Loans for Students | Overview

Student Loan Network is one of the nation's fastest growing providers of student loans for students and an expert financial aid resource. For more than ten years, we have helped undergraduate and graduate students and their families access federal student loans and alternative student loans, free scholarships and consolidation funding. Please follow the links links below to learn more about each part of the student loan and financial aid process.

Student Loan Options for Students

There are a variety of options for families to fund the cost of education. In the table below, you can compare the most common student loan options, both private and federal. Take a look and find which option is right for you.

Private Student Loans Federal Stafford Federal Parent PLUS
Requires FAFSA Rarely Yes Yes
Yearly Borrowing Limits Up to the cost of education Capped by grade level and status of the student Up to the cost of education
Interest Rate Prime or LIBOR plus or minus a margin, based on student and cosigner's credit Fixed at 4.66% subsidized,
4.66% unsubsidized
Fixed at 7.21%
Disbursement Check sent directly to the school Check sent directly to the school Check sent directly to the school
Deferment No payments until after graduation No payments until after graduation Choice of immediate or deferred repayment
Consolidation Available Yes Yes Yes
Apply for private college loans
apply for a stafford loan
Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan

Stafford Loans for Students

Stafford Loans are federal student loans for college and university students and are used to supplement personal and family resources, scholarships, grants, and work-study. The federal school loans may be subsidized by the U.S. Government or may be unsubsidized depending on the student's financial need. Once you have the results from your FAFSA application and know how much you qualify for, apply for the Stafford Loan.

Graduate students are encourage to review a variety of loan programs offered through the Graduate Student Loan Program, including the Graduate Stafford Loan.

PLUS Loans (for Parents)

After you find out how much federal financial aid you are qualified for your parents can find out if they are qualified to take out a PLUS loan on your behalf. This can help fill in any gaps in your federal need-based aid. It is important to file for the Stafford Loan first, then the PLUS loan. You can learn more about PLUS Loans and apply online in our PLUS Loan section.

Graduate Students are now eligible for the Graduate PLUS Loan. Visit to learn more about this federal student loan program for graduate students.

Other Student Loan and Financial Aid Resources for Students

FAFSA Financial Aid Application

Ensure that you have completed the appropriate FAFSA application. For free application advice and submission instruction, please visit FAFSA online - your guide to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Financial Aid Forms are required for all federal student aid.

Always start with the Stafford Loan as it typically offers the best rates and repayment options. Should you need additional funds to pay for college, additional options are a Private Student Loan and a PLUS Loan for Parents.

Search for Scholarships

New scholarships are posted daily at Student Scholarship Search. This free service includes all the details you need to apply; including eligibility requirements, deadlines, amounts, and contact information. The ScholarshipPoints program provides monthly drawings where students have the chance to win scholarships from $1,000 - $10,000. You earn multiple chances for the drawing by performing simple tasks such as registering, taking surveys, and blogging.

Federal Perkins Loan for Students

A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5%) loan for both undergraduate students and graduate students (graduate Perkins loan) with exceptional financial need. Your school determines the level of need and will also be the lender of the loan. The Perkins loan is made primarily with government funds and a contribution from your school. You repay this loan to your school.

Undergraduate students can borrow up to $4,000 for each year of undergraduate study (the total amount you can borrow as an undergraduate is $20,000). Graduate students can borrow up to $6,000 for each year of graduate or professional study (the total amount you can borrow as a graduate/ professional student is $40,000, including any Federal Perkins Loans you borrowed as an undergraduate).

Private Student Loans for College Students

If your federal student aid report indicates that you do not meet the requirements for federal funding, or it falls short of what you need, consider applying for a private student loan. Visit our Alternative Student Loan section to learn more.

Start Building Credit

Once school funding is complete, consider applying for a student credit card to build credit history and a good credit rating.

Keep on Top of Financial Aid News

We encourage you to sign up for our monthly Financial Aid Newsletter, filled with new scholarships, information, and tips to get the most out of your education dollar. Check into our Financial Aid Forum to get your questions answered and stay up to date.

Consider all your options before choosing the best loans for students in paying for your college experience.

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