What are student loans?

Student loans offer funding for college undergraduate and graduate students. Unlike grants and scholarships, you almost always need to pay this debt back to your lender. There are two main types of student loans: federal and private.

Federal Loans

The federal government is a main source of funding for students who need help paying for school. Federal loans generally offer the lowest interest rates. These loans also offer many repayment options. The federal government offers both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans are available only to undergraduate students. The government pays the interest on subsidized loans while you are in school. Unsubsidized loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students. The student pays the interest which accrues while the student is in school.

Private Loans

Third party lenders, such as banks, credit unions and student loan companies also offer funding for students. Private loans can be a convenient way to get additional funding for school. Keep in mind, though, that private loans generally carry higher interest rates and have less flexible repayment options than federal loans. Therefore, only borrow as much as you need from private lenders.

How do I obtain student loans?

In one stage of life, applying and obtaining student loans is a big goal. Your first step in applying for student loans is to visit the FAFSA website to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Be sure to max out your federal loan funding before applying for private loans since federal loans have more favorable terms. If federal loans won’t cover the cost of your education, comparison shop for the best rates and terms for private loans. Also, if you don’t have a solid credit history, your private lender may require a co-signer.

Why should I manage my student loans?

Student loans are a double-edged sword. Without them, we wouldn’t have a way to advance opportunities through higher education. With them, we add what can seem to be an insurmountable debt to our total liabilities. Paying back your loans can also put a strain on your monthly budget.

But don’t let the weight of student loan debt weigh you down. We’re here to help you learn how to understand and manage your student loan debt.

How do I manage my student loans?

Managing student loan debt is an important way to be savvy with your money. How you repay your student loans can affect your credit score and your ability to borrow money in the future. Making payments on time will improve your credit score. However, having a large unpaid balance and missing or late payments can have a negative effect on your credit. There are many repayment options for your student loans. You may even be able to defer your payments if you are in school or experiencing financial hardship. Learn more about how to manage student loan debt.

Discover professionals in our network

Finding a professional in your area to help you improve your personal finances is another excellent step on your journey to create wealth and achieve financial freedom. A professional, such as a financial planner, has first-hand knowledge and experience with student loans. These professionals can answer any questions that you may have regarding your unique circumstances and help you customize a strategy that will best fit your financial needs.

Explore our personal finance insights

Looking to learn more about student loans? Immerse yourself in our insights that focus in more detail on how to better understand, manage and improve your personal finances.



Burdened by student loans? Looking to lower your payments? Student loan debt can be a challenge in many ways. It may be a huge drain on your month-to-month expenses and seem insurmountable. Whether you’re about to finish college, or having been repaying your student loans for years, we’re here to help you navigate the student…