Student loan in United States

A student loan is designed to help students pay for university tuition, books, and living expenses. It differs from other types of loans in that the interest rate is substantially lower and the repayment schedule is deferred while the student is still in education. Before accepting any kind of student loan one should be familiar with its basic attributes. The United States uses a federally guaranteed student loan program to help college students pay for their education. The program allows students to borrow money at a reduced interest rate and defer payment until they are no longer in school. Student loans are generally offered as part of a total financial aid package that may include grants, scholarships, or work study opportunities. In the United States, there are three types of student loans: two of them are sponsored by the federal government and the other type is private student loans.

Most college students in the United States qualify for some type of student loan, although the amount they can borrow may vary based on several factors. Income level, parents' income level, and other financial considerations are all weighed to determine the amount you are eligible to borrow under the federal student loan program.

A student loan has two major advantages over conventional loans - lower interest rates and easier repayment terms. The interest rate on a student loan will generally be at least two percentage points lower than the going market rate for conventional loans, but this will vary somewhat. Repaying a student loan is different, too. In most cases, payment can be deferred on the principal and the interest until the student is out of school. Repayment typically begins anywhere from six to twelve months after they leave school, regardless of whether or not they complete their degree program. In some cases, repayment begins if course load drops to half time or less, so it is important to check the exact terms and conditions of any student loan.

The student loan system has also been criticized including by supporters of other systems such as a grant system. In coverage through established media outlets, many borrowers have expressed feelings of victimization. Common complaints include: feeling like the terms were not clearly described prior to consummation, having monthly payments equal to half of take-home income, wage garnishment by lenders, inability to charge off student debt in the bankruptcy process (as is possible with mortgages and credit card balances) and being crushed by unyielding lenders when befallen by unfortunate life events (such as disability which prevents work). There is a valid comparison between these accounts and the college credit card trend in America during the 2000's, and it could be argued that a similar form of corrective legislation is in order. It is often more difficult to discharge a student loan in the USA in the case of bankruptcy. The legislation which covers this is 11 USC 523. This often means that student loans survive a bankruptcy unless the bankrupt can demonstrate "undue hardship".

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