There are lots of ways to pay for college. If you’re unable to cover the cost of your education with savings, grants, or employment income, you may decide to take out a student loan. Student loans are funds borrowed from the federal government or private banks you can use to help pay your full cost of attendance, which includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, as well as transportation to and from school. Loans must be repaid, with interest, but not until after you have left school.
Types of loans
There are two basic loan categories:
- Need-based loans
- Non-need-based loans
Need-based loans allow you to borrow money directly from the federal government based on your family’s financial situation. In other words, families with lower incomes and fewer assets can borrow more than families with higher incomes and more assets. CGCC offers the Federal Direct Subsidized need-based loan, which has a fixed interest rate and does not accrue interest while you’re in school, unlike other student loans.
With a non-need-based loan, the amount you can borrow is not based on your family’s financial situation. These loans do accrue interest while you’re in school. CGCC offers two federal non-need-based loans: the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) loan. Non-need-based loans also can be secured through alternative sources, such as private banks and credit unions. If you’re looking at loans through alternative sources, we encourage you to carefully compare interest rates, loan costs, and other factors.
We can help
Not sure what type of loan is right for you? Schedule an appointment with one of our financial aid specialists today.