As college has become more and more critical in searching for an excellent job, the cost of college has also increased in step. With more colleges and universities realizing the necessity of a college degree, many of these schools have become encouraged to raise their prices. Many students are always on the lookout for ways to cut the cost of their college experience. Online college and university have become an excellent option for students who want to miss their education costs. These students can also apply for financial aid as well as seek out scholarship opportunities. But what if that’s still not enough? Many students require a large amount of financial assistance and typically turn to student loans. But are student loans available for online college? Let’s find out below.

Are student loans available for online college?

Yes, student loans are available for online college. All student loans are available for online or traditional brick-and-mortar schools alike. Loan agencies don’t stipulate the delivery method of your education to be eligible for student loans. Online students can select from the same selection of student loans available to on-campus students.

The options for student loans can be broken down into two major categories: federal student loans and private student loans.

Federal Student Loans for Online College

Federal student loans are loans made available to students by the federal government. These student loans are offered to help make access to education more affordable and equitable. Provided by the United States Department of Education, students can select from four different types of student loans:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans

These loans all serve different functions and help to service most of the potential financial needs a student may have. Direct Subsidized Loans are loans offered to students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the cost of a college education. Direct unsubsidized loans are loans made available to all students regardless of financial need. Direct PLUS loans are designed to cover expenses related to a college education, and Direct Consolidation Loans are offered to help combine all federal student loans into one. 

The best way to get federal student loans and find out any other federal financial aid available for you is by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. This application will let you know all the financial assistance, including student loan opportunities, that you are eligible for.

Private Student Loans for Online College

While the government does offer a considerable amount of money to cover the cost of college education, some students find that they still need additional financial assistance even after using federal student loans. Those students often turn to the use of private student loans. Private student loans function like other long-term private loans. Private banks offer them at varying interest rates for varying terms. 

Private student loans are students who need some extra money to cover the cost of their college education, but they should be used wisely. Many students find themselves in pretty dire financial trouble, which stems from the overuse of private student loans. Private student loans have some distinct disadvantages when compared to federal student loans.

Federal Student Loans vs. Private Student Loans for Online College

Once a small part of the lending industry, student loans have become an industry unto itself. With student debt amounts soaring, it is crucial that students seriously consider the amount and type of student loans they are feeling. Student loans can quickly rack up in costs and consequently rack up interest costs. 

If a student loan is needed to fund your college education, we highly recommend that students stick to federal student loans. These loans are offered at a fixed interest rate which tends to be much lower than other private loans. Student loans are far easier to secure than different types of loans. These types of loans are way more flexible when it comes to repayment. 

Private student loans are not as closely regulated as federal student loans and have many drawbacks that can pay them back a real headache. They are typically offered at higher interest rates than federal student loans and have less favorable repayment plans. More importantly than all that is that private student loans cannot be discharged in the event of bankruptcy. This can be financially devastating to some people and should be considered before signing up for a private student loan.

Do I need a student loan for online college?

This is entirely dependent on your financial situation. As we’ve stated, online college – while cheaper than traditional college – can still be quite expensive. Depending on your financial situation, it may seem like student loans are inevitable. But before you sign yourself into debt, it is vital to look for other ways to fund your college experience. Students should consider all their financial assistance options before signing up for student loans. These options include scholarships, grant money, employer-assisted tuition, and more. Student loans should always be reserved as the final option when it comes to paying for college.

Online College and Student Loans

Just like traditional colleges and universities, online colleges and universities are eligible for student loans. Most student loan bodies don’t care how your degree is being delivered as long as it is from an accredited school (in the case of federal student loans). 

Students can choose from either federal student loans or private student loans. Federal student loans have some distinct advantages over private student loans. Students should consider these advantages before opting to take out a private student loan over federal student loans. 

It is also crucial for students to consider the ramifications of taking out any loan to fund their college education. In some cases, there isn’t much choice. But it is still vital to understand what you are liable for when taking on student loans.

Student loans are an excellent tool for helping students afford their college education. And just like traditional colleges, student loans are widely available for online colleges.  

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