Perkins loans are a good alternative to bank loans because they are very inexpensive. Qualifying can be difficult if you come from a family with higher income and cash resources, but if you can qualify they are an important option to look at. In order to qualify for a Perkins loan you will need to fill out an application, follow the steps required and provide any documentation necessary. Usually with any loan programs that are very attractive additional steps in paperwork usually apply. You can get anywhere up to $5,500 for each school year to a maximum of $27,500 as an undergraduate. The only cost for these loans is the interest which is 5% while in school. A federal Perkins loan is done through a school's financial aid office and they act as the lender using government funds. If you're getting into graduate studies you can borrow up to $8,000 a year to a maximum of $60,000 (this includes money borrowed for an undergraduate degree).
As a student you have an opportunity to apply for Stafford loans, which is one of the cheapest student loans availible. In order to qualify you have to fill out an FAFSA that will be processed by your school. If you do qualify you will be required to sign a promissory note which legally binds you to pay back the loan. There are unsubsidized and subsidized versions that you can qualify for depending on your financial situation. You can even qualify for both long as you don't receive more than the maximum allowed. The limit depends on how many years of school years of school are completed and whether you're an independent or a dependent student, amount are in the range is $5,500 to $12,500 per year. The percentage of these amounts may be subsidized, 60% to 70% depending on the number factors. If you're a graduate student who borrow up to $20,500 in this includes people pursuing professional degree. Interest rates charged on unsubsidized loans to 6.8%, and for subsidized loans is 5.6%.
Student grants and scholarships
A word about grants; many people think that they would not qualify for any grants available from governments and other organizations however it's worth checking out. Scholarships are another option and it should be explored to help subsidized the amount that you need to borrow. Many people think the competition for grants and scholarships is intense so they don't even try. But if you have the time and patience to do the research may find that much of the competition isn't as bad as you think.
Company loans and school tuition programs
Many large companies have these types of programs available. Parents should check out the options through their employer. If parents have no access to these types of programs, students may consider working for companies that offer these types of programs because some of them offer part-time and summer work terms that would give you access to their programs.
Other lending avenues
These aren't necessarily the best options but they are options nevertheless. Excellent introductory offers for credit cards that include grace periods low to no interest rates. Credit card industry is super competitive and if your credit is good you may be able to explore this option. Many credit cards have low payment options and this could help facilitate you carrying the balance working part time during the school year or full-time through the summer. Just make sure you read the fine print and completely understand the terms exciting before you decide to use this option. Definitely make sure you've exhausted all other possibilities and leave this one last.
By looking for the cheapest student loans around you will have at the very least more options. It's important to think past graduation and the inevitable impact having lots of debt will have when you're just getting started. If you do your homework and consider your longer term goals you will have a better chance to come out on top.
*Consider employing an unbiased professional to help you manage your situation is the best alternatives before taking action on any advice.