If you look carefully, you will find that the Internet is filled with questions like how to apply for student loans. In most cases, students do not get proper information or the criteria mentioned on the websites are inaccurate. Hence, it is imperative that you get to know the various types of graduate and undergraduate student loans. You must also be aware of the criteria, the terms, and conditions, the amount of money you can borrow, etc.  

Read along to get an insight.

How to Apply for a Federal or Private Student Loan?

If you are interested in getting financial aid for continuing your studies, then you have to choose between private or federal loans. However, loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually have more benefits than loans from banks or other private sources. So, if you apply for a student loan, you should opt for federal loans.

There are four types of federal student loan options, namely:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made for eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the finances of higher studies at a college.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made for eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but eligibility is not based on financial need.
  • Direct PLUS Loans are suitable for graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to cover education expenses. The eligibility is not based on financial need; and a credit check is required.
  • Direct Consolidation Loans allow the students to combine all eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer.

To get the student loans for college, you must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Now, your college or career school will send you a financial aid offer, based on the results of the FAFSA form. And you will get recommendations from your school regarding how to accept all or a part of the loan.

Now that you know how to take out student loans, you are required to go through two more steps. You have to:

  • Take Entrance Counseling, which will help you understand your obligations to repay the loan
  • Sign a Master Promissory Note, where you agree to the terms and conditions

In the next section, we will take a look at the grades you need and the amount of money you can borrow from the loans.

Read More: How To Repay A Student Loan

Criteria You Must Fulfill to Get Graduate School Loans

Now that you know how to apply for student loans, you need to know about the criteria for you to be eligible to get the loans. So let us quickly delve into it.

  • You should have a Social Security Number
  • Male students should be registered with the selective service to receive the loans

Moreover, you must be:

  • A  citizen or an eligible non-citizen  
  • Enrolled in a reputed and accredited school
  • In good standing with the federal financial aid

Furthermore, you must have:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent, like a GED or certificate from a homeschooling program
  • GPA of 2.0 or more on a 4.0 scale
  • A Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to showcase that you are the best fit to receive the loan

In addition to this, you must pass enough classes with progress toward a degree. This information should help you understand how student loans work for different grades you have. Students who have poor grades (not even a C grade) are less likely to graduate.

As far as the monetary factor is concerned, the amount you can borrow depends on whether you're a graduate student, an undergraduate or professional student, or a parent.

  • The maximum amount of money you can borrow ranges from $5,500 to $12,500 per year if you are an undergraduate student. You will get loans from Direct Subsidized Loans or Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
  • You have the option of borrowing up to $20,500 each year in Direct Unsubsidized Loans if you are a graduate or a professional student. You can use Direct PLUS Loans for covering additional college expenses.
  • You can get a Direct PLUS Loan for the remainder of your child’s college costs if you are a parent or dependent undergraduate student.

Hopefully, you now have a detailed insight into graduate and undergraduate school loans.

Read More:- List Of Scholarships Before Applying For Universities Abroad


How to Get Student Loans for Completion of Studies?

Benefits of Federal Student Loans

To make your future secure, you require Federal student loans. Hence you should not be afraid to take out federal student loans, but you should be smart about it. The reasons why you should opt for Federal graduate school loans are:

  • The interest rate is fixed for the federal student loans, and it is considerably lower than that on private loans and that on a credit card.
  • In order to get the loan, you don’t need a credit check or a cosigner.
  • You don’t need to repay your federal student loans until you leave college or drop below half-time.
  • If you showcase financial need, the government pays the interest on certain loan types when you pursue a degree in school, and during some periods after school.
  • You get flexible repayment plans and options to postpone your loan payments if you’re having trouble making payments.
  • If you are engaged in certain jobs, you are eligible to have a portion of your federal student loans forgiven (depending on certain conditions).

As you can imagine, there are several advantages of availing Federal student loans to a private bank loan. Now that you know almost everything related to how to get student loans, you must also consider certain aspects before borrowing the loans. You have to:

  • Keep track of the amount you are borrowing
  • Conduct a detailed investigation into the starting salaries in your field
  • Comprehend the terms of the loans and keep copies of the valuable documents
  • Make the payments on time so that you do not land yourself in trouble
  • Maintain communication with the loan servicer

If only you agree to these terms, then you should proceed with the loan availing process.

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