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Does it help or hurt to take out student loans?

I am afraid that I will not have enough to pay for college and may have to take out student loans, but i often hear adults talk about the stress of student loans and how long they take to pay off. Should I take as many student loans as i need and worry about paying them off later, or be cautious and take as little as necessary?

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Jacqueline’s Answer

When taking out student loans, the subsidized loans are the "better" loans. You do not have to pay interest while you are attending college. Limit the unsubsidized if you can. I would personally recommend borrowing only what you need, to keep your loan debt as low as possible.

You should contact your financial aid office to see if you are eligible for any additional grants. If you have had an income decrease, or feel you have higher than usual expenses you may request an appeal. Make sure you complete the FAFSA by your college's deadline, to receive the most grant funding possible. Apply to as many scholarships as you can.

Jacqueline recommends the following next steps:

Complete the FAFSA by your college's deadline
Contact your Financial Aid Office to see if they have additional grant funding
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Haley’s Answer

Every potential college student's financial situation is unique but there are a few things every student should think about when considering taking out loans. While loans can be stressful, borrowing money can make sense if you have a plan, but first, here are a few things you should think about. First, think about the total financial commitment expected over your time at school. Second, look into the other opportunities for funding for school like need- and merit-based aid from schools, scholarship programs, or grants. Finally, think about what you are realistically going to be able to commit during school and once you graduate. It is important to make sure you fully understand the financial commitment you are making if you choose to take out a loan and there are some great resources available to potential and current students to help you understand and navigate the lending system if you decided that is the path that makes most sense for you. A good place to start is FAFSA which is a government website that consolidates information on college costs and walks you through the aid process.

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