How to Apply for a Student Loan. Student loans are vital resources that help pay for college. The application process for financial aid is not intended to be difficult but can still be overwhelming at times. Ease the stress by applying online for federal loans, private loans and grant loans. Read on to learn more about how to apply for a student loan.

File for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at the U.S. Department of Education Web site. Be sure to include your school's FAFSA code.

Wait for your Student Aid Report. A financial aid award letter will be sent to you explaining your eligibility for aid. Review the report for accuracy.

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Apply for your federal loan. The major federal loan for students is the Stafford Loan. FFELP loans and FDSLP loans are two variations of the Stafford Loan. Apply for your Stafford loans online. You will receive a promissory note that must be signed.

Get other student loans from private institutions if you need more money. Search online or contact your local lenders.

Manage your funds. Most colleges will put your Stafford Loan proceeds directly towards the cost of your tuition. If any money is left over it will be sent to you or applied to the loan.

Tip

The earlier you file your FAFSA, the more likely you are to be rewarded student financial aid. The general rule is first come, first served. Don't forget to print and sign the promissory note, and be sure to keep a copy for your own records. Build your credit. Consider applying for a credit card to begin building good credit rating as a student. Building credit and paying off a student loan will help after graduation. It will be easier for you to apply for a mortgage or car loan in the future.

Remember, you will have to file for your FAFSA and Stafford Loan every year. Other federal loans include the Perkins Loan and the Plus Loan. The Perkins is for low-income students, and the PLUS loan is designed for parents of students.

Warning

Beware of scams that will ask you for a fee when applying for scholarships or requests for a fee for searching for financial aid. There are specific laws that prevent you from this type of scam. There are such sites as www.fafsa.com not to be confused with the government run website, www.fafsa.ed.gov. Fafsa.com asks you for various fees you do not have to pay.

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