Pay for College

Explore college costs and plan how you'll pay for your degree or certificate.

Six Reasons To Borrow Federal Loans First

Have to borrow for school? Federal loans offer a smart deal

If you take out loans to pay for your degree or certificate, borrow federal student loans first. Here are just six reasons why.

  1. Generally lower interest rates than most private loans. Interest rates are fixed, but vary from year to year and depend on the loan type and disbursement date.
  2. Flexible repayment plans. Some plans are based on debt and income. Plans vary in length from 10 up to 30 years, depending on the amount you borrow and your ability to pay.
  3. Generous benefits. Benefits include temporary repayment postponement in certain conditions, including deferment and forbearance.
  4. Grace period. You don't have to make loan payments during your grace period, which lasts six months and starts after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment.
  5. No collateral requirement. You don't have to provide anything up front in order to qualify. For undergraduate students, there is no credit check, though there may be one for parents or graduate students applying for a PLUS loan.
  6. Loan forgiveness. If you work in certain public service jobs, you may get some of your loans forgiven under certain conditions.


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