When to Apply for Student Loans?

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When to Apply for Student Loans?

Well, we all know how applying for student loans can be a very daunting task. There will be a lot of procedures paperwork that you have to go through, which definitely shouldn’t be left until the last minute before you apply for college. It is necessary to know that while some lenders may process your loan very quickly, some might take days because of the protocols. So in this article, let us see at what time you should apply for a loan.

Before getting into the topic, you have to choose between taking a private loan or a government loan. While private loans may seem attractive, it comes with high-interest rates, and also there is no chance for the government to forgive the loan in the future. Before you opt to go for private loans, you should make sure you have exhausted all the resources available to take the federal loans. In this article, we will see the steps which you have to go through to apply for a student loan. And even if you miss the date for a federal loan, you can always opt for private loans, which are described briefly in the following article. So what are we waiting for? let us get started

1. Apply for Financial Aid and Federal Student Loans

The first and foremost step you have to take after considering what colleges you want to go to is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once the process is done and it is approved by the institution, the school which you are planning to go to will send you an award letter with the amount of money they can offer.

But it is necessary to know that you have to fill and get the approval of this form prior to each school year. If you take this until the last minute, you will definitely miss great opportunities.

Moreover, the award letter which is given to you will include not only the loan amount which the school can offer but also grants, federal subsidized or unsubsidized student loans, Parent PLUS loans, and work-study opportunities. It is calculated according to your family’s financial needs.

2. Federal Subsidized or Unsubsidized Student Loans

It is necessary to know that these are the loans offered by the U.S. Department of Education. People prefer loans from the state because there is a significantly low-interest rate compared to the private sector. In fact,  Unsubsidized Loans are loans for both undergraduate and graduate students that are not based on financial need. Every student will be eligible according to their application.

But when it comes to subsidized loans, these loans do not accrue interest while you are in school at least half-time or during deferment periods; the government pays the interest on the loan while you’re in school. The only important factor you have to establish in your application is to show that there is a need for financial need. To get the loan, you should also not have exceeded the subsidized loan limit.

3. School’s Financial Aid Office

The next step which you have to take before you opt for private loans is to talk to your school’s financial aid office. They can provide you with resources and programs to help you get the aid you need. There are many instances where the school will fully guide you with the procedure to get the financial aid for your education.

4. Private loans

If all the previous options are exhausted, you should opt for a private loan. Private loans are issued by non-government entities, such as banks and credit unions. Moreover, it is pertinent to note that these private banks will provide a flexible timeline so that you can concentrate on scheduling your education.

Keep in mind that while some private student loans can be approved in minutes, there could be a secondary review process or unforeseen hold-ups that arise.


It is always recommended to start early with the federal loan process since rushing it at the end of your school will stress you out. Moreover, the federal student loan deadline is set by the government, and there are different deadlines according to the states and your school. So it is always best to consult your financial aid office.

Now according to The FAFSA for the 2022-2023 academic year, it was opened on October 1, 2021, and the deadline is June 30, 2023. But as I said earlier, it differs according to the institution you opt for.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

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