Planning out your sources of funds for education overseas should include the following: savings, income, financial support from family and relatives, scholarships, grants, and student loans. To take out a student loan, you should be aware of how early you should start applying to ensure that your funds can be disbursed on time.

When to Get a Federal Student Loan

If you’re studying in the United States, taking out a federal student loan might be at the top of your options. To take out a federal student loan, you first need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form.

But you can’t complete the FAFSA form anytime you wish. You must be guided by the deadlines before you can take out a federal loan.

FAFSA opened in October 2020 for the academic year 2021–2022. If you are starting a new semester or studying for the first time in 2021–2022, then you must complete the FAFSA before the deadline on June 30, 2022. 

Deadlines also vary per state in the United States. To check your state’s deadline, visit FAFSA, then type in your state, choose the academic year, then hit “View Deadlines.”

When to Get a Private Student Loan

Private student loan lenders operate independently from the federal government and usually have more flexible deadlines.

Depending on which private lender you’ll take out an education loan from, your loan application may even be approved in just a couple of minutes.

With that said, you still need to plan ahead before getting a private loan for your education. You must anticipate unexpected complications that may arise during the process.

You can determine when your school fees are due, then schedule a date on when you’re most likely going to need an education loan. You can plan for a month or two before the due date so you can weigh out different loan options.

Before your private lender can disburse your funds, they will get in contact with your institution to verify your student status. This will take about 7–10 days so you need to extend your timeframe to make room for unseen delays.

The longest a private student loan application can take is up to a month. Planning is necessary to have more time comparing options.

Getting an Education Loan While You’re Already in School

You don’t always have to take out a loan months prior to when your school starts. You can apply for a loan while you’re already attending your classes.

If you have taken out a federal loan before or received a scholarship or grant, then if in the middle of the academic year, you realized that you don’t have enough funds to continue for the next semester, you can then apply for a private student loan.

As mentioned previously, private lenders have a more flexible deadline and it’s possible that your application can be approved in just minutes.

You can also apply for a private loan in case you’re short on funds for daily expenses, accommodation, insurance, and other fees. 

Make sure to apply for student loans at the right time. Read through our articles here at MSM Unify to take that loan you need for your education. 

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