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For Maryland residents, college can come at a hefty cost. Tuition for in-state residents averaged $6,350 for the 2017-18 academic year, according to College Tuition Compare.
The average debt after graduating from a four-year public or private school in Maryland is more than $27,000, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.
If you’re worried about paying for college, you might need to tap into Maryland student loans. Don’t worry if you’ve already graduated because there are options for current and former students.
See how you can get the best options before and after college.
Maryland student loans
Once you’ve completed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, you’ll begin to learn how much money you’ll receive in grants, scholarships, and loans.
For extra help, browse through state-specific grants and scholarships for Maryland students. Some might require extra forms for you to be eligible, though.
The financial aid award letter you receive will detail your Expected Family Contribution. To determine how much money you’ll need to borrow, you have to know much aid you’ll receive.
Federal student loans
Your award letter also will tell you how much money you’re able to receive from loans. For Maryland students, there are a few student loan options for you:
Direct Subsidized Loans: These loans are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The government covers the cost of interest while you’re in school.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans: These loans are available to students regardless of need. The interest starts accruing as soon as the loan is taken out.
Direct PLUS Loans: These loans are available to parents who want to help cover costs for their college-enrolled child.
Interest rates on federal loans are typically lower than for private student loans. Also, federal loans give you more flexibility in paying back your loans after school, including through income-driven repayment plans.
Private student loans
If you’re still coming up short on college funds, you can tap into private student loans.
Private student loans are more stringent than federal loans. They aren’t based on need, so other factors determine your eligibility.
Private lenders, such as banks and credit unions, check your credit when you apply for a loan. If you have poor credit, your interest rate could be higher than with a federal student loan.
Private loans don’t have the same flexibility as federal loans. Income-driven repayment plans are available only through federal loan programs. And if you want to explore your private student loan consolidation options, you’ll have to work with a private lender.
Keep all this in mind when you apply.
Maryland student loan forgiveness programs
After graduation, you might get the chance to have your loans forgiven if you meet certain criteria. Besides federal student loan forgiveness plans, there are a few different programs just for Maryland students.
Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program (LARP)
To qualify for LARP, you need to be a resident who provides public service to low-income or underserved residents in state or local government or at a nonprofit agency in Maryland. If you’re not in default on a loan and your gross income doesn’t exceed $60,000 a year, you might be eligible for this program.
Maryland Dent-Care Loan Assistance Repayment Program (MDC-LARP)
The MDC-LARP is a student loan repayment program for dentists. You must be a Maryland resident and a graduate of a U.S. dental school. It’s not based on need, but you could receive up to $23,740 per year for each year of obligated service up to a maximum of three years.
Nancy Grasmick Teacher Award
To be eligible to receive the Nancy Grasmick Teacher Award, you need to have taught in Maryland for the past two years and provide proof of your student loan debt. You must meet the LARP requirements to qualify.
To qualify for the Maryland SmartBuy homebuyer assistance and forgiveness program, you need to purchase a home owned by the state. If you have at least 5% for a down payment, the state of Maryland will provide up to 15% of the purchase price toward outstanding student loans.
Consolidating and refinancing Maryland student loans
If you’ve already graduated from college and aren’t sure how to tackle your student loans, you’ve got options.
Refinancing your student loans will replace multiple loans with a single loan. It also might lower your monthly payments. This is helpful if you’re struggling to make your payments, but it means you could take longer to pay off your loan.
Explore all your options when you’re planning to refinance and don’t settle. Consider the interest rate (is it fixed or variable?) and repayment term (is it five, 10, or 20 years?) to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
You also can look into consolidating your loans. If you have federal loans, you can explore Direct Loan Consolidation, which will combine your federal loans into one streamlined loan for easy payment.
Student loans don’t need to hold you back
Whether you’re exploring your options as you enter school or looking for ways to alleviate your debt after graduation, you have ways to save on student loans.
Land as much free money as you can through grants and scholarships before taking out student loans.
If you need loans, try federal student loans before you consider private options. It’s OK to get loans for school as long as you use them wisely.
Don’t let your Maryland student loans hold you back from financial freedom.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
|1 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
2 Important Disclosures for Discover.
3 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB) or Turnstile Capital Management, LLC (TCM), which are not affiliated entities. Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. All loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Other terms and conditions apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of TCM and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
* 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.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for PNC.
PNC Bank is one of the nation’s largest education loan providers. For over 40 years, PNC has been committed to helping students and their families make possible the adventure of college.
6 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
8 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
9 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|3.69% – 10.94%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CollegeAve|
|3.82% – 12.82%3||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Ascent|
|4.34% – 12.99%2||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Discover|
|4.12% – 10.98%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SallieMae|
|5.03% – 11.23%5||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit PNC|
|3.88% – 12.88%6||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SunTrust|
|4.72% – 9.81%7||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit LendKey|
|3.72% – 9.68%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CommonBond|
|4.04% – 12.01%9||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit Citizens|