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Nitro Knowledge. Your Guide to Paying for College.


After schools have processed your information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and school-specific financial aid applications, you will begin receiving financial aid award letters. If you plan to attend college in the fall, these letters typically arrive in April. When you read your financial aid award letters, you should keep a few things in mind as you determine which school offers the best financial aid package – and the best value.

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When it comes to financing your college education, you’ll likely be offered federal and private loans as part of your financial aid package. So, what’s the difference? Federal student loans are funded by the federal government, while private loans are provided by another lender – such as a bank, credit union, state agency or school. Typically, federal loans will give you more benefits and flexibility – so consider these first. 

Here are 11 important advantages federal student loans have over private loans:

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Federal student loans have maximum amounts you can borrow on both an annual basis and a degree basis. In addition, loan limits vary based on the type of federal student loans borrowed.

Here’s what you need to know about federal student loan limits:

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Sometimes, after tuition and expenses and fees are paid, you'll find leftover loan money. That's enticing when spring break looms, but is that really something you want to pay for years down the road? Here are some tips to keep control of student loans and payments.

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Before you borrow dollar one, you'll want to understand the types of federal student loans available. These are the most common:

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When borrowing for your child's education, parent PLUS loans are an option. They are designed to fill in funding gaps after all other financial aid is awarded. These are federal education loans that have a higher interest rate than loans issued directly to students.

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Best Banks for Private Student Loans in 2017. Get Your Rate.
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