A student loan in most cases is unsecured and is typically made by lenders who receive government assistance. If the government wasn’t sponsoring these loans you would probably find that student loans would be extremely difficult to obtain. Most lenders would probably find that this type of loan would not be worth making. Along with this type of loan there is usually a lot of red tape. Before applying for a student loan you need to start with the form called the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”. You can call 1-800-433-3243 to obtain one of these forms.
This application will determine the student’s eligibility, student aid and student loan assistance. You can complete and submit this form on or offline.
To submit online just visit afsa.ed.gov. If you submit your application online you will have the advantage of following the status of your application. Also submitting the form online will speed up the process. If you find that you do not qualify for one of the unsecured student loans there other programs available. Additional loan programs such as the alternative loans are basically loans made with a co-signer, such as a parent.
Since the government imposes a lot of regulation on these unsecured student loans, there is no need in shopping around because all lenders offering the student loans are required to follow the same guidelines. Now, you won’t find this to be the case with the alternative loans because they are not government assisted. However, interest can vary widely, so it does pay to shop around in this case.
Before you seek an alternative student loan, start with the Federal Student Aid application. You will also need to submit this application well in advance of the time you are due to pay tuition.