If you are planning to pursue a career in nursing but is unable to attend a nursing school because of financial issue then you can try nursing student loan program. With the help of a nursing student loan, you can cover all the expenses while attending a nursing school. The expenses include cost of the training program, room, board and personal expenses.
Student Loans Available for Nursing Students
There are mainly two types of nursing student loans. First one is offered through federal government agencies and the second one is from private lenders.
The student loans offered from the federal government have lower or fixed interest rate when compared to the loans offered by the private lenders. In addition to this the federal student loans have more favorable borrowing condition and easier repayment terms than the loans from the private lenders. The private loans can be only helpful when the federal loans are not enough to cover your educational expenses.
The undergraduate nursing students can also apply for the subsidized or unsubsidized Stafford loans. The subsidized Stafford loans are offered on the basis of financial need and often have very low or fixed rate of interest. They are easy to borrow and the government pays the interest on the loan while the students are in school. The unsubsidized Stafford loans on the other hand have higher borrowing limits and high rate of interest. The students will have to cover the interest while they are in schools.
Another option is the Perkins Loan which is subsidized and has very low interest rate. However this loan is offered only to those students who show exceptional financial need. For graduate students, there is graduate PLUS loans program to apply for. The program also has low interest rate and is very borrower friendly.
Private Students loans like mentioned earlier should only be used if all the other sources of funding could not cover your educational expenses. These loans often have higher rate of interest and have more customizable repayment terms. Banks and other financial institutions offer private nursing student loans and normally have higher borrowing limits.
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The graduates of accredited nursing program can also apply for Nursing Education Loan Repayment program which offers up to 60% of loan repayment assistance. However the students will have to work professionally for at least two years for them upon completion of the training program.
You can also apply for scholarship or fellowship programs. Some national nursing organization such as the National league of Nurses and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing offer nonprofit financial aid to the nursing students. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and American Nurses Association Minority Fellowship Program are other agency that has been providing financial aid to the nursing students from a long time.
Requirements for Nursing Student loans
You must be a legal citizen of United States in order to apply for nursing student loans from both the government and private lenders. The international students can only apply for nursing student loans from private lender but they need to borrow the loan cosigned by a legal US citizen.
A criminal background check and a drug test are held prior to the application. The students need to pass both the tests.
Normally the nursing student loans are provided only to the students applying or attending an accredited training program.
The institution where you plan to study or are currently studying should offer at least one course in any subject that leads to a degree level qualification.
All loans have different requirements so make sure that you review them and understand what you need to provide.
How to apply?
The students can apply for a student loan either by online means or visiting the agency personally. To apply online, the student needs to visit the official site of the agency and fill up the online application form. Next they need to submit the required documents and transcripts along with the application form.
If you are planning to visit the agency then make sure that you bring every document and transcripts. It is always a good idea to know about the agency beforehand.
The students may need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for a nursing student loan.