Normally, students tend to rely on federal student loans to finance their education as they provide a variety of deferment options and extended repayment terms. The most beneficial student loans include Stafford and Perkins loans with the opportunity for the undergraduates to get these loans as well.
Federal Student Loans for Undergraduates
These loans have two variations:
Federal Direct Student Loan Programs are the ones which are administered by direct lending school and the US government makes them available directly to the students and their parents.
Federal Family Education Loan Program are the ones provided by the private lenders like banks, credit unions etc. Such loans are guaranteed against default.
Effective from July 1, 2007, the Stafford loans have allowed the dependent undergraduates that they can borrow up to $3,500 for their freshman year. They can borrow up to $4500 in their sophomore year. However, there are some cumulative limits of $23,000 for undergraduate education. They also offer a combined limit of $65,500 for both undergraduate and graduate.
Effective from July, 2008, the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans have been reduced according to The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. These interest rates are applicable only for undergraduate students and only for subsidized Stafford loans.
Interest rates on the subsidized federal loans for graduate student will remain same at 6.8%. But in case of undergraduate students, there are many fluctuations expected in the interest rates of Stafford loans.
Repayment in case of Stafford loan begins after six months when a student graduates or drops below the half time enrolment. The total repayment period is 10 years. However, you can have alternate repayment terms on consolidation the loans.
Perkins Loans are awarded to all graduate and undergraduate students who are in exceptional financial needs. This is considered as a campus based loan program in which a school acts as the lender and makes use of limited funds they get from the federal government. Perkins Loans are subsidized loans as the interest rate is paid by the federal government while you are in school or having 9 months grace period. With Perkins loans, you have to pay only 5% interest rates with a 10 years repayment period. The amount you can receive under Perkins Loans is decided by the Financial Aid Office which is $4,000 per year for undergraduate students. Cumulative limits for undergraduate loans are $20,000 and $40,000 for undergraduate and graduates combined.
Pell Grants award $4,310 per year to undergraduate students who have not earned their university degree yet. Eligibility for undergraduate student loans with Pell grants is based upon the Expected Family Contribution which is calculated on the form of FAFSA.
Private Student Loans for Undergraduates
There are lots of private lenders which offer loans for undergraduate students to help them complete their studies. Access group is the best choice for undergraduate students who are seeking loans to pay for schools. The Comprehensive Access Loan is basically designed for the undergraduate students although it works for other students as well and allows you to complete your program or degree at your own pace. If you remain enrolled at least part time, you have a repayment period of 10 years. With these loans, you get a nine month grace period after you complete your graduation or stop attending school.
To get approved for such loans you need:
To earn a minimum credit bureau score.
To have three years of US Established credit history in your name. Also you must include in it 4 non-student loan trades at least one opened for 36 months.