Let's face it, unless you are independently wealthy, you are going to need to take out student loans to pay for college. Determining how much money you can take out in loans and how much you need are two difficult tasks.
The amount of money one can borrow is directly linked to the kind of student loan and the number of student loans. The most common types of student loans are the Subsidized Stafford loan and the Unsubsidized Stafford loan. Both have different amounts of financial assistance available to students.
A Subsidized Stafford Loan is the best deal in terms of payback, as the student does not have to pay interest on the loan while he or she is in college. This causes the loan to have a cap on it at a low level. A college freshman can only take out $2,625 his or her first year enrolled. By the time that student is a senior, the cap jumps to $5,500.
An Unsubsidized Safford loan is a loan that requires you to pay the interest during college and has a much higher ceiling. You can usually borrow $4,000 to $5,000 dollars more per year using an Unsubsidized Stafford loan.
How old you are also has a lot to do with how much money you can borrow. If you are under 24, single, and don't have kids you are still considered a dependent by the government. This means, your family is expected to contribute to your education. With money coming from other places, your borrowing power is reduced.
The number of student loans is entirely up to you, your credit history and the financial institutions. A student can take out as many private student loans as they want. However, actually getting a large number of private loans from various institutions is unlikely.
- Think about what kind of student loan you will be applying for. An Unsubsidized Stafford loan will yield you the most money, but you have to pay the interest as you go.
- As you progress as a student, remember, your borrowing power goes up. If you need more money during your college career, you should have some wiggle room.
- Know your dependent status. If you are a dependent, you can't borrow as much from the government.