How to Find the Best Student Loan: Knowing Your Options

How to Find the Best Student Loan: Knowing Your Options

Prepping for sending a child to college or planning on financing your own university attendance? Supplementing your budget to pay for college might include use of a private student loan, beyond simply the federal loans you may have been offered via the FAFSA (“Free Application for Federal Student Aid”).

Here are a few things you should look for when shopping for a private student loan.

Fees and Rates

Just like any other personal or private loan, a student loan offered by a bank or credit union can come with certain fees, such as origination fees or service fees, which can add up—make sure to price-compare your options. In addition, some student loans will come with higher interest rates than others—whether a loan is fixed-rate or variable-rate can also play a big role in whether it’s the right fit for you.

Sioux Falls Fed offers student loans for no origination fee. Check out our options here.

Repayment Plans

The term length of your loan and how your repayment will be scheduled can also be a big deciding factor in whether or not you’ve found the right fit. The total cost of your loan, in the end, will be dependent on how the payments are scheduled in the repayment plan outlined by your lender. Do the math—are you better off paying a little more or a little less each month to slow down or speed up your total amount spent over time?

Sioux Falls Fed’s flexible repayment plans offer a co-signer release after 24 months of full principal and interest payments—a big perk for parent co-signers!

Service and Account Management

What about convenience? The ability to make payments via autopay or manual payments through an online platform (versus sending a check in the mail every month) is important if you’re juggling a lot of monthly bills. Sometimes this even comes with an interest-rate reduction, in fact—Sioux Falls Fed offers a 0.25 percent decrease for recurring payments.

And there’s an additional benefit to borrowing from a local lender—if you have questions, you can receive answers quickly and in person much more easily than if you borrow from a national provider.

Bonus points? Sioux Falls Fed’s application takes a minimal 15 minutes, and the funds can be used toward any qualified educational expense—tuition, room and board, textbooks or technology!

Eligibility Requirements

One final thing to be sure to check before you get too far down the pipeline on a given loan is whether the student in questions meets eligibility requirements. Many private student loan providers will require a certain GPA, age, school status and academic standard to qualify.

Sioux Falls Fed, for example, offers a competitive interest rate that can run even lower depending on your academic history or a 2.0+ GPA.

Student Loans