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Best Student Loans in 2022

by Amarachukwu
Student Loans Refinance Guide

Paying your way through college sometimes can be a herculean task especially if you want to go to a good college probably because you’re one of those who feel that good education comes with a great price. For many students, taking loans can be the way they can get money to pave their way through college because student loans offer financial support to students who are not able to meet up to their college needs.

Many students want to attend college, but when they calculate their expenses and find out they cannot pay for them, they take loans to cover the college costs. Student loans provide good deals (with long term payment offers so that you don’t have to worry about paying back for the next 7-15 years) and financial aid officers can help with this process.

Types Of Student Loans

When talking about student loans, there are two types

  • Federal Loans
  • Private Loans

When comparing federal loans and private loans, the difference is that federal loans are provided by the government and private loans are provided by banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. They both have different student loan eligibility criteria, application process, and terms and conditions. Whether you decide to go for private loans or federal loans, you definitely have to pay back the loan with interest when it’s due.

Student Loans in 2022

Federal Student Loans

There are three types of Federal student loans

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans 

Direct PLUS loans had two types;

Grad PLUS loans and Parent PLUS loans.

Federal student loans also offer many loan benefits in different areas unlike private student loans and the rate of payment is done based on the profit of the borrower after college.

Except for the Federal PLUS Loans for parents and graduate students, borrowers don’t need a credit check to be considered eligible for loan and it also allows the borrower to change their repayment plan even after they’ve taken out the loan. 

Federal loans are usually better than private loans because the interest rate is fixed and most times, lower than private loans. Also sometimes, without a credit history, you can be eligible to take federal loans but private loans require a good credit history all the time. 

Private Student Loans

Just like federal student  loans, private student loans also help you pay for college costs if scholarships, grants, and federal student loans don’t work out for you.

It offers the choice of a fixed or variable interest rate. Fixed rates stay the same, giving you predictable monthly payment while variable rates may go up or down due to an increase or decrease to the loan’s index.

Private student loans offer different repayment options and allow you to pay for just the interest while you’re still a student. The good thing about this is that this payment helps lower your total student loan cost.  Because most private student loan lenders require good credit, you should add a cosigner (with a good credit history that meets all the requirements for private student loans) to your application to improve your chances of approval. A cosigner can also help you receive a lower interest rate, which will reduce the overall cost of your loan. If you’ve exhausted all your free grants, scholarship and loan options and you still need money for school, then private loan can be a good option for you

College Ave

College Ave is one of the best private loans for students that allows you to choose your repayment terms, and can cover up to 100% of your total cost of attendance in school which includes your housing tuition, fees and many others. It also offers students four repayment options

Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae is one of the most popular student loan lenders. It was a federal loan lender before it was privatized and began offering private loans to assist students.  Sallie Mae controls the largest share of the private student loan market. It  also offers one of the fastest student loans applications and allows you to manage your loans from one lender.

Earnest

Earnest is a private loan lender that offers students private loans from $1000- the total cost of attendance to make college education affordable for them. Earnest offers many loan benefits including allowing you to extend payment for up to nine months after graduation.

Ascent

Ascent is an online student loan lender that is unique and different from other private loan lenders because it offers three different options. These options include; 

  • Traditional cosigned loan
  • Non-cosigned credit-based loan 
  • Non-cosigned future income-based loan

It also extends repayment terms for those having difficulty in repaying, different affordable repayment options, lowest rates and high discounts.

SoFi

SoFi is an online finance company founded in 2011 which was first designed to be used on smartphones first before moving on to desktops and laptops. It is also the first online finance company to give out both private and federal loans. Since then, it has disbursed over $50 billion as loan for not only students but also for personal purposes. SoFi also offers unique benefits tlike financial advice, community membership and rate discounts to its customers when applying for a loan.

It is one of the best banks for students interested in low rates and a variety of repayment options.

Mefa

Mefa offers low fixed rates from 3.75% to 5.75% APR and five repayment options on student loans to borrowers that have high credibility. It also has different benefits, expert financial guides, helpful tools and resources and affordable financial products to aid your loan process. Mefa also provides financial literacy programs for students finding it difficult to pay and also allows you borrow up to 100% of your total cost attendance.

Custom Choice

Custom Choice is a student loan bank that allows you extend your repayment period for up to 14 years. It has no late fees or penalty payments added to it and offers a 0.25% discount if you pay automatically and also gives a 2% principal reduction to graduates (with proof).

Discover

Discover is a national bank that offers a variety of consumer financial products including student loans. Discover also has a unique offer for students who earn a GPA of 3.0 or more in college to qualify for good grade rewards on every new Discover student loan where they pay one per cent of your loan amount. This is not the only reward the bank offers. It also has various benefits like temporary interest, payment reduction, or a period of extension to help borrowers struggling to meet their monthly payments. You can also combine all your student loans into one payment and has no late payment penalties attached to it  If you’re looking for a student loan with benefits, I recommend you opt for Discover.

Tips To Consider Before Taking Student Loans

If your income or scholarship is not enough to cover all your college costs, you should  consider taking a loan as long as you understand all the terms and requirements and follow these tips;

Best Student Loans

Compare Financial Aid Offers

Once you get your financial aid award letters, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from. Before making any decision, assess your financial aid packages, compare offers and check for offers with the best repayment options.

Borrow Only What You Need

You might be tempted to borrow more than what you need, but paying back might be difficult so only borrow what you need. To figure out how much money you may need to borrow, calculate your college’s cost, your cost of living, your rent and everything you need while you’re in college.

Consider Working Part-Time or Take Side Jobs

You can save by taking on side jobs or side hustles. Since you don’t learn 24/7 you can use some time to take on freelancing jobs like writing or content creating, cleaning students apartments or even going shopping for them and getting paid in return.

You won’t need to borrow as much if you have a part-time job to cover some of your expenses. You may even qualify for a work-study program at your college.

Ask Questions  Where You Don’t Understand And Follow Instructions

If you have any questions about how a federal loan works, contact a financial aid officer to get answers before applying for the loan.  Before you borrow any loan, make sure you know the rules and requirements for applying for both federal and private student loans.

Opt For Private Loans

If you feel you need to borrow more to cover your costs, ask your financial aid officer for advice. If you decide to take a private loan, compare interest rates, fees and repayment options of both loans. Most private student loans are more expensive than federal student loans so find out from your financial aid office first before opting for private loans.

Double Check Before Signing

Before signing, make sure you double-check and understand a loan’s terms, conditions and repayment requirements, if you don’t understand, ask your financial aid officer these questions;

  • How much will this loan cost in total?
  • What will my monthly payments be?
  • Is the interest rate fixed or variable?

If the interest rate is too high, you can find out from your financial aid office if it can be brought down a little.

Consider Making Interest Payments While in College

You can start making interest payments on your loans while you’re in college, and you don’t have to pay a lot.  Making interest payments while you’re in college will help reduce the total amount you’ll have to repay when you are finally done with college.

Conclusion

In the end, it’s your decision how to pay for college. You’ll want to think about what type of loan is best for you and then decide which one will be a good fit. The key takeaway here is that there are many options out there with different pros and cons depending on your needs, so do some research before making any decisions! Let me know in the comment section if I missed anything or if you have any more thoughts on this topic.

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