College planning can be a stressful and confusing process and is particularly overwhelming for those who start—or think they start—too late. But one thing is certain, you will be significantly better off if you start planning and saving now, no matter how old your child is.
Federal student loans are made by the government, with terms and conditions that are set by law, and include many benefits (such income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness) not typically offered with private loans.
Private student loans are made by private organizations such banks, credit unions, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations, and have terms and conditions that are set by the lender. Borrowers with very good credit scores may achieve substantial decreases in the interest rate they pay.
Federal and state governments, colleges, and private third-parties offer grants and scholarships to help pay for college. Unlike other parts of the financial aid package, grants and scholarships are free money, they don’t have to be repaid like loans or earned such as a work-study award.
Navigate the student loan repayment process with confidence: make payments, change repayment plans, explore options, and find out where to get help.