Education is now becoming an increasingly important determinant of your future success, but its costs are also continuously rising. How do you cope? You can take out a collage loan. Here, we compare the terms of some college loans available to help you find the right one for your situation.

Out-of-pocket fees are an important feature of college loans. As a student, your budget is already limited and you can definitely do away with costly application and processing fees. You should not have to pay more than a few dollars in order to get your application moving. You should also be entitled to grace periods of about half a year between graduation and repayment, and you should have the option to defer if you re-enroll, without paying too much in processing fees.

First, let's list some of the major sources of funding for law students:

1. Federal Stafford Student Loan Program
2. Federal Perkins Loan Program
3. Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
4. Private/alternative loans

When searching for law school loans or any other type of school loan, you can't get a much lower interest rate than what is supplied by the Federal Government. This is why our list above seeks out federal sources of financial aid first then leaves the private sources as an option after federal funds are exhausted. The best way to get started is by filling out your FAFSA application. This will determine your eligibility for federal loans. Private and alternative loans should be considered only as a last resort to meet the shortfall where federal loans cannot fulfill the financial need.

Federal Stafford Loans

Federal Stafford Loans are available to students enrolled at least half-time. These low interest student loans are made by lenders who are a part of the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). These loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized depending on your eligibility for financial aid.

Federal Perkins Loans

The Federal Perkins Loan allows students to borrow up to $3,000/year (5 year max) for undergraduate school and $5,000/year for graduate school (6 year max). The Federal Perkins Loan has one of the lowest interest rates and is awarded to students who have an exceptional financial need. You also must have applied for a Pell Grant to be eligible. Besides a low interest rate, one of the other benefits is that the interest on the Perkins Loan is subsidized while you are in school.

Federal Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan has a fixed interest rate of 8.5% and is available to students who are enrolled at least half-time. This loan is not based on need and is credit based but the criteria for obtaining this type of loan is less stringent than private education loans. In some cases you may be able to borrow up to the full cost of attendance minor other financial aid.

Private Education Loans

Private Educational Loans are another alternative funding source for law students. They are usually used to bridge the gap where more funds than the above mentioned loans are needed. Terms of private loans vary significantly, so it's important to do your research. These loans can be more expensive than federal loans because the federal government does not guarantee them. In some cases you may be able to get a lower interest rate if you have a co-signer. A credit check is required and/or debt-to-income ratio on the borrower and/or co-borrower.

Low interest student law loans are available, but it is recommended that you seek out your federal options first then turn to private student loans. By doing your research and discussing options with potential lenders, you can find a low interest loan that best fits your needs.

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