DCU Student Loans

College University CafeteriaStudent loans are a feasible solution for the masses year after year. In fact, 53 percent of public four-year college students used them for the 2011-2012 academic year, along with 63 percent of private non-profit students and 83 percent of those attending private for-profit schools, per the National Center for Education Statistics.

Help, I Can’t Pay for This!

Sometimes scholarships, grants, and what’s in your pocket just don’t cover the entire cost of college attendance, and that’s where loans come in. When considering student loans, you should always opt for federal loans first, completely exhausting them before turning to private loans. When that time comes, loans through the Digital Federal Credit Union are a solid choice. If you find yourself need of some financial assistance for college, your first step is filling out and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Almost 22 million hopeful college students completed the FAFSA in the 2011-2012 school year, the U.S. Department of Education reports — a number that is only expected to keep rising.

The DCU Way

Available loans for educational expenses through DCU include:

For those who end up using student loans, interest rates can vary from one loan to the next. Undergraduate students who use the DCU private line of credit loan can count on a 5.75 to 9.25 percent interest rate that varies, while graduate loans come with a 6.25 to 9.75 percent rate.

Footing the Bill

Of course, the light at the end of the tunnel — graduation — comes with other responsibilities that include more than just getting a job. You’ll have to start paying back those loan funds by six months out from graduation. Certain individuals may have to begin repayment even sooner, such as those who drop their enrollment status below half-time. Most students elect to repay their loan debt over 20 years, but those who have borrowed more than $40,000 have the choice of paying over 25 years. In addition, opting to make monthly payments via an automated plan can save you 0.25 percent.

Then there are those who want to start paying on their loans, but they can only afford part of the monthly bill. If you fit into this category, you’re more likely to benefit from DCU’s graduated payment plan that reduces monthly payment amounts by amortizing the first couple years over a 40-year time span initially, then over an 18-23 year span after that. Fastweb reports that more than one in 10 student loan holders went into default in the three years prior to September 30, 2011. This doesn’t have to be you.

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Types of Student Loans

The Scholarship Center