Alternative Funding Options for Student Loans
Getting a college education opens doors to future possibilities, but it also leaves many people with student debt. Depending on your loans, it could mean paying hundreds of dollars every month and fighting high interest rates after graduation. Whether you’re preparing to start college or have already received your degree, this guide explains alternative financing for student loans and provides a few tips that might make your life a little easier.
Earning a diploma gives you in-depth knowledge about your favourite subject so you’re more than prepared to enter the workforce. You’ll always have a solid resume to back up your job applications, but that won’t seem worth your time if you have no way to avoid tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.
Scholarships are the first option to explore if you’d prefer nongovernment loans. They cover a portion or all of your tuition for a designated period, which could change your life.
Research scholarships that are available to you and check your qualifications. Factors like income, race and gender could make it more likely for you to receive funding you don’t have to pay back.
Grants are other no-government loans funded by private donors and organizations. You could qualify for a merit-based grant because of your academic performance or apply for a need-based grant that considers your family income. You’ll need to find funding for your specific degree program as well, so figure out what you’ll study before starting any applications.
Anyone who’s already in school can search for work-study opportunities. They’re available specifically for students who need a part-time income to pay student loans and other expenses that won’t wait until after graduation. Many positions are on-campus, so you shouldn’t have to pay for transportation to make money. It’s an excellent form of student loan funding because the university will work with your class schedule and prioritize people who need the most help.
Government-sponsored loans have two forms — subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans won’t accrue interest before you graduate and have lower interest rates. Unsubsidized loans work best for graduate students who may or may not have significant financial needs.
Both are alternative funding options because they have varying interest rates and payback plans. You can also use an application programming interface (API) to make your financing decisions easier by comparing numerous rates through one program. Finding more information before making any decision guarantees that you’ll find the right solution for your financial situation.
Many college graduates don’t know about refinancing. It’s alternative financing for student loans that consume most of your income and keep you from a comfortable lifestyle. Refinancing means taking out a new loan to pay off what you originally borrowed, but you don’t have to include every loan if you’d rather not.
You might be close to paying off some remaining student debt or have a minimal interest rate you don’t want to lose. Still, refinancing will make your larger payments disappear so you have more income left over after beginning the smaller monthly payments on your new loans.
Consolidation is similar to refinancing, but it merges multiple loans into one lump sum. It’s best for graduates with various federal student loans because it gives you one lower interest rate. You’ll only have one payment to budget for, which can be life-changing. Look into consolidating if you have numerous government loans and want to keep your access to student loan forgiveness programs.
Explore Alternative Student Loan Funding
There are numerous alternative funding options for student loans. Consider your situation to discover the best path forward. Whether you’re in school or well into your career, financial relief is right around the corner.
Ginger Abbot is a freelance writer and the Editor-in-Chief of Classrooms, an online learning magazine for students, graduates and educators.