How early you should apply for a student loan really depends on two things: whether you are trying to decide which school to attend based on what kind of financial aid you can get, or whether you’ve designated your school of choice and need to figure out which loans you will use to pay for it, and how large they will have to be.
Either way, you should first think about what kinds of free aid and gifts are out there once you’ve determined you will attend a school of higher education. You should exhaust these sources before you apply for student loans.
Each school has its own deadlines for financial aid form submission, so be sure to check with all the publications from each, scour their websites and consult with their loan coordinators
Then, once you have determined you have a need for a student loan, make it number one on your list of things to do when it comes to applying for school.
If you are trying to decide which school to attend based on how large of a loan you can get, this can really help you make a decision because you can apply up to a year in advance.
In other words, there’s no reason to wait because the application simply allows you to find out how much aid you qualify for, and what kinds of interest and repayment terms could be attractive to you. Since it can take the better part of a year to make all your education considerations fall into place before making your final campus decision, this is a great way to figure out a big factor well in advance.
The process can be likened to getting pre-approved for a home loan, and then shopping for a house. Read more