Student loans are the most common method of financing massage therapy school. A person borrows money, signs a legally binding contract, and receives the money. The government has two types of loan programs. There are the subsidized and unsubsidized programs. Subsidized means the government pays the interest up until six months after a student graduates. A Federal Stafford Student Loan comes in both forms. The subsidized Federal Stafford Student Loan has an interest rate of 4.5 percent, and the government pays the interest until a student graduates. The unsubsidized Federal Stafford Student Loan is for any student and its interest rate is at 6.8 percent. Students pay on the interest while in school. The Federal Perkins Loan is need based and subsidized. These student loans are reserved for students with the most financial need. The interest rate is at 5 percent, and loans are not paid back until after graduation. More advantages of these loans are that a student does not need a credit history to apply and that there is flexibility in payment schedules.
The Federal Plus Loan program is unsubsidized and for parents or guardians. These loans are not based on need. Parents can borrow the entire cost of a college education. It has flexible repayment schedules for up to ten years. The fixed interest rate is at 7.9 percent, and the loan requires a minimum credit check.
Private loans from financial institutions are another source of funding. Private loan funding is based on creditworthiness. A student or family needs to compare different student loans to find the best bargain. The following are factors to consider when comparing student loans: origination and guarantee fees, repayment terms, and minimum and maximum loan amounts. Check with lenders if cosigners will lessen the interest rate. These loans are found at banks, college and universities, state agencies, and private foundations.
Once a student receives a financial aid package it is important they understand what the borrowing means. Determine what you need. A student does not have to use all they borrowed. It is better to accept only what you can use. Understand what the offer means and how it all works. Deadlines and paperwork after receiving a loan are important. Do not be surprised if fees show up on your loan papers. The fees are subtracted from the loan amount.
Many massage therapy schools have a financial aid office and counselors. They would be your best source to help you through this process and make you aware of your options.