Free Financial Aid & Federal Student Loans

Grants and scholarships are the best sources of free financial aid, but don't assume that other federal aid isn't available to you. Regardless your financial situation, you probably are eligible to receive federally insured education loans.

These loans come with low variable interest rates and can be an attractive option even if you or your parents have other savings and investments that you can draw from. Federal Stafford and PLUS loans are two very popular financing options.
Federal Stafford Loan
All students, regardless of need or income, can apply for a Stafford Loan. This loan comes with a low fixed interest rate and no payments are required while you're in school. 

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Federal PLUS Loan
The Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) allows your parents to cover all of your education expenses minus the other financial aid you've received. It doesn’t matter if your parents are wealthy or middle class – all parents can take advantage of this loan.

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Private Student Loans
Private student loans can be used to cover any remaining college costs AFTER you have maximized your federal loan options. Like federal student loans, private student loans offer no payments while in school and are made available from many different banks and some credit unions. Be sure to compare your options because some private loans come with a choice of fixed or variable interest rates. These loans can typically cover most remaining education costs, but it is important never to borrow more than you can comfortably afford to repay.

Federal and Private Student Loan Consolidation
You can combine your existing federal student loans into a single Federal Student Consolidation Loan. This new combined loan will come with a reduced monthly payment, a fixed interest rate, and a single monthly payment. This is a free program available to all federal education loan borrowers. This includes FFEL and Direct student loans. Private student loans can also be consolidated with a Private Consolidation Student Loan.

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