• Welcome to The Student Loan Debt Forum | The College Investor. Please login or sign up.

Need help understand how student loans work? Please help

Started by pilecarls8, May 04, 2020, 11:34:41 am

Previous topic - Next topic


May 04, 2020, 11:34:41 am Last Edit: May 05, 2020, 03:44:21 pm by pilecarls8
I understand that I may be coming off a bit naive here but I am fortunate enough to not have had student loans for undergrad, however, I got accepted to grad school abroad and now have a million questions.

I was told to apply via FAFSA, is that the same as Sallie Mae? I understand there are also Private student loans too, which is the better option? Since I am going to be living abroad with no full time job and not too much cash on hand - will they also include cost of living expenses in the loan? If so, how much? At what point in the process can I apply for scholarships?
שירותי ליווי בחיפה

Thank you in advance!!


FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You fill out this form to get scholarships, grants, AND Federal student loans. This is need-based financial aid.

Sallie Mae is a private student loan lender.

Federal student loans are ALWAYS better than private student loans. However, you can't get Federal student loans unless you're attending an accredited American college or University. You didn't say what school, but the living abroad factor could be a problem in this regard.

You might find this helpful about how to think about paying for college: Order of Operations To Pay For College.

As for scholarships, apply early, often, now, and later. You can never apply to enough scholarships - but it takes time and effort to find them, apply, and hope you get them.

Finally, think about ROI - return on investment. College is an investment. Your goal of going to college (or grad school) is only to boost your career earnings after you're done (unless you're going for free due to whatever factors that may involve).

If you borrow too much, and don't earn much after you're done, you're going to struggle financially for life and hate the fact you went to grad school.

Sadly, grad school for a majority of people has zero or negative ROI - so that's why I'm cautioning you in this regard.

See this: College ROI.