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My Child Is Going to College – Are Student Loans a Good Idea?

By: , dated January 25th, 2013

If the specter of the cost of your child’s post secondary education is looming over your head like an impending danger, then you are hardly alone in feeling worrisome. The financial costs of college and university in the United States are growing astronomically, just as the importance of having a college or a university degree. The dilemma becomes strikingly clear: you have to go to university in order to obtain a good job, but you seem to have to have a good job to be able to afford to go to university in the first place. It’s a serious problem in America, and unfortunately the result of the whole system is that generations of people who should be going to university to learn and become better citizens are instead entering the workforce and not fulfilling their potential. A less intelligent society as a result? Maybe.

This, of course, adds to your worries as a parent. The last thing you want is for your child to be left behind, to be one of the many who doesn’t make it to university because he simply can’t afford it, but just how are you going to make it happen in the face of such enormous fees? Well, one answer, as old as some universities themselves, is to apply for a student loan. Being able to ensure that your child will be accepted for student loans and other forms of student aid money is usually dependent on your ability to demonstrate that you are in need of financial assistance. Household income, plus the number of years in which your son or daughter will be at university, are all part of the application process, and will likely determine whether or not you can receive the funds or not. Normally there are certain programs which offer you a greater chance of receiving a loan if you are enrolled in them, but this probably isn’t going to (and shouldn’t really) govern what kind of degree or program your child wishes to pursue.

When you apply for federal student loans as a parent, the payments on the loan will start immediately, assuming everything is in good standing. This shows an important difference between a student applying for his or her own student loan, which usually doesn’t usually start its payment program until after graduation and a parent applying for one on the behalf of the student. Of course, it is much harder for students to receive a loan by themselves and there is lesser money out there to be given out in such loans. This makes is tough, but not impossible to receive a student loan that will improve your financial situation. At the present time, interest rates on student loans are quite high – somewhere in the region of 8% – and therefore, determining if you are going to be able to pay back the money borrowed is essential to whether or not you are approved to receive one. The size of the loan (i.e. the amount borrowed) is also an important factor.

Researching different student loan programs and making sure the possibilities of scholarships and bursaries have been exhausted is essential before you even consider a student loan for your child’s college education.

This article was brought to you by the InvestorGuide Staff Writers and Editors.

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