Hey there.  Okay, you’ve gone through your finances for school, and you realize: student loans are going to be a necessary evil.  It’s okay, we’ve all been there.  And it doesn’t have to be so bad!  The best thing you can do for yourself when dealing with financial aid is to get educated.  That’s why you’re here, right?  Good.  You may wonder, “I know I have to take out some loans, but which are the best student loans?”  Well, if you’ve visited the blog before, you’ll note that both the Stafford and Perkins Loans come up a lot.  This entry is no exception.  These families of federal financial aid are widely regarded as some of the best, and this article will tell you why.

The Federal Perkins Loan.  Out of the two biggies, this loan probably takes the cake.  Why?  The number one answer comes in one word: time.  The Perkins loan has the longest federal aid grace period…9 months.  What does this mean?  You get more time to after graduation to start saving up to repay your loan.  9 months after graduation, repayment begins.  Another saving grace: lower interest.  Not only does the Perkins Loan have a fixed rate, but it also has the lowest of all loan interest rates--at 5%.  Look to receive a maximum of $5,500 per year.

The Federal Stafford Loan.  Two options exist within this family of student loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.  These loans have a fixed rate at around 6.8%, and you can expect a maximum of $9,500 per year.  Keep in mind the grace period after graduation is 6 months, however.

  • Subsidized Stafford Loan.  That S-word out front tells you that the government is going to pay the interest on this student loan until you graduate (an attribute also shared by the Perkins Loan, above).  This keeps student loan debt down to simply what you borrowed to start out, instead of interest money compounding and increasing the amount owed.
  • Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.  Take what you know about the above loan, and reverse it.  This loan is available to those with financial need, but not necessarily a high financial need.  So, the government will provide the funds, but put the student in charge of interest payments, from beginning to end.  While your loan debt may increase slightly due to interest, a good way to avoid this is the pay down the interest each month.

There you have it.  The best student loans available are right before your eyes.  Of course you may also opt for private loans, which have their merits too.  In the end, each student chooses their own “bests,” but Go Financial Aid aims to help you along to way towards good solutions.

Categories: Financial Aid | Student Loans
Tags: federal financial aid perkins loan stafford loan

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