Understanding Your Financing Options

Even with scholarships, grants, and work-study, many families still require student loans to finance higher education. Below is an outline of your loan options along with our expert recommendations.

Federal Loans

Recommended Choice: We advise students to prioritize federal student loans, such as Direct Loans or Stafford Loans, which come in two types:

Limits and Solutions: Federal loans have borrowing caps, which might leave you needing additional funds. In these cases, parents can consider Federal Parent PLUS Loans to cover the shortfall, ensuring all college expenses are met.

Student Loan

Subsidized Loans

The government pays the interest while you're in school

Unsubsidized student loan

Unsubsidized Loans

Interest accumulates during your school years but offers flexible repayment options.

Student Loan Refinancing

Private Loans

Juno is our recommended stop for finding the lowest interest rate for student, parent, or mortgage loans. Juno makes lenders compete to offer you lower rates than you can get on your own. You get the best offer (for your credit profile) with no cost, commitment, or credit check. 

Student Loan

Private Student Loans

Since federal loans have a ceiling on the amount the student can borrow, private student loans are an alternative way to fill in gaps in a student’s college funding package. Unlike federal student loans, private student loans are credit-based and require a credit check. Since college freshmen typically don’t have the necessary credit history to qualify, they usually need a parent or other responsible adult to be a co-signer.

Private Parent Loan

Private Parent Loans

For parents who have decided against taking out Parent Plus Loans to help pay for college, private parent loans are an alternative way to fill the gaps in their college funding package. Unlike federal parent loans, private loans consider the parent’s income-to-debt ratio to determine qualification for the loan. 

Student Loan Refinancing

Student Loan Refinancing

Refinancing can help students with existing loans obtain a lower interest rate, potentially saving a significant amount over time. This applies to both federal Stafford and PLUS loans.
NOTE: Refinancing is available only through private lenders. When federal loans are refinanced, they become private loans and are no longer eligible for federal benefits like income-driven repayment or forgiveness programs.

Mortgage Loans

Mortgage Loans and Mortgage Loan Refinancing

Parents may also turn to home mortgage loans or mortgage loan refinancing to help pay for college. These loans are only available as an alternative and are often available at a lower interest rate. Since Juno does not currently support mortgage loans, we recommend LendingTree. Get started by clicking the button below.

Ready to Lower Your College Costs?

Connect with our experts today and start saving. Tailored advice, real results.

Diverse students studying together at college campus