Make sure you choose a loan that best meets your needs, but keep in mind that the cheapest loan is not always your best option. Because loans must be repaid, you should plan your debt financing carefully:
- Ask for information about interest rates and fees, repayment terms and options, and other obligations.
- Consider your future income and don't borrow more than you can afford to pay back.
If there is terminology on this page that you don't understand, please review our loan terminology page and read these sections together so you can reference unfamiliar words.
Each loan has its own characteristics and features. These features must be carefully compared to decide which loan is best for you. Compare your options side-by-side and include:
- the total cost to repay the loan (including the fees, principal and interest)
- how long it takes to repay the loan
- the amount of the monthly payments
- the penalty you'd pay if you were late on a payment or default
- the impact that the loan would have on your total financial package (how it would affect your grant, scholarship, and work study awards)
- whether it can be consolidated with other loans at the time of repayment
For more information on the loans available to you:
- Talk to the financial aid office at the school the student is attending or wishes to attend.
- Check with local banks to see if they have alternative educational loans that you can also consider.
- Review our student loan comparison chart.