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Private student loan questions

delrolanddelroland Registered User regular
edited July 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I'll be attending school this fall and have acquired all of the financial aid and government loans that I can, and I am still short about $8000 a year, so I will need to turn to private student loans (i.e. from banks and other financial institutions) to cover the rest. My questions are thus:

1) Is there an easy way to compare the various APR's offered by various banks/institutions without actually walking in and talking to a bank rep? (Or, on a related note, do you have any specific suggestions as to where to go for the loan?)
2) Should I secure a separate loan for each school year or one large loan to cover all four? I'm concerned that if I do the latter, that I may end up borrowing too much or too little, since I may qualify for further financial aid in later years, or conversely, costs to attend may increase.
3) Is there any other general advice you feel I should know?

EVE: Online - the most fun you will ever have not playing a game.
"Go up, thou bald head." -2 Kings 2:23

Posts

  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal Flo-ridaRegistered User regular
    With external economic conditions being equal, you'll want to get as much as possible in a single loan package, because as you, a young person with likely minimal credit worthiness, begin to accumulate large debts, it will make it harder for you to get good interest rates or even finance the whole amount that you need.

    This changes a lot if you have a cosigner though, or are actually like 28 years old.

  • delrolanddelroland Registered User regular
    I'm >28yo, and I will have a cosigner.

    EVE: Online - the most fun you will ever have not playing a game.
    "Go up, thou bald head." -2 Kings 2:23
  • UnknownSaintUnknownSaint Registered User
    Are you certain there are no government loans available? If you haven't already, you should sit down with a financial aid counselor at your school and find out a little more specifically what's available for you in that range, because you definitely want to get in on some subsidized, fixed-rate low-interest loans if they are available.

    More information is always better than less, and given your apparently heavy reliance on financial aid in all forms, I strongly suggest that you get friendly with a competent counselor for this at the school. Visit them at the very least once every quarter / semester, and stay ahead of the typically varying deadlines you'll be dealing with every year. They'll likely know a bit better than we do whether or not you actually do have some better loans available to you - and even may be in a better position to suggest private loans that are student-friendly if you do in fact not qualify for any student loans.

    Good luck! And seriously take my advice to heart when it comes to the deadlines and whatnot - there are a ton of little holes your financial aid can fall through every quarter and year (unit requirements, renewed FAFSA stuff, GPA verification for certain grants, etc.) and there usually isn't one set time that all of it needs to be in by. You'll save yourself some serious panic and avoid losing out on some cash if you're disciplined about it.

  • delrolanddelroland Registered User regular
    I've already gotten the Stafford loans (subsidized and unsubsidized). The $8000 is after everything I got from the FAFSA, loans and grants, and I haven't received any scholarships.

    EVE: Online - the most fun you will ever have not playing a game.
    "Go up, thou bald head." -2 Kings 2:23
  • FDRFDR Registered User
    I'm not too familiar with private student loans but one thing to note is I doubt they're subsidized, which means if you take out one big loan right now you'll be paying interest on it all even if you're not using it all right away. Staggering it out (if possible) will save you some interest payments.

  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    You should have a separate loan for each school year. I'm not even sure if lenders would give you the option of getting one giant loan now. You don't even know now how much you'll need for each year since your other aid may change over time, the tuition will likely be different each year. So just shop around now for the amount you need for this year.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Protip, when you sign your exit paperwork they don't have to include your private loans into the amount they show you.

    This is a hell of a gotcha when your loans are $20,000 after a few years.

    bowen on
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