Bridge the Financial Gap with a Distance Learning Education Loan

Without a distance learning education loan, few students can afford to pay for distance learning, but there are so many kinds of aid available that the student who is interested in obtaining financial aid can feel overwhelmed. The three major kinds of financial aid that are available include scholarships, grants and education loans. A distance learning education loan can be obtained by prospective students as there are many types of loans available from the federal government. Two major categories of federal education loans are Perkins Loans and Stafford loans. Federal Perkins loans The federal government provides colleges and universities with a mechanism to lend money directly to students through the Federal Perkins Loan program.

Financial aid directors and admissions counselors usually work together through the application cycle to determine which candidates might be swayed to enroll at their institution with the extra help that these loans provide. Perkins Loans are extended only to full-time students that meet all academic requirements at their college or university. Depending on a number of factors, including the income of a student's family and their collected savings, undergraduates can qualify for up to $4,000 each school year under the Perkins Loan program.

The loans cap out at $20,000 during an individual's undergraduate degree program. Graduate students may receive up to $6,000 per year in assistance from their schools, with a lifetime cap of $40,000 in Perkins Loan advances. Students must begin to repay Perkins Loans to their institutions nine months after they graduate, or nine months after they drop to part-time status. Loan recipients can take up to ten years to pay off the loans they accrued during their degree programs at a fixed interest rate of five percent. Because schools will make a distance learning education loan to enrolled students, the loans are usually transferred internally through a college's bursar's office.

If you receive a Perkins Loan, expect to see your loan amount credited in two equal installments: one for the fall semester, and the other in the spring. Unlike personal loans that fluctuate with the prime rate, Perkins Loan recipients enjoy the stability of the same interest rate throughout their repayment period. Graduates can save a significant amount of money by paying off their Perkins Loans early, since there is no pre-payment penalty. Stafford Loans Stafford loans provide some tax benefits to students as they grow their careers after graduation. Many adults can claim the interest paid on student loan debts for tax purposes, with a maximum of $2,500, as a write off. Graduate students can also take advantage of loan programs, although fewer scholarships and grants exist to help pay for advanced degree programs.

Graduate students can borrow up to $18,500 each year from guaranteed lenders. Of that amount, only $8,500 can be subsidized. The Stafford Loan program for graduate students caps out at $138,500, including all loans disbursed during a student's undergraduate program. With the cost of college education rising every year, more students and their families turn to a distance learning education loan to bridge the gap left when savings and scholarships cannot pay all of the tuition bills. For most young Americans, a student loan is their first encounter with major debt.

Jim Zorn is web master of the Guide to Distance Learning. Please visit to learn more about online colleges and universities, distance learning degrees, majors and courses offered.


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