Undergraduate Student Loans Explained so Everyone Can Understand!

In many cases today, students apply for Federal aid, scholarships and grants and still come up short when it comes to paying for the increasing costs of a college education. So what are your options after the lower cost sources have been used up? Today we are going to take you through the various loan options available to students and their parents to help pay for college. The tricky part is deciding which loan type is best for you.

Don’t skip the FAFSA! To qualify for any loan, you MUST complete a FAFSA – (Free Application for Student Aid). Do this before you read any further! If you’ve already done it, good for you!

So what is next?

First, you need to understand that there are both Federal (also known as Direct Loans) and private loans.

What are the best things about Federal loans?

  • They offer low interest rates and
  • You can choose from flexible repayment options.

And the best things about private loans?

  • They’re available at a number of financial institutions, including credit unions and banks.
  • They fill the gap between your Federal loans and the true cost of attending school.

Check out this infographic that explains the most popular loan types:


Still have questions? Check out this great U.S. Department of Education site that’s full of great information. You can also ask for help from your high school’s college counselor or the Financial Aid office of the college you’ve chosen to attend.

Many of the Federal loans are funded on a first come, first served basis so don’t wait to apply!

Need help with a private student loan? Contact your credit union or find one now using our CU Select Tool. Partnering with a trusted lender can make a big difference in understanding your options and getting a great private student loan that works for you.


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