Have you dreamed of going to college and getting a degree, but not known how to pay for it? There are grants and scholarships you can apply for, but you can also take out a student loans. These loans can be very useful, so use the following advice to find a good loan at a great rate.

Know your grace periods so you don’t miss your first student loan payments after graduating college. Stafford loans typically give you six months before starting payments, but Perkins loans might go nine. Private loans are going to have repayment grace periods of their own choosing, so read the fine print for each particular loan.

It is acceptable to miss a loan payment if serious extenuating circumstances have occurred, like loss of a job. Most lenders can work with you if you lose your job. Just be mindful that doing so could make your interest rates rise.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about federal loans. Not many people understand what these types of loans can offer or what their regulations and rules are. If you have any questions about these loans, contact your student loan adviser. Funds are limited, so talk to them before the application deadline.

Be careful when consolidating loans together. The total interest rate might not warrant the simplicity of one payment. Also, never consolidate public student loans into a private loan. You will lose very generous repayment and emergency options afforded to you by law and be at the mercy of the private contract.

Consider using your field of work as a means of having your loans forgiven. A number of nonprofit professions have the federal benefit of student loan forgiveness after a certain number of years served in the field. Many states also have more local programs. The pay might be less in these fields, but the freedom from student loan payments makes up for that in many cases.

Learn the requirements of private loans. You should know that private loans require credit checks. If you don’t have credit, you need a cosigner. They must have good credit and a good credit history. Your interest rates and terms will be better if your cosigner has a great credit score and history.

You should shop around before deciding on a student loan company because it can end up saving you a lot of money in the end. The school you attend may try to sway you to choose a particular one. It is best to do your research to make sure that they are giving you the best advice.

Before applying for student loans, it is a good idea to see what other types of financial aid you are qualified for. There are many scholarships available out there and they can reduce the amount of money you have to pay for school. Once you have the amount you owe reduced, you can work on getting a student loan.

To minimize your student loan debt, start out by applying for grants and stipends that connect to on-campus work. Those funds do not ever have to be paid back, and they never accrue interest. If you get too much debt, you will be handcuffed by them well into your post-graduate professional career.

When deciding how much money to borrow in the form of student loans, try to determine the minimum amount needed to get by for the semesters at issue. Too many students make the mistake of borrowing the maximum amount possible and living the high life while in school. By avoiding this temptation, you will have to live frugally now, but will be much better off in the years to come when you are not repaying that money.

Student loans, like any other loans, come in many different varieties. Some offer great rates and good terms, while others can end up costing you an arm and a leg. You need to find a loan that will not load you with crippling debt. Use the tips you have read here when you are applying for a loan.