Three Differences Between Your Loan Experience as an Undergrad vs. Graduate
Graduate school is a great way to get ahead in your career and set yourself up for more opportunities and higher salary ranges long term. One huge perk to remind yourself of when considering if graduate school is right for you or not is that you already have the experience of undergrad and can use that as data to determine when and if you should enter the grad school arena.
Money is naturally going to be a huge concern and factor in your decision making. Do not be discouraged if you are still carrying loan balances from undergrad, there are ways to continue to manage those loans while also taking out new ones to cover your grad school costs. Use your own personal history, as well as the info on new trends and types of loans available to recognize the differences between taking out loans for undergrad vs. grad school.
- How You Borrow Money
When you are young and just starting college, you probably do not have good credit, if any at all, and that is something that gives you an edge when thinking about how to fund a higher-level education. You can take out student loans with a private lender in order to pay for your education at any stage. However, unlike a federal student loan which you may have looked to previously, private student loans are issued by independent lenders as opposed to being regulated by the government. Each organization will have their own unique requirements, interest rates, and repayment terms. Being in good standing with your existing loans, and likely having a more established credit history than when you started undergrad will all be favorable factors when you reach out to apply for a private student loan.
- Your Skills are More Advanced
Experience is invaluable both professionally and personally. The differences in who you are as a person, your professional skills, and how you set and accomplish goals as you age are key factors to consider as you start your grad school journey. Knowing now what you did not know then will serve as a good framework for knowing your limits financially and how they have evolved to be able to support a new financial commitment. Adaptability, work ethic, and analytical skills are important as a student, and with grad school you will be balancing more than with undergrad. But having been a student before and also having some professional experience under your belt you are going into this phase in a better spot than you were when you started as a freshman.
- Your Income is Higher
Choosing to enrich your education with a few salaried years under your belt is another huge difference between taking out a student loan at 18 and taking one out as a working professional. Being able to potentially dedicate some of your savings to your tuition payments means a lower total amount borrowed. Not to mention that earning more income can allow you a faster rate of repayment once your studies are over. Be realistic about the limits of your existing budget and how some tweaks can support your educational goals for the future.
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