Going to a college or a university is not a walk in the park, mentally or financially. Students are immediately confronted with some facts of life, like it costs money to live – eating and sleeping are not cheap habits.

Cost of Living

Add a cell phone, a computer hookup, and other utilities (gas, water, lights) and a student is looking at a pretty hefty sum. What about transportation? Trains and cars are not free.

Cost of Learning

But that is only the second most expensive thing a student is confronted with. A little thing like tuition, fees, books, class-related materials, and a laptop can roll into a lot of dough, and that dough can keep rising.

Show the Student the Money

Scholarships are nice. Grants are good. Even should a student land a scholarship or qualify for a grant, they still are not completely covered. And face it, some students do not qualify for either. So, where does the money come from for these hapless seekers of knowledge?

Watch Out for Harmful Credit Cards

Solicitors representing credit card companies are to be found in abundance during registration days. Many students get them and start racking up expensive charges with loan-shark interest rates. Though a credit card can come in handy when things are tight, too many use them for everything. These poor benighted folks walk away from their graduations burdened with tremendous debt and horrible interest rates.

Unsecured Student Loan Option

Though unsecured student loans are not available through the usual college or university venues, the financial counseling offices should be able to point a student to a reputable lender that has helped other students.

Searching for a Lender

Another way to find them is by searching the Web. Punching student loan into a browser will reward you with hundreds of hits. With such a large market, it would be prudent to carefully weed many out. This will put the most dedicated shopper to the test, but canny shopping can save a student thousands in the long run.

No Credit History

As a student, you are probably approaching the lending industry for the first time. As so, you probably have little or no credit history to your name. Student loan lenders are willing to take a chance by lending to you.

Student Loan Competition

Student loans usually have a sub-prime lending rate (low interest rates are always good) and offer terms that are competitive. Some may delay payments until after the degree is obtained.

You Are the Boss

Always remember that you are the boss, that lenders are not doing you a favor by giving you a loan. You are doing them a favor by giving them your business. Be a smart, hard-to-please shopper.

No Stephen Hawkings

You do not have to be brilliant to earn a college degree. You do not have to be brilliant to shop wisely for a student loan. You just have to stick with it on both horizons. And getting a college education is certainly not something for only the rich. You need to find your funds and forget about it. You need to focus on your studies.