Private Student Loans (PSL)
According to Student Loan Borrower Assistance (dot) org, “In theory, private student loans are used to fill the gap between available federal aid, and what students and families can afford to pay out-of-pocket for college costs. In practice, unfortunately, many borrowers take out these higher cost loans without first exhausting their federal student assistance options.” PSLs lack the more affordable, fixed rates, and flexible repayment options that federal loans have. Prospective borrowers should exhaust federal grant and loan options before considering a private student loan.
So, Annie’s college is denying their students with an affordable means of obtaining financing for college by not providing federal student aid options for their students. PSLs should only be taken as a LAST RESORT, only after all other options for scholarships, grants, and federal loans are taken.
Interest will start to accrue the moment you take these loans out; there is no “in school” deferment on interest for private loans. So, the amount you borrow today, will grow while you’re in school and you’ll owe much more after graduation, if you don’t start repayment immediately. So many folks have a sticker shock after graduation when they get the bill with all that amortized interest tacked on to these pesky loans.
The good news about PSLs is that outside of bankruptcy, these loans are treated like any other credit card debt. This means that the creditors have a limited amount of time in which they can collect on the debt, also known as a Statute of Limitations (SOL). Each state has its own SOL laws, in California, creditors have Four (4) years to collect on a debt upon a written contract; and Six (6) years, if the contract is a Promissory Note.
Federal Student Loans (FSL)
There are several types of federal student loans, depending upon the type of education, school, and options available based on credit worthiness. The most important part to understand is when does the interest begin to accrue.
Subsidized SLs are the absolute BEST option for your education financing because these loans are (1) interest FREE while you’re in school; and (2) repayment does not begin until Six (6) months after you last attended school. Unsubsidized SLs, on the other hand, begin to accrue interest while in school, similar to the private loans.
By now you’ve probably heard about the various types of repayment programs for SLs. However, payment plans, like graduated, extended, and income based or income contingent repayment plan are only available for federal student loans, not private.