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Student Loans/Student Debt

A topic guide to help students learn about student loans and how to manage them in addition to suggested resources and other information for beginning research on the topic Student Loan Debt.

What are student loans?

To cover the rising cost of higher education, many students rely on student loans, essentially borrowing money from lenders to finance their college tuition, fees, and living expenses. These loans accrue interest and must be repaid in full, typically after graduation.

If you decide to take out a student loan, make sure you understand the following:

  • Who is making the loan: Student loans can come from the federal government, from private sources such as a bank or financial institution, or from other organizations.
  • The terms and conditions of the loan: This includes the interest rate, repayment plan, and any other fees or charges associated with the loan.

Types of Student Loans

Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans are loans made by the U.S. government to help students pay for the cost of higher education. They are offered through the Federal Student Aid (FSA) program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Education. There are several different loan types under federal student loan programs such as, Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans.

Private Student Loans

Private student loans are loans made by banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions to help students pay for the cost of higher education. Private student loans should be used to fill a college payment gap after maxing out federal loans or may be an option for students who are not eligible for federal student loans, but they should be used with caution.

Federal VS. Private

Examples of the difference between a federal loan and a private loans.