So you’ve applied for federal student aid, but it’s not enough. Now what do you do? First, take a deep breath and stay calm. This does not mean that you won’t be able to afford the cost of attendance. With help from banks and lenders like SunTrust, students are finding new and better ways to cover the cost of attendance.
Federal caps on government-provided student loans are not keeping up with the rising rate of tuition, housing, and supplies. College tuition increases every year, and students are expected to have new laptops and tablets to keep up with each other and the fast-paced world of education. However, the maximum allowances of federal student loans are exactly where they were a decade ago.
Should I Give Up on Federal Loans Entirely?
This has some students wondering whether they should skip submitting a FAFSA altogether and go straight to private lenders like SunTrust Student Loans. Well, don’t be hasty. First of all, federal funding for student loans hasn’t decreased in the past few years, and it certainly hasn’t gone away. In fact, federal student loans are still some of the most forgiving loans in the world, and they offer low interest rates that are fixed as of June 1st in the year they’re disbursed.
So, if you’re trying to find the best way to fund your college career, start with federal funding. You may find out that your financial need is great enough to qualify for a grant or an unsubsidized loan, which would save you a lot of money in interest while you’re in college. You may even find that – between a Stafford loan and a parent PLUS loan – you’re entirely covered for your tuition and fees.
If you’re like so many students, though, you’ll probably find that you still need some cash for school that you just can’t spend out of pocket. That’s where private lenders like SunTrust come in. So, what can you expect when you apply for SunTrust Student Loans?
Eligibility for SunTrust Student Loans
First, unlike federal student loans, which are determined by need, private student loans are awarded based on credit history. If you have poor credit history, you could be denied or you could be asked to pay a higher interest rate. If you are 18 years old or older, you can apply for a SunTrust loan on your own, but you may want to have one of your parents or someone else with good credit cosign with you to ensure a better interest rate. Other eligibility factors include:
- Being a US citizen or a legal resident.
- Having a social security number.
- Being enrolled in a Title IV school.
How Much Can I Borrow?
Your loan will be capped based on the cost of attendance at your school minus any other financial aid you’ll be receiving. This figure cannot exceed $65,000 per year or $150,000 aggregate over the time of your college career. You can see, now, why we recommend getting the entire federal funding possible first. Not only is it low-interest with automatic deferment until you graduate, but you may not be able to cover the cost of school with a private loan alone.
Benefits for Borrowers
In a lot of cases, students with private loans have to start paying them back almost immediately. This was the norm for all private student loans for a long time, but that’s changing now. SunTrust student loans allow you to choose one of four repayment options when you are accepted for a loan.
You can begin repaying your loan immediately, which will save you the most money in the long run. If you cannot afford to make full monthly payments while you’re in school but you do have some income, you can choose to pay all or part of your interest on your loan each month. A lot of students find this option to be easier, and it saves you more money on interest than deferring your loan until you graduate.
Of course, if you cannot afford to make any monthly payments while you are in school, you can choose to defer all payments until you graduate. There is a limit to this option, though, and students who aren’t sure of their majors or graduation dates should keep it in mind. You may only defer your payments for five years (plus a six-month grace period after graduation). If you have any doubts about when you graduate, you may want to select one of the immediate payment plans to avoid making full loan payments while still in school.
Compare and Apply for Student Loans TuitionChart.com
TuitionChart.com works hand-in-hand with the best, most trusted names in private student lending to help students and their families find the money they need for college. Through use of comparison tools and loan searches, TuitionChart provides over 20 different loan options for students. TuitionChart.com is designed to help students and their families wend their way through the maze of financial aid information.