Let’s face it, the student loan process is overwhelming. From choosing the correct loan options to the lengthy application process to the insane debt burden as a student, and then the long road to paying off your loans—student loans just suck!
Still, if you want to go to college and your family isn’t made of money, you will probably be forced to get student loans. Thankfully, there are a number of quality financing guides out there that help explain the student loan process and make things easy for prospective students.
Today we are going to look at the five best financing guides for student loans:
The Complete Guide to Federal Student Loans
Student Loan Hero, a subsidiary of LendingTree, has one of the best student loan guides on the market. It is thorough, offers a solid basic background of student loans and an explanation of loan and repayment options.
One of the best segments of this guide is the deferment and forbearance section which many guides don’t include. Deferment or forbearance are options for students who are experiencing health concerns or are having difficulty paying back student loans immediately after graduation.
Deferring loans to a later date can really be a lifesaver if you are having problems making loan payments. This guide makes the process easy and understandable.
The Definitive Guide To Student Loan Debt
The Definitive Guide to Student Loan Debt by The College Investor is one of the only guides on here written by a former student rather than a loan provider.
Robert Farrington is the owner of the college investor and wrote this guide after being so thoroughly frustrated with the student loan process while he was in school.
The guide provides a solid understanding of the basics of borrowing in general and how fees, borrowing limits, etc. work in the student loan arena. It also has an excellent in-depth section on the new (circa 2015) student loan forgiveness programs which can be absolute lifesavers for struggling recent grads.
Student Loans 101
Student Loans 101 is one of the most popular guides on this list. It was created by Credit Karma to help students navigate the federal and private loan process.
The guide is constantly updated making it a valuable ever-green resource. It notes important changes to federal loan programs as they are passed into law, including changes in federal interest rates.
Overall this is one of the most complete guides on this list and is a great resource for any student looking into student loans.
MPOWER Financing’s International Student Guide
Instead of focusing on federal loans, MPOWER financing’s guide focuses on private loans which are the more common option for international students.
There is a solid explanation of variable vs. fixed interest rates for private loans, which include a description of LIBOR and it’s historical rates(if you don’t know what I’m saying here, this is the guide for you). There is also a discussion of student visa types and the benefit of timing your interest payments.
If you’re an international student, look no further, this is the guide for you.
A Guide For Student Loans
Fidelity’s A Guide For Student Loans has all the information any student loan guide should— from the basics of federal student loans to private loan options and repayment plans.
Where Fidelity’s guide excels though is in the tips for parents section. This is one of the only guides which mentions the 529 savings plans, custodial accounts, and Coverdell education savings accounts (ESAs)—all ways for parents to save money on taxes.
Fidelity’s graphics with example loans, fees, and payment plans also make it easier to know exactly what you’re getting into. All in all, this is one of the best guides around.
Student loans have you stressed? Don’t fear student financing guides are here!