How to choose a student loan and Apply

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Look at federal student loan options. 

Compare offers from a few private lenders.

Consider interest rates and terms.

Look into unique features.

How to apply for a student loan

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid opens on Oct. 1 each year and will tell you your options for federal student loans.

Fill out the FAFSA.

Prequalifying with private lenders lets you see your interest rate and terms without a hard credit pull.

Get prequalified with private lenders.

Once you've chosen a lender, you'll send in a formal application online, over the phone or in person. You'll need to provide income verification documents, and you'll go through a hard credit check.

Submit an application.

After being approved by a lender, you'll sign your loan documents to finalize the transaction. Your student loan funds will be sent directly to your school.

Sign loan documents.