Going back to school to get a college degree can be difficult for women with families to take care of. A lot of time will have to be devoted to studies and it can be a challenge even if the mom has expert time management skills. The bigger problem, however, will be finding the funds to pay for tuition, books, and other supplies necessary to be a successful student.
Grants and scholarships may not provide enough money to pay for college, making it necessary to secure a student loan. There are two basic types of student loans. Women can apply for federal loans or private loans to help them pay for their education.
Federal Student Loans
If a loan program is financed by the U.S. government, it is considered a Federal loan. Both the Strafford Loan and Perkins Loan are popular with college students.
The Perkins Loan has the most benefits. There is a 9-month grace period and the interest is 5%. The federal government will pay the interest while the student is in school and during the grace period. The Perkins Loan is granted if a student displays extreme financial need.
The Stafford Loan has two categories. One is for students in financial need and the other is based on funds that are allotted to the school the student is attending.
The first step in securing a federal student loan is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Known as FAFSA, this application can be submitted online.
Private Student Loans
It’s recommended that students consider a private loan as a last resort to securing educational funds. The interest is usually considerably higher than the interest charged on a federal student loan.
Some schools have school channel loans that are programs arranged as collaborations between the financial organization and the college. If a channel loan isn’t available, a lot of private financial organizations specialize in direct private loans. It’s important that you research the loans, as they are not all the same. Compare the possibilities so that you are able to choose the loan that best fits your needs.
No matter what type of loan you are able to secure, make sure that you research the lender. Read the terms of agreement and make sure that you understand the conditions of your student loan agreement. Repayment options may differ from loan to loan. It’s important that you understand the repayment requirements so that you will not later fall into default.
Most colleges have a preferred lender list. Ask for a copy so that you can make the right decisions in securing a student loan.