Paying for grad school is an investment in the future. If you’re like many graduate students, you’ll finance some or all of your costs with a student loan. Making a plan before you borrow may help reduce the amount you’ll repay with interest.
A budget can help you track your money, and it can also prevent you from borrowing more than you really need. Many student loans for Graduate School also cover living expenses, so choose a lifestyle you can afford to repay. It's a good idea to check with your undergraduate lender to verify whether your previous student loans can be deferred while you’re in graduate school. If you have to keep making payments, make sure you budget those expenses.
Learn more about managing your money and paying for graduate school.
Before you borrow, shop around for the best education loan for your needs, and be sure you understand the basics about education loans:
A loan advertised as a student loan for Graduate School may still require a co-borrower. Many of these loans also charge a higher variable interest rate.
A co-borrower is equally as responsible for a student loan as the primary borrower, in most cases. Many traditional private student loans require a co-borrower. Make sure all borrowers on the loan understand how the loan will be repaid, and keep all addresses and contact information current.
Deferred loans will cost more than immediate repayment loans. Your monthly payment may be lower by borrowing an immediate repayment student loan, and the overall cost will be significantly less.
Variable interest rate student loans will likely increase as interest rates begin to rise in the economy. Most fixed interest rate student loans charge the same interest rate and monthly payment for the life of the loan, regardless of changes in the credit markets.
Fine print matters! Education loans aren’t one size fits all, so be sure to research and ask questions to help you decide which loan product is right for your financial situation.