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The Proper Approach to Financing College

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Author: Thomas Ajava

The more education you obtain, the more doors will open for you. It is as simple as that. The problem, of course, is figuring out how exactly to pay for all that education. College, after all, isn't cheap. The fees associated with graduate school make college seem like a walk in the park!

The proper approach to financing college involves a number of steps. These range from hunting for free money all the way through to private student loans. It is important to realize that money will probably come from multiple sources, so take the time to understand and pursue each step. Let's take a closer look.

Free money for college. What a beautiful concept. Well, it is out there in the form of scholarships and grants. As you can imagine, the competition for the free money is fierce. In fact, it is beyond fierce. Still, there is lots of it and the key is research, research, research. The vast majority of grant and scholarship money is offered by smaller groups. Locating them can be a bit like finding the proverbial needle in the hay, but the money can add up. The internet is a great medium for this. Start doing searches to see what you can find.

The second form of financing is a government student loan. These are fairly simple to get. The most common sources are the Stafford and Perkins loans. These loans come with lower interest rates, longer and easier repayment periods and easier deferment terms. For parents looking for loans for their kids, the Parent Plus loan programs work well.

The third step is to get a job. I kid you not. Work produces income and that can help you minimize any private loan borrowing. Your goal should be to come out of college with a minimum of debt. Starting life in a financial hole is no fun, so take every step you can to avoid it.

The fourth step is the private student loan. These are loans issues by basic lenders. They are like any other loan. You need good credit. You need to show some repayment plan. A job may be required. The cost of these loans is high, akin to a car loan. With the credit crisis, they are also hard to get. If at all possible, avoid private student loans. Still, they provide the means for millions to go to college.

Higher education has become incredibly expensive. Figuring out how to pay for it is often as challenging as getting a degree. Maybe it should be one! Regardless, this is the time tested best approach to getting the job done.

About the author: Thomas Ajava writes for - where you can find student loan companies who will finance your education.

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