All Financial Education

Understanding Student Loans

August 21, 2016

student meeting with counselor

When it comes to student loans it can be a large task to figure out what is right for you. Applying for college is stressful enough, so we have put together an overview of the student loans out there and how to stay on top of them.

Subsidized Loans

The federal government offers subsidized loans to students enrolled in school at least half-time. The benefit of having subsidized student loans are lower rates, 6-month no payment grace period after graduation, and while in school the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest accrued. These types of loans are available for 150% of the length of your program/degree you are enrolled in. For example, if you are enrolled in a 4-year program, you would be eligible to receive subsidized loans for 6 years.  If these are available when you apply for federal student loans, you will want to take these loans before unsubsidized loans.

Unsubsidized Loans

Unsubsidized loans are the second option offered by the federal government. These types of loans are very similar to subsidized loans but will typically have higher interest rates and they will start accruing interest from the first day of disbursement. One benefit you have by taking an unsubsidized loan is that you don’t have to prove financial need so the amount that you are able to borrow to cover school costs is much higher than subsidized loans.

Private Loans

Private loans are the 3rd option when it comes to student loans. Private loans usually arise if you are not able to obtain student loans through the federal government or you need more than what was offered in your subsidized and unsubsidized loans. There are many providers of student loans, but Idaho Central Credit Union has partnered with Sallie Mae® to provide competitive student loans for students.

Finding What is Right for You

Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding how much student loans you need to get through your degree. It can be easy to take out more money than is needed when declaring your loan amount, but be disciplined and only take the amount you need. You will be glad you did when you are done with school. Also think of other ways that you can get financing for school by looking at scholarships, grants, and even finding a part-time job to help pay for school.

Going to college will likely be a great time in your life, and by figuring out what financing you will need, it can make school less stressful and much more enjoyable!