Consolidating federal and private school loans

Depending on your need, you may qualify for additional grants or subsidized loans.

If you max out your federal student loans and still need assistance, you may want to think about getting a private student loan as well.

Federal loan limits depend on whether you are still considered a dependent or if you are considered an independent student.

At first glance, private student loans might appear to have lower interest rates than federal student loans – but those lowest advertised rates are only for loan applicants who have excellent credit scores.

The average college student won’t qualify for these rates or will be forced to sign with a cosigner.

Your financial situation might make it necessary to borrow money to pay for college.

This is a common situation, but it’s important that you research all of your scholarship, grant and loan options before getting a private student loan.

Over the past decade, college costs and fees have risen 3.5% faster than inflation each year on average.

This means that affording college is harder than ever.The first place you should look for help paying for school is scholarships and grants. If you’ve maximized those opportunities, see if your college offers a work-study program.Work-study jobs are government-subsidized and are available to students who demonstrate financial need.Private Student Loans As a general rule, don’t consider getting a private student loan until you’ve maximized your federal student loan options.Private student loans are similar to credit card loans.Also, many student loan rates are variable rates, which means that they can fluctuate based on changes in the market.