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How to Obtain a Student Loan

Updated on October 8, 2011

How to get a student loan

The very first thing to do when thinking about getting a student loan is to fill out a FAFSA form. This form helps to document a students financial situation, and stand for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You will list all the schools to which you have applied. Depending on what your FAFSA shows, the Department of Education will prepare a SAR. This helps schools to determine how much you are eligible to get from Subsidized and and Unsubsidized Stafford loans, as well as the Perkins loan.

The schools will offer PLUS loans as well, which help to make up the differences between the cost of attending a school, and the amount available from student aid. Its very worth it to go through these processes because you never know what you may get offered. Since this may be one of the biggest decisions of your life that affects the whole rest of your life, you want to make the efforts involved.


The college or university will likely ask that you sign something called a Master Promissory note. Federal loan money will be disbursed through the school's financial aid office. These loans are disbursed in two installments usually. Neither of the two installments are to exceed half of the total amount of the loan.

The funds you get will be applied to all the things pertaining to your college costs, like tuition and fees, but also room and board and other possible charges. They will be made out to your school. A student will receive a bill for the remaining balance on the loan.

If you still need more money after exhausting your student loan options and financial aid, you can see out help with getting a private loan. Ask your school for advice on who they would recommend for private loans. They often know who other students are using for their private loans and may have some terrific advice.

You can apply directly to a lender yourself like Sallie Mae for instance. Go to After your application is approved, you need to choose a good bank or lender. You will then be asked to sign a promissory note.


Shopping for a studen loan

You might want to shop for student loans directly from a credit union or a ban. Or, you can use websites like or When shopping for a private loan, it can be difficult sometimes to compare because you need to consider the varying annual percentage rates, fees, and all the possible repayment terms. So ask a lot of questions.

If you need a loan discount analyzer, you can try They have a Loan Discount Analyzer specifically at This can be helpful to convert loan offers into similar terms. Make sure to ask around for the best loan possibilities out there. If by chance you are having a hard time getting a private loan, you can try one of the peer to peer lending companies like, They can allow you to arrange a formal loan from a private individual. I had not heard of that when I was first looking for help to pay with college. I think its wonderful there are options out there.

Have you ever had either a student loan or a private loan for college?

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you 6hotfingers! I appreciate it.

    • 6hotfingers3 profile image

      6hotfingers3 7 years ago

      Great hub. To the point. A great start for people considering a student loan for their post secondary education.