Student loans 17 January 2023

How To Get Student Loans For Online Colleges

Here is an explanation on how you can get federal and private student loans for online college.

Getting a higher education allows one great career opportunities and opens the door to success but it will cost you! Fortunately, student loans are the alternative means to securing educational access. In addition to traditional brick-and-mortar colleges, student loans are also available for online colleges. Those, who attend an online college, may be eligible for federal student loans, private student loans and other forms of financial aid.

Taking out a loan or applying for financial aid can help cover tuition costs and other associated expenses such as books, technology, etc. But first, you must understand the steps involved in getting a student loan to ensure that you get the most appropriate financing.

Ensure that the College is Accredited

In order to qualify for federal student loans, the online college must first be accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The college must also have a valid school code that allows them to receive federal aid. Once these requirements are met, you can then apply for federal student loans. Luckily, such loans come with lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options.

Private student loans are also available for those who don’t meet the requirements for federal aid or need additional funds. Private student loan lenders typically require a credit check, so it’s important to understand the terms and conditions before signing on the dotted line. 

Federal Loans for Online College

The most common type of federal loan available for online college students is the Direct Subsidized Loan. With this loan, the government covers the interest while the student is enrolled in school for up to six months after graduation. This can help make college more affordable for those who don’t have the funds to pay for tuition up front. Direct Subsidized Loans are only available to students who demonstrate financial need, so it’s important to understand the eligibility requirements before applying. 

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are another type of federal loan available to online college students. These loans do not require the student to demonstrate financial need and allow them to borrow more money than with a Subsidized Loan. However, these loans come with higher interest rates and have less flexible repayment options. Additionally, students who take out an Unsubsidized Loan are responsible for paying interest during their studies as well as after graduation. 

Direct PLUS Loans are a type of federal loan specifically for graduate students attending an online college. These loans allow students to borrow up to the total cost of their education, minus any other financial aid they receive. Unlike Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans, these loans do not require the student to demonstrate financial need and come with higher interest rates. Additionally, these loans are subject to a credit check and have less flexible repayment options. 

Steps to apply for Federal Loans

Applying for Federal Loans is always free and requires a few steps. Read below to understand the exact procedure.

  1. Gather all of the necessary documents. This includes financial aid forms, tax returns, banking information, and proof of enrollment at the online college. 
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. This will help determine what type of loans are available and if you qualify for any grants or other forms of aid.
  3. Submit the FAFSA form and all necessary documents to the financial aid office at your online college.
  4. Once you receive an award letter, review it carefully to determine which loans are the most beneficial for you.
  5. Contact the lender and complete the loan application process. This includes signing any necessary documents and providing proof of identity.
  6. Make sure to stay on top of payments once your loan starts disbursing funds. Keep track of interest rates, repayment terms, and due dates so you don’t fall behind on payments.

Private Loans

Private student loans are also a great option for students attending online colleges. These loans are offered by banks, credit unions, and other private lenders and can help cover the cost of tuition when federal loans aren’t enough. Private student loans come with higher interest rates than federal loans and have less flexible repayment options. Before taking out a private loan, it’s important to compare rates and terms from different lenders and read the fine print for each loan. Additionally, it’s important to understand how interest will accrue on the loan and what your repayment plan will look like once you graduate. 

If you know your loan amount and interest rate you can easily calculate your monthly payment here:

Enter your loan information

Loan amount

Interest rate

Loan term

Steps to apply for Private Loans

Applying for private loans is a little different than those of federal loans. You can follow the steps below for private student loans.

  1. Research and compare private loan providers to find the best terms for your situation.
  2. Gather all of the necessary documents including proof of enrollment, tax forms, banking information, etc.
  3. Apply for the loan online or with a paper application.
  4. Receive an offer from the lender and compare it to other offers.
  5. Read all of the terms and conditions before signing the loan agreement.
  6. Make sure you understand how interest accrues, the repayment plan, and what your options are for refinancing or consolidating if needed.
  7. Monitor your loan and make payments on time in order to avoid any late fees or penalties.

Deadlines & Loan Limits

Be aware of deadlines and loan limits when taking out loans for your online colleges. There are many government regulations in place that limit the amount of loans students receive and when they repay them. If a student exceeds their loan limits or doesn’t make payments on time, they could face serious financial consequences such as late fees, penalties, or even having the loan sent to collections.

It’s important to be aware of these limits and deadlines in order to avoid any potential problems down the road. Additionally, it’s important to know where you can seek help if you need assistance with student loans or have difficulty making payments. 


Can you get student loans for online college?

Yes, it is possible to get student loans for online college. Federal loans are available to eligible students who attend accredited programs, and there are also private lenders who offer loans to online students. You can see our comparison chart for more details.

Do Federal loans cover online colleges?

Yes, federal loans are available to students attending online colleges. Eligible students can apply for subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans to help cover the cost of tuition, fees, and other educational expenses.

How do I apply for loans for online colleges?

In order to apply for loans for online colleges, you must first meet the eligibility requirements and fill out an application. You will need proof of enrollment in an accredited program, tax forms, and banking information. After your application is approved, you will receive an offer from the lender that outlines the terms and conditions of your loan. Before signing the agreement, you should read all of the information carefully, so you understand how interest will accrue.

Final thoughts

Taking out student loans for online colleges can be a great way to help you meet your educational goals. However, it’s important to do your research and understand the loan terms before signing anything so that you are aware of potential risks and repayment requirements. By being informed, you can find the best loan option that fits your needs.