How To Pay For College

Get a student loan to pay for college expenses!

After you've determined how much money you can get from grants and scholarships you may still have to take out a student loan to pay for a portion of all of your education. The nice thing about most student loans is that they don't have to be paid back until you have completed your education. There are several types of Federal Loans and Private Loans for students, and their parents. Federal student loans have some benefits that private loans don't have, such as low fixed interest rates, income-based repayment plans, and loan forgiveness and deferment options. Private Student Loans have delayed payment plans, aren't "needs" based, and in many cases, can be easier to qualify for than a Federal Student Loan.

For Federal Stafford Loans and Perkins Loans, if you demonstrate financial need, the U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest that accrues on this loan during certain periods. These loans are made through one of two U.S. Department of Education programs:

  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program
  • These loans are paid back to the bank or private lender that made the loan.
  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.
  • These loans are paid back to the U.S. Department of Education.

Depending on your situation, one of the following loan types will suit you best. You should always shop and compare loans, just like any other purchase. Let SimpleTuition find the right student loan for you. Find the best student loan rates and easily compare loans from top lenders based on interest rates, monthly payments, and total cost of loan. Then apply instantly for a fast decision.

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Federal Parent PLUS Loans

Federal Parent Plus Loans are available for the parents of Undergraduate Students through the FFEL and Direct Loan Programs. This student's parents loan enables parents and legal guardians with good credit histories to borrow up to the total cost of undergraduate education for their dependent children. A Federal PLUS Loan can be used for tuition, room and board, supplies, lab expenses, and travel less any other aid.  Each child must be a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time in an approved college or university.

Graduate and Professional Students PLUS Loans

A low interest, federally subsidized, student loan guaranteed by the U.S. Government. Borrow up to the total cost of education less any aid already awarded. This student loan allows graduate students to borrow the total cost of graduate education including tuition, room and board, supplies, lab expenses, and travel, less any other aid. The interest rate is fixed at 8.5% and payments can be deferred while you are in school. The Grad PLUS loan is a non-need credit based loan similar to a private student loan with the benefit of having a fixed interest rate and federal guarantee. Graduate and professional students who borrow the Grad PLUS loan must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and max out the Stafford Loan first.

Perkins Student Loans

Perkins Student Loans are available for Undergrad and Graduate students. This is a low interest federal student loan for graduate and undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. The college acts as the lender using a limited pool of funds provided by the federal government. Once that "pool of funds" has been distributed, no more awards can be made for that year, so get your applications in early! These student loans are reserved for low-income students and are awarded based on exceptional financial need. Borrowers who undertake certain public, military, or teaching service employment are eligible to have all or part of their Perkins loans canceled under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

The amount of Perkins Loan you receive is determined by your school's financial aid office. The program limits are $5,500 per year for undergraduate students and $8,000 per year for graduate students, with cumulative limits of $27,500 for undergraduate loans and $60,000 for undergraduate and graduate loans combined.

Stafford Student Loans

Stafford Student Loans are available for Undergrad and Graduate students that are enrolled as at least a half-time student.  They can be either FFEL or Federal Direct Loan Programs. Stafford Loans can supplement personal and family resources, scholarships, grants, and work-study. They may be subsidized by the U.S. Government or may be unsubsidized depending on the student's financial need. Schools generally participate in either the FFEL or Direct Loan program but sometimes participate in both. Under the Direct Loan Program, the funds for your loan come directly from the federal government. Funds for your FFEL will come from a bank, credit union, or other lender that participates in the program. Stafford Student loans don't have to paid back until 6 months after graduation.  It's possible to get both a FFEL and a Direct Stafford Loan, but not both types for the same enrollment period. A credit check is not required for a Stafford Loan. Stafford Student Loan balances can also be cancelled under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

Private Student Loans

Private Student Loans can be used to cover tuition, living expenses, books, computer equipment, and even past-due tuition bills. Private Student Loans are taken out by the student, but can also be co-signed by a parent. Parents usually have better credit histories, and a cosigner may help you get better interest rates on your private student loan. Apply now for your private student loan with our partner, SimpleTuition.com. There are no payments due until 12 months after graduation.

Now that you know what types of student loans are available, it's time to select the one that's right for you. Save time researching student loans. No more phone calls. Get the information you need and apply online with top lenders nationwide. Start Now!

If, after college, you enlist in certain occupations or programs, the federal government and other organizatoins will cancel all or part of your Federal Student loans. This practice is called Loan Forgiveness.