When to consider a private student loan

Knowing your options when paying for college

One of the first things that comes to mind when applying to college is, “how will I pay for this?” While paying for higher education may seem daunting or even unattainable for some, the truth is, there are plenty of options. If you’ve decided college is the right path for you, financial concern should never prevent you from getting your degree. 

Financial aid, grants and scholarships are readily available to those who are eligible. However, if you’ve exhausted these options and still find yourself in need of funds, it may be time to consider a private student loan. 

Scholarships, grants and federal loans

The first step when seeking financial support for your education is to find the free money offered in the form of scholarships and grants. Grants are generally awarded based on financial need, whereas scholarships are typically merit-based. There are a multitude of reasons for which students can receive scholarships—most commonly, for academic success, athletic achievement and community involvement. Identity-based scholarships are also available to students belonging to underrepresented groups to encourage participation in fields and programs that tend to be homogenous. The best part about both grants and scholarships is that neither have to be paid back!  

Once you have applied for scholarships and grants, another option to consider is a federal student loan. While federal loans do gain interest and must be paid back, they often come with unique advantages and benefits. For instance, federal loans are fixed, meaning that the interest rate will not fluctuate during the life of the loan. The rate is also not determined by financial history, which can be key for someone who may be concerned about their credit score, or overall financial past. Additionally, a federal student loan may come with an income-based repayment plan or loan forgiveness. 

Filling in the gaps 

When there are still financial gaps that grants, scholarships and federal student loans can’t fill, it may be time to consider a private lender. A credit union may be the perfect option. 

Credit unions’ not-for-profit structures typically allow them to offer better options than banks by returning their profits to their members, often in the form of lower rates on loans. Given the average college graduate’s financial status after graduation, a less expensive loan can make a huge impact. Southland Student Choice Loans offer competitive rates, zero origination or prepayment fees, flexible repayment options and more!

Not sure where you will be attending school yet? No problem. You can still secure your college funding. Even if you are unsure of how much money you will potentially need, establish a line of credit first, then come back when you’re ready to request the exact amount.

Refinance and consolidate 

In addition to student loans, Southland also offers student loan refinance options. If you’re currently overwhelmed with multiple monthly student loan payments, Southland can help consolidate and streamline your debt into one hassle-free payment, potentially at a lower rate. Southland even allows you to combine both federal and private loans when refinancing, contrary to the federal government’s consolidation program which only allows for federal loan consolidation. 

Ready to get started? Simply complete the easy online application and receive an instant credit decision. Southland doesn’t charge any origination fees or prepayment penalties and offers flexible repayment options. 

Attending college is one of the best investments you can make in your future, and you should never be hindered by finances. If you prepare in advance and stay proactive, covering the cost of college is achievable! 

*Subject to qualification and annual credit review. Must meet school's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. Approved schools subject to change without notification.

*By refinancing federal student loans, you may lose certain borrower benefits from your original loans. These may include interest rate discounts, principal rebates, or some cancellation benefits that can significantly reduce the cost of repaying your loans. Read this important disclosure about refinancing student loans. 

The CARES Act was passed in response to events related to the Coronavirus pandemic and includes broad relief measures for federal student loan borrowers. If you are considering refinancing your federal student loans, please make sure to review these measures at studentaid.gov/coronavirus to understand your options.

Please remember that federal loans do offer certain benefits and protections that do not transfer to a private loan. By refinancing your federal student loans to a private loan you will lose any federal benefits that may apply to you. Please review this important disclosure for more information.