What Is the Best Student Loan?

What is the best student loan?
I got an email from a dad who was hoping to get the answer to that question. His son needs to borrow for the last year of college.
That was an easy question to answer. The best education loan available is the federal Stafford Loan. There are two types of Stafford loans:  subsidized and unsubsidized.  You can find out more about Stafford loans and why you should use federal student loans in this previous college blog post of mine:
4 Things You Need to Know About Federal Student Loans
Because we are about to embark on the college loan season for families, I’m providing links to previous posts that I’ve written about college loans. Unfortunately, many parents make poor choices when borrowing for college. For instance, lots of families turn to private student loans before they have exhausted their federal loan options.
Read the following education loan posts and you’re more likely to cut your college costs:
4 Big Changes in College Loans
Federal Student Loans: When Do I Apply
Best College Loan Advice: 9 Tips for Borrowing for College
Private Student Loans: 6 Tips To Picking the Right Loan
5 Things You Need to Know About Private Loans
How Much College Loan Debt is Too Much?
College Loans When Parents Need to Borrow
Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and a new eBook, Shrinking the Cost of College. She also blogs for CBSMoneyWatch and US News. Follow her on Twitter.

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  1. Hi, I hope you can give me some advice. My daughter attended a community college last year for apparel design, commuted via bus. This year she’s decided she needs to live near the college, which is a pretty expensive part of town. My husband was making good money, so I wasn’t sweating paying her tuition, and since our EFC was so high when we applied January 2013, I didn’t bother applying in 2014. My husband just lost his job, so I’m now scampering to find a student loan for her. Do you know where the best place is to obtain a private student loan? And would a bank allow us to co-sign on the assumption my husband will be returning to a new job soon? He’s been in the same industry for 34 years.

    1. Lori,
      You need to apply for the FAFSA and then have your child obtain the federal direct loan. This used to be called the Stafford. If you need more, you could try for a credit union college loan. There is also the federal Parent PLUS loan, but it has a very high interest rate.
      Lynn O’Shaughnessy