Reading a Student Loan Policy Before You Sign It

Most of us understand the importance of a good education, and every year hundreds of millions of people are going to enroll in colleges and universities around the country is pursuit of a higher education. The lessons and information that you learn in college can change your life and open a lot of doors, and may be essential to your financial future. However, college is constantly becoming more and more expensive, and many people struggle to come up with the money for a higher education. In order to pay for college, many will turn to student loans, and the following is a bit of basic information that you will want to understand about these loans and electronic debt payments.

Student loans are often regulated by the government and they are in place in order to provide students a way to get the education that they want. Because these loans are being offered for a fairly noble purpose, they typically come with rates and features that are beneficial to the customer and hard to find elsewhere. However, you will still want to learn a bit about your student loan policy and your options before making a decision.

Understanding Loan Types

There are three basic types of student loans that you can receive from the government. The first is a Stafford loan. Stafford loans are some of the most popular options and are offered by the federal government. Subsidized Stafford loans will not start charging interest until after the student has graduated, while unsubsidized loans will accrue interest during the time that the student is in school. These loans will generally come with a fixed interest rate, and you will want to read your policy and understand exactly what that rate is.

Federal PLUS loans are given to the parents of students that need financial assistance and they are similar to Stafford loans but typically have slightly higher interest rates and do not have as low of a cap as Stafford loans. Finally, Federal Perkins loans are those that are given to the school and then the school has the ability to find the students that may have the most need of the loan. These loans come with lower interest rates but may be a bit more difficult to obtain. Customers that take on any of these federal loans will want to do their research, read their policy and understand exactly what is going to be required of them.

Reading Private Loan Policies

If you get a private loan or take out a home equity line of credit, you will also want to be careful to research the terms of your loan. Private loans are not as regulated as the loans that are offered by the federal government, and recipients will often find themselves facing higher interest rates and a larger number of fees. Before signing, you will want to meet with the creditor and make sure that you understand all of the stipulations of the loan.

Because student loans are often very large and will require years to repay, students and their parents would be wise to completely understand their terms before making a decision. Reading a student loan policy before you sign it should not take long and it will help you understand your interest rates, payment period and potential fees. Do not accept a loan that is going to bring you into debt that you cannot afford. While the federal loans are flexible, they will still need to be repaid, and it is important that you completely understand your loan before signing.