Private and Federal Loans Help Pay for College
Private and Federal Loans Help Pay for College
Whether you apply to a traditional four-year college or simply want to take a career training program, you're probably concerned about your tuition and expenses. Most students can't pay for college without some form of financial aid. Federal and private loan programs help students pay for college tuition and expenses that aren't covered by grants and scholarships.

The federal government has offered low-interest loans to students for years. Now, an increasing number of banks are also providing loans to students or their parents to help pay for college.

Federal College Loans

The federal government provides several loan programs for students and parents with low interest rates, no credit checks or required collateral, and extended repayment terms. To apply, students must fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which is available online or at your college financial aid office.
  • Stafford Loans: The most popular federal loan, it is provided either by the government or a private bank. Some Stafford loans are subsidized, which means the government pays the interest on the loan while you are in college. Payments on subsidized Stafford loans can be deferred until after graduation.
  • Perkins Loans: Available to college students with exceptional demonstrated financial need. They can provide up to $10,000 per year toward tuition and expenses.
Federal loans often are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to fill out your FAFSA early to reduce your overall expenses. Few students can pay for college without some federal assistance, so be sure to claim your share.

Private College Loans

Many banks and private lending institutions offer low-interest loans to college students and their parents. By supplementing federal aid, these loans can pay for college tuition and expenses not covered by the rest of your financial aid package.


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