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Student Loans Graduate - How to Obtain the Best Student Loans for Graduate Students

federal stafford school private

Graduate school is expensive. Graduate students attending a public college can expect to pay around $10,000 to $15,000 annually, while those attending a private college may pay around $30,000 or more. While the benefits of graduate school may out weight the costs, most graduate students will need to obtain student loans in order to afford their schooling.

There are three main types of student loans for graduate students, federal, private, and PLUS loans. Federal loans are beneficial for a number of reasons. They offer fixed interest rates, allow students to defer payment until after graduation, are easy to qualify for, are insured for free, can be consolidated easily, and graduates have the option of making payments equal to 15% of their monthly income if they enter a low paying career field. Additionally, of these federal loans, graduate students have the option of applying for three different types, subsidized Stafford Loans, unsubsidized Stafford Loans, and Perkins Loans.

A subsidized Stafford Loan is a popular type of loan that was designed to help low income students. Students will not be charged interest while they are in school and are given an interest rate of 6.8% to 7.25% depending on the lender a student chooses. Borrowers are allowed to receive up to $8,500 each year in subsidized Stafford student loans for graduate students. These loans are very low cost and can save a student thousands when compared to other loan types.

An unsubsidized Stafford Loan is a loan that is awarded to students, even if they are not from a low income situation. The interest rates are the same as subsidized Stafford Loans, but students will be charged interest from the time that they obtain the loan. This means that a student will be charged interest while they are still in school, but will be given the chance to defer interest payments until after graduation. Borrowers may receive up to $20,500 a year, totaling up to $138,500 overall, when obtaining these student loans for graduate students.

Perkin Loans are awarded to the lowest income students, as a way of making graduate school more affordable. Students can receive up to $8,000 a year, or $40,000 overall, at an interest rate of 5%. Additionally, students will not be charged interest while they are still in school, which makes these loans the most affordable student loans for graduate students.

Private student loans for graduate students are also available. While many lenders offer these loans to students, they can be more difficult to qualify for. Unlike federal student loans, private loans will check a student’s credit before offering them a loan. This means that a student will have had to build a good credit history and fit specific guidelines before qualifying for a loan. Private loans can be very beneficial for students with high credit scores, but may prove frustrating for students that have little or bad credit and lack a suitable cosigner.

Fortunately, students that need another loan after receiving the maximum amount of federal loans and do not qualify for private loans, do have another option. The PLUS program offer student loans to graduate students that have maxed out their federal loan allowance. This program offers students interest rates ranging from 8.5 to 9.42 percent, depending on the lender they choose.

By the time a student has entered graduate school, he or she has probably had experience with the student loan process. To obtain student loans for graduate students, borrowers must first fill out a FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is required of all students applying for federal loans and was designed to assess their financial need. Low income students may be eligible to receive financial aid after filling out this form, which differs from a student loan, as it will never have to be paid back.

After filling out a FAFSA form, students may then apply for student loans for graduate students. Depending on the severity of their financial need, they may be awarded a Perkins Loan, subsidized Stafford Loan, or unsubsidized Stafford Loan. Students that have reached their limit may also apply for the PLUS program. While graduate schools may be expensive, students have a wide range of loan options that will help make school affordable for them.

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