Getting a federal loan is a very good thing; anyone would agree with that. However, the most common misconception is that “the loan is given by the government directly to the students, and after they have graduated, they do not need to pay” This may sound misleading, but in fact it is what many people believe is the way it works.
A federal loan is usually given through an institution, usually a common financial institution that the students know of. This loan can be divided into two different forms; the subsidized and unsubsidized student loan. So how does an unsubsidized loan differ from a subsidized one? Technically, the subsidized student loan and unsubsidized student loan do not differ much in nature.
Firstly, both the subsidized and unsubsidized student loan is equally guaranteed by the US Department of Education. This can be either directly or through certain guarantee agencies. All students are equally eligible to receive both the loan types, although certain distinction may apply to determine the subsidization. But there is no distinction of credit scores or other financial issues, except for the factor of family income.
Secondly, both the subsidized and unsubsidized student loan offers a grace period of six months. This is a common grace period given by almost all kinds of student loans. This would mean that the student does not need to pay until six months after his graduation. Another alternative would be three months after the student becomes a less-than-full-time student without graduating, meaning that even before one complete his studies, he starts working part-time. Both the loan types offer the same amount of loan limit.
The difference lies in the interest. For the subsidized student loan, the government pledges to pay the interest to the moneylender while the student is studying. For the unsubsidized student loan, the student pays his own, although it varies according to his financial capacity almost every year. For example, if the student borrows $2600 a year, for unsubsidized student loan repayment, he has to pay back $2600 plus interest. For a subsidized one, he only pays the $2600.
Although the difference is only in the interest, it is a significant difference as it can make or break your monthly budget especially if you are just out of college and looking for a decent job. Therefore, wherever and whenever possible, try to secure a subsidized loan; it will make a huge difference when repayment time arrives.