An education loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid, with interest. When students receive a student loan, it is borrowing money to attend college. It is important to understand repayment options to successfully repay student loans.
Education loans come in three major categories:
- Federal Loans: student loans (Direct loans) parent loans (PLUS loans)
- Private Loans: private student loans
- Consolidation Loans: consolidation loan
Understanding Loan Types
- Federal student loans and federal parent loans are funded by the federal government.
- Private student loans are non-federal loans, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school.
- Consolidation Loans are a combination of several student or parent loans into one bigger loan from a single lender.
Grants, scholarships, work-study and other forms of gift aid just do not cover the full cost of a college education. Many students find that they must supplement their savings with government and private loans. The Federal education loan programs offer lower interest rates and more flexible repayment plans than most consumer loans, making them an attractive way to finance your education. You can also deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest even if you don’t itemize deductions on your income tax return.