College Loans for Students

Get college loans for students. Find cheap student loans for college, including federal subsidized student loans.

Student loans are a way to supplement your college expenses, but they are not free money and must be paid pack with interest. However, loans are a viable option if you do not receive enough free money to attend college and/or if you do not have enough family or college savings plans.

Last updated on April 14, 2024 by College Financial Aid Advice.

Student Loans are NOT Free Money!

College Loans for Students

Stanford University, Palo Alto, California

The trick with taking out college loans for students is to never assume more debt than you will be able to repay, and that you should consider the value of the education that you receive in comparison to the size of the loan. For example, does the career opportunities and potential or certainty to earn a decent salary upon graduation justify the size of the debt?

If so, you are to shop and apply for the best possible loan(s) with the most favorable terms, e.g. fixed and low interest rates.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interest rates on federal student loans were temporarily reduced to 0% starting March 13 2020. Starting in September 2023, college loan interest rates, which are fixed and vary by loan, will return to the same rate they were before the freeze. Monthly payments in October will typically return to the original amount for these college loans for students.

Student Loan Calculator

Many college websites have net price calculators that will give you a good estimate of the true cost of attending that college, after accounting for scholarships and grants that you may be eligible to receive (both merit-based scholarships and need-based scholarships). These typically take about 20 minutes to complete.

Some colleges and universities use the College Board Net Price Calculator or NPC. This one is convenient because you can reuse the information that you have stored in College Board. You can access the College Board Net Price Calculator at

Once you have an idea of your Expected Family Contribution, you can estimate your loan amount, and use the above student loan payment calculator to estimate your loan payments.

Cheap Student Loans

College loans are either Need-Based or Non-Need-Based, Federal or Private.

If you want cheap student loans, federal Student loans are the most favorable student loans. They have the advantage of low interest rates and the government pays the interest on some of these loans on your behalf while you are still in college. Furthermore, the Federal loans do not usually need your credit history and may be eligible for the federal loan forgiveness program.

Federal Student loan is either need based or non-need-based.

Federal Student Loans include:

1. Subsidized Loans
2. Un-subsidized Loans
3. Federal Perkins Loan (note - this program ended in 2017)

Additionally, your parents may qualify to take out a Federal Plus loan to pay for your college expenses and it is not based on financial need. It requires the parents' credit history and parents can borrow any amount up to the unmet Cost of Attendance (Cost of Attendance minus other financial aid or scholarships).

All of these federal student loans are cheap student loans, because their interest rates and terms are more favorable than private loans.

Private College Loans for Students

Private loans should be your very last resort for borrowing money to pay for your education. These private lenders require a credit history and the loan many have variable interest rates which may make your monthly payments to rise drastically in the future. These private loans are not cheap student loans, and they may have stiff penalties if you are late on any payments.

Sallie Mae is one organization that offers private college loans for students. You can also try your local bank.

Share Your Tips About
College Loans for Students

Do you have some great tips to share about college loans for students? Share your insights about the best college student loans, how to pay for them, student loan debt forgiveness and more.

What Other Visitors Have Said
About College Student Loans

Click below to see submissions from other visitors about paying off student loans.

College Loans May Be Right For You 
I am a recent college graduate. This is my story about student loans and how you have them, know they are there, but somehow block them out of your memory… …

To Loan or Not to Loan - That is the Question 
In 2007 when I graduated high school I knew I wanted to make something of my life. I wanted to be the first person in my family to graduate from a four-year …

Student Loans Have Interest and Must Be Paid Back! 
Having college student loans myself, a daughter who is having to take out some to pay for her room and board at college, and having worked in the …

Tips on How to Pay Off Those Student Loans 
Paying on your student loans while still in college can sometimes be a hardship. One method that I've found to be helpful and proven beneficial is to …

Click here to write your own.

HomeCollege Loans for Students


Welcome to College Financial Aid Advice, a website full of information on scholarships and grants, student loans, and other ways to save money at college.

Important Things to Do

Scholarships for 2024 - 2025 - It is never too early or too late to work on your scholarship searches. If you are part of the high school class of 2024, you should work on your scholarship and college search now. See our list of Scholarships for High School Seniors

FAFSA - The official 2024 - 2025 FAFSA is available now. FAFSA.

Student Loans

Find out about the best student loan rates before you take out a student loan.

Student Loan Overview

Federal Student Loans

Federal Plus Loan

Consolidating Student Loans

Perkins Student Loans

Sallie Mae Student Loans

Student Loan Debt Forgiveness

Paying off Student Loans

College Financial Aid Tips

Scholarship Lists An overview of the different types of Scholarship Money for College.

Grants Learn more about grants, the other free money for college.

Need Tuition Help? Reduce the cost of tuition with these college Tuition Assistance Programs.

Tax Credit Claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

College Savings Plans Save money for college with these College Savings Plans.

Need a Student Loan? Yes, you qualify for these college Student Loans.

Popular Scholarship Searches

Scholarships for High School Students

Scholarships for College Students

Easy Scholarships

Scholarship Contests

Weird Unknown Scholarships

Merit Based Scholarships

Scholarships for Minorities

College Scholarships for Women