If you’re looking to go to college for cheap, you might want to stay out of Delaware.
The state has some of the highest student loan debt in the country. The Institute for College Access and Success ranks Delaware No. 4 in the country, with debt averaging $33,838 per borrower.
Not all hope is lost, though, for Delaware residents. If you need money for school, there are ways to get Delaware student loans. Or if you’ve already graduated, you can refinance the ones you have to lower your payments.
Delaware student loans
Once you’ve exhausted your options for free money through grants and scholarships, you’ll have the option for student loans, whether through the government or local banks and lenders.
Federal student loans
There are a few federal student loans for which you could qualify, depending on your level of need. They include:
- Direct Subsidized Loans: Need-based aid awarded by the government.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Non-need-based aid available to all students.
- Direct PLUS Loans: Available to students enrolled in a graduate program, as well as parents of undergraduates. Unlike other Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans require a credit check.
- Direct Consolidation Loans: Combine your federal student loans into a single loan with one payment.
Subsidized and unsubsidized student loans don’t require a credit check. You also don’t need to start paying these back until six months after graduation.
Private student loans
If you’re coming up short on funds after receiving federal aid, you might want to think about getting private student loans. These terms are more stringent than federal student loans. They usually require you to get a credit check and have a decent credit score to get approved.
If you’re looking for private student loans, compare the top online lenders to find the best one for you. You can also contact your local bank branch or credit union to see if they offer private student loans. DEXSTA Federal Credit Union, for example, has private student loans available.
Delaware student loan forgiveness
If you’ve already graduated from college or are currently enrolled, there are some forgiveness options available.
Delaware State Loan Repayment Program
The Delaware State Loan Repayment Program is available to some health care professionals working in underserved communities. If you have loans that aren’t in default, work in a designated site, and are a U.S. citizen, you could qualify for up to $100,000 in aid.
Delaware Nursing Incentive Program
The Delaware Nursing Incentive Program awards up to $5,000 per academic year to nursing students who are residents or current state employees. You can get loan forgiveness if you work at a state-owned hospital or clinic.
Christa McAuliffe Teacher Incentive Program
If you’re enrolled in college and plan to teach in a Delaware public school for at least a year, you could qualify for the Christa McAuliffe Teacher Incentive Program. Preference goes to those who will teach in a designated “critical need area.” For each year you teach in a Delaware public school, you get a year of loan forgiveness.
Delaware Teacher Corps
If you’re planning to teach middle or high school math or science, you have a strong chance of qualifying for the Delaware Teacher Corps. You can also teach in other areas of critical need to qualify. You get a year of loan forgiveness for each year you teach.
Ada Leigh Soles Memorial Professional Librarian and Archivist Incentive Program
For the Ada Leigh Soles Memorial Professional Librarian and Archivist Incentive Program, you need to first complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is available to undergraduate students who have worked at least two years at a qualifying library, as well as graduate students pursuing a related degree. One year of loans are forgiven for undergrads for each year of employment at a library.
Optometry Incentive Program
If you’re a full-time graduate student getting an optometry license, you could qualify for the Optometry Incentive Program. You could get your loans forgiven for every year you’re employed as an optometrist in Delaware.
Speech/Language Pathologist Incentive Program
If you’re on track to becoming a speech-language pathologist or you already are one, you might qualify for the Speech/Language Pathologist Incentive Program. This program provides loan forgiveness for one year if you have been employed for two years at a Birth to 3 Early Intervention System location or a public school. You must complete the FAFSA before this application to qualify.
Refinancing Delaware student loans
If you don’t meet the standards for loan forgiveness programs, there are other ways to ease the high costs of student loan debt. Once you’ve graduated, you can look into refinancing your student loans.
Refinancing replaces all your loans with one new loan. This can lower your monthly payments or interest rates — or both. Compare online lenders to see which ones have the lowest fees and best financing options for your situation.
Keep in mind that if you can’t find a lower interest rate or your new terms don’t have lower monthly payments, refinancing student loans might not be best for your situation.
You also could lose certain federal protections if you refinance your loans, so weigh all your options before making your decision.
Avoid drowning in student loan debt
It’s hard to pay for college when costs are high, so getting student loans can help you afford college in the short term. In the long term, though, they can be difficult to repay if you aren’t prepared.
Do your best to find as much free money as possible through grants, scholarships, and family members before applying for loans. If you’re still having trouble getting money, get loans to cover the rest.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
1 = Citizens Disclaimer.
2 = CollegeAve Autopay Disclaimer: All rates shown include the auto-pay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
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|3.54% – 12.07%2||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CollegeAve|
|3.95% – 12.10%||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Ascent|
|4.00% – 11.85%*3||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SallieMae|
|3.94% – 12.19%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit Citizens|
|4.63% – 9.71%||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit LendKey|
|3.62% – 9.79%||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CommonBond|