Student loan borrowing options are one of the main sources of financial assistance, which happens to be used by numerous college students who need additional financing that go beyond scholarships and grants. While many turn to financial aid from federal student loan borrowing opportunities, there are also some alternative loan sources which are attempting to attract more student applicants who need student loan funding to meet the entirety of their college loan costs, when free forms of assistance are simply unavailable.
Again, federal student loans have been one of the more popular and affordable options that are being used by students in need, but recent changes in federal student loan borrowing has left many private lenders out of the game, which has either led to some institutions no longer making student loans while others are attempting to restructure their student loan programs as a way to offer not only an affordable alternatives for student loan assistance, but they must also compete with many of the perks that are offered on federal student loans.
One source of student loans that offers alternative borrowing options comes from credit unions, as it was reported by Bankrate.com that, “…in the 2010-2011 academic year, participating credit unions have originated more than $210 million in loans, compared to a total of approximately $158 million for 2009-2010.” Obviously, private student loans are still available to individuals who may look for alternative sources outside of federal student loans, but with credit unions reportedly offering more options in student loan resources, individuals who are looking for an affordable student loan borrowing opportunity for college may now be able to explore multiple options.
However, students who must borrow to meet all of their college tuition costs are usually advised to do so only after they have exhausted all of their scholarship and grant options, but also, students may want to compare and contrast not only the costs associated with private student loans or these alternative loans from credit unions, but also, repayment opportunities and assistance that may be available. One of the main factors that has made federal student loans more competitive and a more viable option for students in need is the fact that they are affordable, in terms of interest rates, or more easily accessible for many students, and can offer assistance programs if a borrower is having trouble during repayment.
While there are some students that may only need a small amount of student loan assistance and could find more affordability in these alternative loan sources, again, seeking out student loans should be one of the last resources that a student uses, but students must also make sure they are getting an affordable student loan that will, if financial troubles arise, offer them assistance and affordability when it comes time to repay.