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Student Loans

Understanding Student Loans

Student Loans Are Complicated

That’s why we’re here to break things down and answer your every question – every step of the way – with advisors, resources, and tools that help you effectively plan and pay for college. And in working with cuLearn, you can rest assured knowing that we will help you find the perfect loan – not a dollar more, not a cent less – so that you can focus on the future. Not unnecessary debt.

Info And Advice

The Basics

In most cases, it’s best to follow this strategy when it comes to paying for college. Use:

  • Free money first: Grants, scholarships and other options that don’t require repayment.
  • Federal student loans second: These are low-interest, fixed-rate loans made with government funding.
  • Private student loans last: And only if Nos. 1 and 2 above don’t provide enough money to cover expenses of your first-choice school.

Getting A Private Student Loan

How to choose a loan that’s right for you

1.  Complete the FAFSA: Every student should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Why?

  • Most schools require this form. It’s what college financial aid officers need to create your financial aid package.
  • It’s how you apply for federal student loans and grants from your federal and state governments.

Visit FAFSA.gov to begin your application.

2.  Review your financial award letter: The letter outlines how much the school will cost and what kind of financial aid package you’ll receive for one year, including any grants, scholarships, work-study, or federal student loans. 

3.  Explore federal student loan options: A federal loan is typically the best option to start with. Federal student loans are funded by the federal government and do not require a credit evaluation for approval (like private student loans do).

4.  Consider a private student loan: These loans are offered directly through banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. You apply directly to the lender (i.e., not through the FAFSA form).


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