What College Freshmen Need to Know About Their Student Loans

VD August 08 2021

If you have ambitions to study in a university or a college, one of the most important things you want to know will be the student loan.

Student loans are essential for students to cover their financial needs related to education, so it is vital to know everything like the application process, interest rate, and the best practices to pay the loan back.

Students trying to get a degree from a college or university can freely apply for a loan from the federal government. Students can also get loans from private organizations, but the terms and conditions will be relatively stricter.

What loan plan will be the best for me? When will I be able to become debt-free? How often is interest compounded on student loans? How will extra payments help me pay off the loan faster? These are just some of the questions students are most worried about.

Every student is different from others and has different circumstances, so a single loan package will not suit all students. You are going to learn about various student loan plans, their pros and cons, and the best methods to repay your loans with the lowest interest.  

What Is a Student Loan?

Some people confuse scholarships and grants with student loans. A student loan is a fund that student receives from their state government or a private company to support their educational expenses. But the students will have to pay this loan back after completing their degree in addition to a certain amount of interest.

The goal should be to go for the minimum amount of loan so that you can pay it back quickly, but if you want a bigger loan, you should research carefully about the prospects of your degree and the starting salary limits in your field so you can make a plan to pay your debt.

Pros of Student Loans

  • First and most importantly, student loans financially support students who otherwise might not afford a college or university.
  • There is no need for credit history to get a student loan.
  • The interest rates are relatively lower on student loans.
  • The interest rates are fixed and will not change over time.
  • In most cases, the student has time until graduation before they start paying off the debt. There are some extra options available for special situations in which students can apply for loan forgiveness.
  •  Last but not least, student loans have flexible terms and conditions suitable to your monthly income and living standards.

Cons of Student Loans

  • A person can receive a limited amount of money from the federal government.
  • Completing the degree is a must-have condition. You will have to pay the loan immediately if you drop out of college.
  • If you want to opt for private company loans, you will need a co-signer.
  • All loans have different terms and conditions and interest rates, so the loans might be expensive if you receive a big loan at a high interest rate.
  •  Failure to pay will lead to a decrease in your credit score.
  •  Sometimes, the interest rates on private loans do not stay constant.
  • Some loans might not be able to fulfill your financial needs.

Student Loan Types

Primarily there are two types of student loans

  • Federal student loans
  • Private student loans

Federal Student Loans

The student receives federal loans from their state government on fixed interest rates and gives students very flexible terms and conditions. In contrast, the amount of money you will receive depends upon your status as a student and your education level.

These are some different types of Federal loans

  • Direct Subsidized Loans. This plan is for students with exceptional financial needs. They will not need to pay during college or for the first six months after graduation.
  • Direct Un-Subsidized Loan. This is for every student, either undergraduate or graduate, regardless of their financial needs. Your school will determine the amount you receive. You have to start paying interest as soon as you begin reimbursing the loan.
  • Direct PLUS Loans. This plan is for graduate or master students and the parents of dependent students. In this plan, you will have to give interest at all times. People enrolling in this plan have to pay an origination fee as well.
  • Direct Consolidation Loan. This plan can combine all your federal loan programs in 1 federal loan. This plan offers the most flexibility to borrowers, which decreases the probability of default.

Private Student Loans

The loans offered by banks and other private organizations are referred to as private student loans. Such loans have strict terms and conditions, higher interest rates, and students will have to start paying while studying.

Private loans are mostly unsubsidized so that you will be receiving a minimal amount of money.

Forget Loan Forgiveness

If you are counting on loan forgiveness, then make sure to force that notion out of your head as fast as possible. The conditions for federal loan forgiveness are stringent, and to avoid an unpleasant experience; you must be ready to pay off all your debt.

Beware of Scammers

This field can make billions of dollars, so there will inevitably be numerous scammers and frauds waiting for you. Some people will offer you plans to pay your student loans very fast; others will give you very beneficial financing terms. Beware of such people and ignore them. Never share your Federal Student Aid Id with anyone, or you will bear severe consequences.

Make Extra Payments

In addition to the required balance, make sure to pay an additional amount of money each month that will help you pay off your debts very fast.


Select the best student loan plan that meets your financial requirements and make sure to repay your debt responsibly.


Which is better: a federal loan or a private Loan?

A federal loan is better because it is secure and provides you with flexible terms and conditions.

Is it possible for a first-year college student to get a loan?

Yes, first-year college students can get a loan from the federal government or private companies.