If you’re in school or considering going to (or back) to school, cheap private student loans are an option to help you pay. But what is a private student loan? Is it a good idea to take them out? We’ll give a brief overview today so that you can go into it with your eyes open and your head full of information.
What is a private student loan?
In your search for a cheap private student loan, the first thing to know is exactly what a private student loan is and does. Essentially, private student loans are school loans that are not offered through the government and instead offered through private venders or lenders. Most of the time these private lenders are banks. In general, it’s best to fill out your FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid) and attempt to get loans through the government first, as these are safer, offer a lower interest rate and generally cost less than ever the cheap private student loans.
What’s the difference between private and government student loans?
Besides cheap private student loans and government loans, the difference often comes down the payment options and interest rates. Most often, government loans offer lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options, versus a private loan that requires a strict payment plan regardless of where you are in school. There also is generally less paperwork involved when filing for cheap private student loans as opposed to government loans (since you also have to go through the FAFSA process). There also can be some differences between the refinancing and consolidations options so make sure to read the fine print before you sign! It can make a huge difference in the long run.
What are the benefits of private student loans?
Depending on why you’re taking out loans, sometimes a cheap private student loan is your only option. This is often the case when you aren’t a traditional or full time student, as government loan often aren’t extended to half time students. You also can take loans out to help cover expenses immediately after graduation, especially if you don’t have a job immediately set up and ready to go. There isn’t a limit on the amount you can borrow as well so if you need to take extra out to pay for books or rent, it’s a great option if you can be responsible with it. One other benefit is that you can shop around to find the best rates, as opposed to government loans that have fairly set interest rates. Every little bit counts, especially when going to school. In the end, you can sometimes save a significant amount of money by choosing a low interest private loan.
When trying to pay for school, it’s good to look at all your options. A cheap private student loan is one of the better options for nontraditional students to be able to cover your school and still afford for you to live comfortably while trying to better yourself.