Not every student will get a chance to attend classes physically. Some students opt for online classes because it’s more convenient if they have a day job and for some, it’s about saving time they could have used to commute. Whatever the reason for opting for online classes, you can still apply for education loans to study online.
The present coronavirus pandemic has led to the closure of many schools globally which has inconvenienced many students. If you’ve been wondering if you should take a loan to study online, this article is for you. It’s going to highlight some of the available options.
Can you get a Student Loan to Study Online?
Yes. There are several options available if you want to study online. What’s more, you don’t have to look for another job to fund your education. One of the available options is applying for federal student loans.
It may seem like an uphill task but you’ll never know until you try. Fill an application online and wait for feedback on whether you’re eligible or not. You may end up getting a loan that will fund your education online with good interest rates.
If you anticipate the federal loan will not be enough to fund your tuition, you can apply for private loans as well.
Before you turn to Student Loan
Most loans will require servicing after you get a job. If you take too long without servicing your loan, you’re going to pay high-interest rates which may leave a dent in your finances for many years to come. Before you opt for a loan, it’s wise to consider other options that may be available to you. Some of these include:
1.Scholarships and Grants
It doesn’t matter the part of the world you are located. You are still eligible for scholarships and grants. With so many organizations providing scholarships and grants, you’re likely to find one to fund for your education online. Patience is key because you may have to spend a lot of hours researching and contacting different organizations before you find one that you’re eligible for.
There is good news for distance learning students because there are special loans they can apply to that specifically cater to their needs. All you have to do is apply online and wait for feedback on whether you’re eligible or not.
If you have a distance learning course that’s accredited, you may be eligible for a scholarship if you pursue a degree in the future just like regular students.
Moreover, you can also apply for grants which are a one-time payment award. One advantage that scholarships and grants have is that you don’t have to pay the money back.
Most schools give financial aid to students who are gifted academically but are struggling to raise their tuition fees. You can find information on eligibility and application procedures on the particular school’s website. If it’s not available, you can contact the school directly.
Federal Loans for Online Classes
Years ago, students studying online weren’t eligible for loans. It’s not surprising considering the stringent requirements that come with loans. There are a lot of online institutions and it’s, therefore, easier to get a loan to study online.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for Online Degrees
You can apply to a FAFSA online just like you would an ordinary loan. You’ll have to fill the application online regardless of whether you are applying for a federal or private loan. There’s also an option to request a manual copy which you can fill and then email to the right location. Here are different federal loans you can apply for:
1. Federal direct loans
These are the most common type of federal loans. There are sub-categories of federal direct loans that you need to keep in mind.
Direct plus loans are given to the parents of the student who is studying but can also be given directly to the students. They are used to offset costs that aren’t covered with other types of financing.
Direct subsidized loans are given to needy students who can substantiate their claim. On the other hand, direct unsubsidized loans are offered to needy students who cannot substantiate their claim.
The last type of loan under the federal direct loan is a direct consolidation loan that’s available for students with huge loan arrears. The loan allows them to combine all their loans into one for a single point of payment for all their loans.
2. Federal Perkins Loan Program
The loan is available to students who have a great financial need which allows them access to a loan with a low-interest rate.
Private Student Loans for Online Classes
Federal loans may fund your tuition fees but there are other costs that students incur. You may also find yourself in a situation in which you’re not eligible for federal loans. In such circumstances, your way out is to seek private loans.
One downside to private loans is that you may incur high-interest rates which when left unpaid for long periods, may put a huge dent on your finances for many years to come. Some of the private loans that are available include continuing education loans, standard private loans, and career loans.
Before applying for a particular private loan, it’s important to understand the interest rate and hidden charges if any.
Student Loans for Online Classes Tips
Loans are no child play and you need to understand what you’re getting yourself into before making any commitments. If you don’t know where you’ll get the funds to service your loan, it’s better to consider other options first such as applying for a scholarship or grant.
Here are other tips that will help you when applying for loans for your online classes:
1. Beware of Deadlines
There are a lot of deadlines to keep up with, especially if you have different loans. If you don’t adhere to the set deadlines, you may incur huge fines.
Before you apply for federal or private loans, it’s better to exhaust other options such as scholarships and grants.
2. Know the Limits for Graduate and Undergraduate programs
You can apply to more than one type of loan but there’s a ceiling on how much money you can be allocated.
The maximum amount of graduate students can receive is $138,500. For subsidized loans, the amount cannot exceed $65,500.
The maximum amount of undergraduate students can receive is $57,700.
The maximum amount you can receive from the Perkins loan is $60,000 for graduate-level students while undergraduate students can expect to receive a maximum of $27,500.