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Loan Options for College Students


You just finished high school and realize you have two months to work and save up for your very expensive post secondary education. Your parents are willing to help you out a bit, you have a very impressive $4.32 stashed in your savings account, and you have a rewarding job at Wal-Mart 3 days a week. You should be set right? Wrong. College and university is one of the biggest financial commitments you will make during your life. . Most students get a loan of some sort and almost all have credit cards. That's why it's important to know you have options

Government Student Loans

Here in Canada and in many parts of the world there are government student loan programs which almost anyone is eligible for. The loan amount is usually based on a number different factors including, how much financial support you are receiving from parents, and the total cost of tuition and other fees. The major benefit to a government issued student loan is that most require repayment only after you have completed your studies. However, like any loan, a heavy interest rate is the downside.

Student loan through a bank

Most major financial institutions offer student loans or student line of credit. There are several benefits to this form of loan. Most often the interest rates are reasonable, and minimal payment is usually expected. Most banks even further the convenience by attaching the loan to an existing account, or by giving you a credit card. Remember, banks "bank" on the fact that you will spend that money.

Credit cards

Many students rely on their credit card(s) to get them through school. On a short term basis, credit cards are a great source of cash which is easily accessible However unlike a loan, you have to start paying back immediately (monthly), often with outrageous interest rates. Most times, students rely too much on credit cards and find themselves having money trouble before the school year is even finished. And once a credit card is "maxed" and you are unable to pay the minimal payment, additional interest rates and "service" fees are attached.

College educations are not cheap. In fact, tuition fees go up by staggering numbers every year. The truth of the matter is, unless you have parents who are willing to flip the bill or some other support, you are likely going to need a loan or some sort of financial assistance. The best advice is to educate yourself. Know what is involved in a loan, know the interest rates, and know your responsibility of payment. A four year education is an awesome financial burden, so it's important to know your options.

Ron is the CTO for Dice Ventures Inc an internet holdings and development company. For more student information check out this Student loan site or our Canadian MBA resources.


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