Most students at college end up taking out student loans. Whether it means federal or private loans, before you get the money, there’s a waiting period. In terms of application and processing, federal student loans differ from private student loans. So, how long does it take to get student loans?
Federal Student Loans
You must first file an FAFSA to get federal student loans. The only way to get federal student loans, as well as merit-based scholarships and grants, is to file the FAFSA. Regardless of your financial situation, or whether or not you think you qualify for some money, we strongly suggest that you file with the FAFSA.
It takes between 1-3 weeks to process the FAFSA and to put together a package of financial aid that is tailored to your needs. If you agree with the loan sum and conditions, you will need to sign a Master Promissory Note that agrees with the loan terms, especially with respect to the repayment. Only after you sign this Master Promissory Note are federal student loans disbursed.
In most situations, you should expect the disbursement of federal student loan funds within 10 days before the start of classes on the first day. There could be a 30-day delay in allocating the funds if you are a first year student and a first-time borrower. In this scenario, 30 days after the 1st day of the payment period, the funds will be disbursed.
Private Student Loans
It can take anywhere from 2 to 10 weeks from the day your loan application is accepted for you or your college to obtain the funds. The funds are disbursed directly to the school in which you are enrolled if you take out a school-certified loan. The funds will be disbursed directly into your personal bank account if you take out a direct-to-consumer (or uncertified) loan.
Bear in mind that your last resort should be private student loans. Before you turn to private loans, file the FAFSA, apply for grants, take federal student loans. Private student loans are not as generous and typically have higher interest rates as federal loans.
Before being disbursed, most private student loans must be approved by your school. This could add another few weeks to the process. The lender will submit funds to the school until the loan is approved. This can take from two weeks to two months, everywhere. Before the school offers you some extra money to use for rent, books, or other living expenses, plan to wait another week or two.
Does the Length of Time Vary Between Loan Types?
One thing to note is that the waiting period for student loans to be received varies depending on the source of the loan. The most popular source for student loans is the federal government, as it typically provides the lowest interest rates and the most flexible repayment options.
In addition, there are also private lenders which offer a range of options for student loans. To step on, we will refer to the federal government’s loans as “federal loans” and the private lenders’ loans as “private loans.”
What if I Miss My Loan Deadlines for Student Loans?
If you have missed the FAFSA deadline for your college, you can contact your college’s financial aid office immediately.
And incase you have missed the federal student loan deadlines, though, you will still be able to use private student loans that do not have a particular deadline.
When It Is Time To Repay My Loans, What Happens?
Many federal loans do not allow students until six months after graduation to begin repayment.
There are numerous repayment conditions for private loans, which are specified in your original contract. Federal loans would usually allow you to postpone your loans during periods of unemployment or personal distress for a forbearance or deferment period, but private loans do not.
You may want to consider refinancing your student loans through a private lender if you find yourself with many federal or private loans (or a combination of the two) after you graduate. Keep in mind that refinancing your loans means you’re going to sacrifice protections like deferment or forbearance from your federal loan.
Your new lender will pay off your original loans and give you a brand new loan if you refinance. Based on your current financial profile, you will also be offered a new interest rate that may be lower than your former interest rate (s).
Other Things To Remember About Loans
Many students still need to take out student loans, despite the number of grants and scholarships they receive. Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding private loans if your college doesn’t offer you enough federal student loans:
- Don’t feel pressured to commit to a lender that is private. Check around and decide which rates of credit and interest are best for you. Remember, after graduation, the loan can greatly affect your financial situation.
- Ensure that you research what you should spend your money on if you take out an uncertified or direct-to-consumer, loan. It doesn’t mean you can spend it on whatever you want, just because the money goes straight to you. Just spend the cash on necessities related to education, such as textbooks.
- Take out only as much as you need, not any more. Again, someday, you must repay the money.
Generally, as long as it is used for your education and living expenses while in school, there are no restrictions on how you spend your student loan money. But remember, you’ve got to repay it, so just borrow what you really need. You can always pay the extra amount back right away instead of having to pay back later if you end up not needing some of your student loans.
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