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When we sat down to find the best student loans, we performed in-depth research on major student loan providers and compared them.We used companies’ loan calculators, called their customer service agents (listening to the same 30 seconds of Vivaldi while on hold gets old fast) and read as much of the fine print as we could (there was a lot).Private Student Loans As a general rule, don’t consider getting a private student loan until you’ve maximized your federal student loan options.
You might need private student loans to fill the gap between federal loan funds and the actual costs of college.At first glance, private student loans might appear to have lower interest rates than federal student loans – but those lowest advertised rates are only for loan applicants who have excellent credit scores.The average college student won’t qualify for these rates or will be forced to sign with a cosigner.Here’s what we found: Loan Limits Every student loan, whether federal or private, has a borrowing limit.
Federal loan limits depend on whether you are still considered a dependent or if you are an independent student.Federal Student Loans The federal government has a robust set of loans that can help students make college more affordable.Federal loans generally have lower, fixed interest rates and can give borrowers more repayment options than private companies.Both are considered unsecured loans – this means they’re riskier for the banks than secured loans, which have an asset or collateral behind them. The only asset behind an unsecured student loan is your future earning potential: your brain, essentially.