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Is it Financially Sound to Get a Nursing Education Loan?

Paying for nursing school can be expensive. While there are scholarships and grants available, you may find that they don't quite cover your costs. Another option to help offset the cost of school is with a nursing education loan. However, getting a loan is a big commitment, and can be a little intimidating. It can affect your credit, and though you get money up front to pay for school, you have to remember that loans have to be paid back. So before you decide to get a student loan, you should decide whether or not it's a good idea for you. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to start evaluating whether or not a loan is a good option.

How is your credit?

When you apply for grants and scholarships, the criteria often focuses around your academic side. That is, the financial institutions and organizations look at your grade point average, your academic major, your volunteer work, and other factors like that. Loans, on the other hand, look at your financial side. They evaluate how much money you need, what your expenses are, and what your income is to determine how large or small your loan will be. Financial institutions also look at your credit. This helps them determine your ability to pay back the loan. If you have poor credit, you may not qualify for a nursing education loan at all.

How is your budget?

Depending on the type of loan you get, you may have to make monthly payments while you're still in school. Unsubsidized loans begin charging interest from the time the money is borrowed. These usually require payments right away. Subsidized loans, on the other hand, usually don't require payments until you're finished with school. Regardless of the type of loan you get, you will have to make payments eventually. If you're unable to make your payments, it can affect your credit rating, so it's important to make payments, and to make them on time. Can your budget sustain monthly payments on top of your normal expenses?

What are your long term plans?

Though it may not seem relevant, your long term plans should be taken into consideration when you look into getting a nursing education loan, especially if it's a subsidized loan that you'll need to start making monthly payments on once you're done with school. Do you plan to go to work right away after getting your nursing license? Do you plan to continue school to get a higher degree? What type of work do you want to do once you've graduated and gotten your license? These are all questions that can affect your ability to pay back your student loan. Your long term plans can also determine your eligibility for a loan forgiveness program, if that's something you're interested in researching.

Getting a student loan to offset the costs of nursing school can be a good idea, but may not be for everyone. It's important to take the time to evaluate your individual needs and situation to decide if applying for a nursing education loan would be a financially sound decision, or whether you should try to find other ways to help fund your nursing education. By taking a close look at your financial situation, including your credit, you'll be able to take the first steps to decide if a loan is right for you.

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