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Ways of Financing Postsecondary Education

Jul 15, 2008
The Federal government provides students with many loans to help pay the cost of postsecondary education pursuits. The search engines on the U.S. Department of Education website are designed to be used by students, parents, teachers and administrators because each entity approaches educational loans with a different perspective. Students can contact financial aid professionals through this link to educational loans and learn what options are available without going through the list.

Every college and university is equipped with a financial aid office. Students can submit applications directly to the school for processing with the college tuition paperwork, but students have options of searching the internet for various grants that will help reduce the overall cost of college over a four-year period. Financing postsecondary education is the responsibility of the student but the financial aid specialists are in place to guide students into making the right decisions on loans.

Students can apply for several loans through the Federal Family Education Loan program. Students when financing postsecondary education costs use the Stafford loan to reduce the total cost of a two-year or four-year credentialed degree. Interest will accrue on the loan from day one and until the final balance is paid. The Federal Government will pay interest on the Stafford Loan while the person is attending college and during grace periods or any deferment periods.

Other portions of the Federal Family Education Loan will be utilized to absorb the totals for financing postsecondary education. PLUS loans are designed to be used by parents when financing a child's education. The interest rates on the PLUS loans are considerably higher than the Stafford Loan, but are in place to give students a financing option that will reduce the total cost of financing postsecondary education pursuits.

Students can utilize Unsubsidized Stafford loans to finance college tuition costs, but the Federal Government does not pay interest rates for those loans. Students have the option of consolidating student loans after graduation to obtain a lower interest rate, but student consolidation loans do not have to be finalized right after graduation. Loans obtained for financing a two-year postsecondary education can be extend to include the loan costs of a four-year degree program if the students want to obtain a bachelor's degree.

Graduates are given a six month grace period following graduation before any payments on students loans will be due, and even then, college students can defer payments for over a year if some hardship is experienced that makes repayment difficult. The Department of Education will bill students after six months and offer convenient monthly payment options for students to consider when repaying the costs of a postsecondary education. Sallie Mae will also send students a payment book with low monthly rates.

The student can consolidate these two student loan payments and use grants to reduce them further. With a little attentiveness and tenacity, monitoring federal interest rates will pay off because the student might be able to obtain an interest rate that is lower than the original loan because consolidation loans are based on the current interest rates, which are being reduced again and again as the country prepares to enter a recession.
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