Let's recap what we've learned about student loans:
- How to pay for college is as complicated and as important a decision as which college to choose, what to major in and whether to live on or off campus.
- Only borrow what you can afford to pay back after graduation based on income estimates in your career field.
- Filling out a FAFSA form is crucial to securing student aid.
- Exhaust federal funding options before applying for private loans.
- Most private loans have variable interest rates, and initial rates vary based on yours or your cosigner's credit rating.
- The standard federal loan repayment program lasts 10 years.
- Public service employees and others with low incomes have additional options for repayment based on annual income.
- Federal loan programs offer options for postponing payment during a financial hardship situation.
- Federal consolidation can extend your loans up to 30 years.
- Consolidating private loans is the best way to secure a fixed interest rate on your private student loans.
- Managing your student debt borrowing based on what you can afford to repay is the best way to get an education and avoid financial trouble down the road.
Financial AdvisorThe worst thing to do with college debt is to ignore it. The best way to start tackling it is with a clear roadmap to financial freedom.
Personal FinanceThink of private student loans as a last resort to pay for college – they cost more than other types. Here's how to find the best deals if you need one.
Personal FinanceInternational students can get private loans to help pay for the cost of college in the United States. Here's how.
Personal FinanceConsolidating your student loans offers convenience, but there are drawbacks.
Personal FinanceUse these strategies to decide whether consolidating your student loans makes sense for you – and what to do next if it does.
Personal FinanceThere's many available student debt repayment options and strategies, such as student loan initiatives and loan consolidation plans.
Personal FinanceHere's a breakdown of how taking out student loans will affect your credit score.
Personal FinanceFollow these 5 steps and you'll be well on your way to knowing which loans to go after – and which college really offers you the best deal.