Student Loan Options for Online Education
Are you seeking a student loan for an online education? While it’s true that obtaining student loans for an online education was difficult years ago, times have changed.
Over the past few years, it’s become increasingly easy to find and qualify for student loans for online colleges and distance learning courses. As a college graduate who took most of his courses online, I can tell you from personal experience that I was offered many student loans over my time in school.
As is the case with college students getting a more traditional education, you have the options of either private student loans or federal government student loans.
While you may find qualifying for a private student loan easier if you already have a long history with a certain lender, you’ll likely find the lower interest and more lenient terms with a government student loan.
Here’s a rundown of the major types of federal government college loans available to online college students:
Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans
Offering a low interest rate, Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans allow the student to enjoy a six month period after graduation before making payments. Meanwhile, the government is paying the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled in college courses.
Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
While this loan option features a low interest rate like its subsidized cousin, Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans begin accruing interest from the moment monies from the loan are granted.
Federal PLUS Loans
There are various types of Federal PLUS Loans designed for both students and parents of students; there are also undergraduate and graduate degree student loan variations of Federal PLUS.
While payment deferment is an option, Federal PLUS loans generally begin accruing interest from the moment the loan money is granted. The borrower must also undergo either a credit background check or have a co-signer.
Federal Perkins Loans
Designed for students in financial need, Federal Perkins Loans provide low interest financing and a nine-month grace period. The government pays interest while the student is in college. After the grace period on the loan ends, the college student begins making payments.
As you can see, there are several student loan options available for those pursuing an online education. Perhaps the most difficult part of the process is deciding which student loan offers you the most favorable terms.
In general, it’s always best to discuss your options with a college financial aid adviser before choosing a student loan. Along with ensuring you’re being provided enough money to pursue your online education, you must also consider how the student loan will impact your budget, both now and after graduating.