Student Loans – NerdWallet

Student Loans - NerdWallet


There are three types of student loans: federal loans, private loans and refinance loans once you leave school. Here’s a guide to your college student loan options.

Types of federal student loans

Most federal loans don’t require a co-signer or good credit; nearly every student with a high school diploma is eligible to receive them. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply.

Types of private student loans

When you apply for private loans, the lender will want to see proof you can repay it, usually in the form of a good credit score. A co-signer can help you qualify; that person will be responsible for the loan if you can’t pay it back.

Types of student loan refinancing

After you graduate and have shown responsible payment history, you may be able to refinance student loans. That’s when a private lender pays off your loans and gives you a new repayment schedule and lower interest rate. Generally, you need a credit score of 690 or higher to refinance. You’ll lose federal loan protections if you include federal loans in the package.



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