We have talked at length about the hierarchy of financial aid. Financial aid awards that you do not have to repay come first, followed by work-study programs, then Direct Stafford Loans, and finally, private student loans.
Unfortunately, with the rising costs of tuition, private student loans are becoming much more common. These loans are a viable option for funding your college education, but it is important to ask questions first before you choose your lender.
Here is a short list of the top 5 questions you should ask every lender before you decide on which private student loan is best for you!
Top 5 Private Student Loan Questions
- What is your range of interest rates, and are they variable or fixed?
- What fees are involved with disbursing the loan?
- Will I need to have a co-signer?
- Is there a grace period (will I have to make payments while in school)?
- Are there deferment or forbearance payment options for financial hardship?
Here is one more just because I care about you!
6. What is the estimated monthly payment, and how much will I pay total over the lifetime of the loan?
By asking these questions to each of your lenders, you will be able to compare their answers and ensure that you are getting the best deal possible on your private student loan!
Have you had experience dealing with private student loans?
What questions have you asked your prospective lenders?
Photo used under Flickr Creative Commons: Omar Omar