College 101: Student loans

@Money

The cost of college has risen so sharply that few students can pay all their bills with scholarships, savings or earnings. Most have to borrow at least a little bit.

While no one likes to borrow, the good news is that today's federal student loans are much easier on students than those of the past.

So if you stick with the federal loan programs, and can limit your borrowing to an average of about $6,500 a year, you should be able to handle your payments when you graduate.

Here is a guide on how to borrow for college cheaply and safely.

Student loans: The basics. While student loans can help you afford a steep college bill, there are many pitfalls they present as well. Here are three basic types of student loans and what you need to know.

What are the best student loans? Federal student loans are generally the best type of student loans you can get. Here's what you need to know about each of your federal student loan options.

Repaying your student loans. Soon after you leave school you have to start paying your student loans. Here are some of the payment options that can reduce the pain of those bills.

Student loan tools and resources. More advice and resources to help you select the best student loan.

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