The Best Way to Get Student Loans

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Student loans can help you obtain a college degree.
Student loans can help you obtain a college degree. (Image: the graduate image by Barbara Helgason from Fotolia.com)

A college education is very important in our society. It's becoming necessary for even basic jobs. More and more employers are requiring at least a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions or even internship positions. However, obtaining a college education isn't easy or cheap. Once you decide to do the work and make the commitment to your education, your tasks aren't over. You still need to figure out how to pay for it. One way to pay for your college education is to take out student loans.

Fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Filling out your FAFSA is the best way to get student loans. You should fill it out the year before you plan to attend college, as soon as you file your taxes. If you're under 24 years old, you'll need your parents' tax information, as well. Exceptions include applicants who have been emancipated, are married or have a child. Additionally, if both parents are deceased no parental information is required.

Expect to receive a letter from the federal government after you submit your FAFSA. The letter will state what types of federal loans are available. Federal loans are guaranteed by the government, and they're your best choice for students loans.

Select the loans you wish to take out, and return the letter to the address listed. If you don't return the letter, you will not receive the loans. The government offers all students a Stafford loan. Students with financial need may be eligible to receive Perkins loans. The letter will also include loans you're being offered by the universities you listed in your FAFSA. These loans are given by the school in partnership with a financial institution, not the federal government.

Talk to your parents about the possibility of applying for Parental Loans, or "PLUS" loans, through the federal government. These loans are offered through the letter you receive, but not all people are eligible for them. Your parents need to be eligible to borrow the money. However, if the loans aren't paid back, your parents will be responsible. These types of loans are not the best choice when compared to Stafford loans or Perkins loans, but they may be the only option for students who aren't willing or able to work through school to pay for their own education and who have no other means, such as grants or scholarships.

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