Graduate student loans

Going on to graduate school? Check out these student loans

WRITTEN BY: Janelle Vreeland
Graduate student loans

Thinking of going to graduate school but have no way to cover the expensive cost? You are not alone. Tuition fees as a graduate student can be much higher than the loans of an undergraduate. However, loans are available to help fund your education. There are two ways in how you can obtain graduate student loans: from the government or from private entities.

If you decide to receive a graduate student loan from the government, you may have the opportunity to receive either a Stafford or a Perkins loan. Stafford loans are available to any graduate student, regardless of financial status. There are two different types of Stafford graduate loans, subsidized and unsubsidized. The main difference between these two loans is who pays the interest. The government pays interest for a subsidized graduate student loan, while the student must pay interest for an unsubsidized loan. However, in most case you do not begin to pay the loan until after graduation, just like you do with your undergraduate student loans.

A Perkins loan is available for those who demonstrate financial hardship. These loans have an interest rate of only 6 percent and can finance up to $4,000 of the graduate student’s education. This loan is recommended for those who are limited in cash, but need to find a way to pay off their education quickly and temporarily. However, one must keep in mind that payments are still expected to be made on time.

It is quite simple to apply for either of these loans. All you need is a pen and a free hour, and you may have the chance to receive your undergraduate student loan. According to Student Aid on the Web, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Schools then use the information from your FAFSA to determine how much student aid you will receive. Stafford Loans are generally included as part of your award package, which may contain other types of aid to help meet the costs of graduate school.

The University of Notre Dame recommends borrowing loans only from the government first before considering any non-government source. “If you do borrow from a non-government loan for some reason, understand that virtually none of the government provisions for lower interest rates, deferment and forbearance options, loan consolidation, cancellation, will typically be available.”

If you do decide to receive a private graduate student loan, first try to visit websites of the major banks because most offer student loan services. Certain banks even offer graduate loan comparison charts to help their customers see how their loans stack up against their competitors. There is also an Act Graduate Student Loan program you can join that offers this type of loan. All you need to do is fill out an application on Grad Loans, and you may receive an answer in as little as fifteen minutes.

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