Financing your education can be just as tricky as getting accepted into college. Fortunately, there are scores of lenders out there who have the cash you need to pay for school. If you need to get a personal loan to cover tuition, books and living expenses, you'll need to spend some time considering your many options.
Get a Personal Student Loan
Things You'll Need
- Proof of college admission
- Cosigner (may be needed)
Draw up a budget. Counting your own personal savings, contributions from your parents and federal and state loans, determine how much you'll need to borrow elsewhere each academic year.
Have your parents approach the financial institution where they bank to see what kind of student loan programs are offered. Unless you're a self-sufficient adult with a good credit history who is returning to school relatively late in life, you'll need a cosigner. Your cosigner is more likely to get good loan terms from a bank he's been dealing with for years.
Check online for loans specifically designed for students. Many lenders who specialize in student loans offer very competitive packages, some of which may not charge much more than a point or two above the prime interest rate.
Do a close comparison of the loan terms. Frequently, student loans do not come due for repayment until you have been out of school for a specified period, usually 6 months. However, just because you don't have to make payments until 6 months after your course of study has ended, interest accrues on your loan from the first year you borrowed money.
Have your school complete any enrollment verifications you need in order to get your loan processed. If this is necessary, it will usually require a trip to your college's office of admissions or to your academic coordinator or supervisor's office.
Plan your academic year's finances around your loan disbursements. Students often receive part of their annual loans at the beginning of the school year and the rest at a later date. Don't get stuck short of cash because you didn't get your loan disbursement dates right.