited to your circumstances.
Borrow Up To $50,000
Unlike a federally guaranteed student loan, you can apply for any amount you feel you reasonably need for education related expenses and living expenses while you are in school with a private student loan. Most student loans start out around $1,000 and go all the way up to $50,000 or more, depending on your situation. Be careful to borrow only the amount that you feel comfortable repaying. A good rule of thumb is to borrow no more than twenty percent of your expected annual salary once you graduate for any one student loan. This will help you make certain that you do not overextend your finances once you get out of school and hit the workforce.
Since your approval for your student loan will be based on a number of factors, including your credit score, you may want to apply with your parents as cosigners for the student loan. This will give you a higher chance of approval and, in most cases, a lower rate of interest on repayment.
There are many online lenders who service private student loans. In fact, competition online can actually help you get a better rate on your private student loan over the rates that a traditional lender might offer you. Further, applying online is very convenient since you can do so from the comfort of your own home.