5 Resources to Help You Understand College Student Loans
Do terms like subsidized, unsubsidized, FAFSA, EFC, annual percentage rate, capitalization, consolidation and forbearance make your head spin? Well, you’re not alone.
As you prepare for college, it’s a good idea to become acquainted with these important student loan terms and resources for student loans. To help you understand more about college student loans (what they are, how to get them, how you pay them back and more), we’ve rounded up a list of five excellent resources for you to check out.
The FederalStudentAid website is a good place to start to learn about your student loan options. It explains the types of federal student loans available (direct subsidized, direct unsubsidized, Perkins Loans, PLUS Loans), how much money you can borrow and how to get a federal student loan. It also has a glossary of terms and tips on avoiding financial aid scams.
StudentLoans.gov is the federal government’s student loan website. This is the place you’ll go when you want to get your federal student aid personal identification number (PIN) and get info on filing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It’s also where you’ll go to manage your loan after you get a federal student loan. (Also check out FAFSA.gov site for more details.)
The Project on Student Debt
The Project on Student Debt is an initiative from the Institute for College Access and Success, an organization that works to increase public understanding of the implications of student debt on families, the economy and society. Under the site’s Resources tab, you can access information on special topics such as net price calculators, private student loans and Pell Grants. It also has a glossary of financial aid terms and advice for you about borrowing money for college, including questions to ask before taking out a private student loan.
Although Fastweb.com may be best known for its college scholarship listings, it also has information about student loans as well as helpful tools and resources, including a college budgeting calculator, info on the FAFSA and info on private student loans. Check out its Quick Guide to Financial Aid Terms (PDF) and its financial aid videos on maximizing financial aid.
FinAid.org walks you through all the types of student and parent loans available, private educational loans, student loan consolidation and more. It also provides a glossary of financial aid terms. Plus, check out the Loan Payment Calculator to estimate your monthly payments once you graduate from school.