4 Ways You Can Get Student Loans for Trade School

Updated on April 7, 2024

At a Glance

  • Explore federal loan programs first, as they often provide lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options.
  • If federal loans do not cover all costs, private loans from lenders such as Sallie Mae and Citizens Bank can help bridge the gap.
  • Interest rates vary between lenders, so it’s beneficial to compare rates to find the best deal.
  • Consider loans that provide flexible repayment terms, grace periods, and income-driven repayment plans.

Getting a student loan for trade school can seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we will explore the four best ways you can secure the funding you need to pursue your dreams in the trade industry

Whether you’re interested in plumbing, carpentry, or becoming an electrician, these options will help you get on the fast track to success. So, let’s dive in and explore your options!

1. Apply for Federal Student Loans for Trade Schools

If you’re attending an eligible trade school, one of the first places you should look for student loans is the federal government. They offer a wide range of loan programs specifically designed for trade and vocational schools. These loans often have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options compared to private loans.

When it comes to financing your trade school education, exploring federal loan options can be a game-changer. Here are some of the available choices:

  • The Federal Perkins Loan – this is a popular choice among students with exceptional financial need. This loan not only offers generous terms and conditions but also provides borrowers with the opportunity to have their loan canceled or forgiven under certain circumstances.
  • The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan – this loan is available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. What sets this loan apart is that the government pays the interest on the loan while the borrower is in school, during the grace period, and during any deferment periods. This can significantly reduce the overall cost of borrowing and make it more manageable for students pursuing trade school education.

It’s important to note that federal loans for trade schools are not limited to just the Perkins Loan and Direct Subsidized Loan. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Direct PLUS Loan, and Federal Work-Study program are among the other options available. Each of these programs has its own features and benefits, allowing students to choose the one that best suits their needs.

Things You Should Know When It Comes to Federal Loans

Federal loans offer various repayment plans to accommodate different financial situations. For instance, the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan caps monthly payments at a percentage of the borrower’s income, making it more affordable for those with lower incomes. 

Additionally, the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) plans also base monthly payments on income but offer different eligibility criteria and repayment terms.

When considering federal loans, it’s crucial to understand the application process and deadlines. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the key to unlocking federal financial aid. By completing the FAFSA, students provide the necessary information to determine their eligibility for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. It’s recommended to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible to maximize the chances of receiving aid.

In conclusion, federal student loans offer a wide range of options and benefits for students attending trade schools. From the Perkins Loan to the Direct Subsidized Loan, these loans provide lower interest rates, flexible repayment options, and potential loan forgiveness. By exploring federal loan programs and understanding the application process, students can make informed decisions about financing their trade school education.

2. Compare Private Student Loans for Trade Schools

If federal loans don’t quite meet your needs or if your trade school isn’t eligible for federal funding, don’t worry! There are still plenty of private loan options out there. One of the top private lenders for trade school student loans is Sallie Mae.

When it comes to financing your trade school education, it’s important to explore all your options. While federal loans are often the first choice for many students, they may not always cover the full cost of attendance. That’s where private student loans come in. These loans, offered by private lenders like Sallie Mae and Citizens Bank, can help bridge the gap and provide the funding you need to pursue your vocational or trade program.

Sallie Mae Career Training Smart Option Student Loan

Sallie Mae offers the Career Training Smart Option Student Loan, specifically designed to help students pursuing vocational and trade programs. This loan features competitive interest rates, no origination fees, and flexible repayment options. Plus, you can qualify for an interest rate reduction if you sign up for automatic payment deductions.

With the Sallie Mae Career Training Smart Option Student Loan, you can borrow up to the total cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, books, supplies, and even living expenses. This means you won’t have to worry about covering any out-of-pocket expenses while you focus on your education.

What sets Sallie Mae apart from other lenders is their commitment to helping students succeed. They offer resources and tools to help you make informed decisions about your education and finances. From their online loan calculator to their personalized loan repayment assistance, Sallie Mae is dedicated to supporting you every step of the way.

Citizens Bank

Another private lender to consider is Citizens Bank. They offer private student loans for trade schools with competitive rates and customizable loan terms. Don’t be afraid to shop around and compare different lenders to find the best option for you.

Private Student Loans – Factors to Consider 

When comparing private student loans, it’s important to consider factors such as interest rates, repayment terms, and any additional fees or benefits offered by the lender. Take the time to research and compare multiple lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Remember, choosing the right student loan is a big financial decision. It’s crucial to understand the terms and conditions of the loan before signing any agreements. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to the lender directly for clarification.

Ultimately, private student loans can be a valuable tool for financing your trade school education. Whether you choose Sallie Mae, Citizens Bank, or another reputable lender, make sure to carefully consider your options and choose the loan that best fits your needs and financial situation.

3. Search Around For Your Best Interest Rate

Did you know that different lenders offer different interest rates? So, it’s essential to take the time to search around and compare interest rates to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. Even a small difference in interest rates can add up to significant savings over the life of your loan.

Start by checking out online loan comparison websites or contacting local banks and credit unions to inquire about their rates and loan terms. Once you have a few offers in hand, take a closer look at the details. Don’t forget to consider other factors like repayment options and any fees associated with the loan.

4. Look For Flexible Repayment Terms

Trade school programs can vary in duration, so it’s crucial to find a loan that offers flexibility in repayment terms. Look for loans that provide grace periods, deferment options, and even income-driven repayment plans. These features can help ease the financial burden while you focus on getting your trade education.

Additionally, some loan programs offer rewards for on-time payments or even forgiveness options if you work in specific fields after graduation. Exploring these options can help you find a loan that aligns with your long-term financial goals.

How to Get Student Loans for Your Trade School Education

By now, you have a better understanding of the options available for getting student loans for trade school. Remember to start by exploring federal loan programs and then compare private lenders for the best rates and terms. Don’t forget to research and consider flexible repayment options to ensure a smooth journey through your trade school education.

Final Thoughts

Getting a student loan for trade school doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a bit of research and careful consideration, you can find the right loan to finance your education and kickstart your career. So, go out there, chase your dreams in the trade industry, and let your hard work and dedication pay off!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a trade school?

A trade school, also known as a technical or vocational school, is an educational institution that focuses on job-specific training to prepare students for a specific occupation.

What are the benefits of attending a trade school?

Trade schools offer focused, hands-on training for specific careers, which often takes less time than traditional college degrees. Graduates are typically ready to begin working in their chosen field immediately after graduation.

What is a federal student loan?

A federal student loan is a loan funded by the federal government. These loans often have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms than private student loans.

What is a private student loan?

A private student loan is a loan provided by a private lender, such as a bank or credit union. These loans can supplement federal loans if they don’t cover all the costs associated with attending trade school.

How do I apply for a federal student loan?

You can apply for a federal student loan by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

How do I apply for a private student loan?

You can apply for a private student loan directly through a private lender’s website or in person at a bank or credit union.

What is the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan?

The government pays the interest on subsidized loans while you’re in school and during grace and deferment periods. With unsubsidized loans, you’re responsible for all the interest that accrues.

What is an interest rate?

An interest rate is the amount lenders charge borrowers to borrow their money. It’s usually expressed as a percentage of the loan amount.

What are flexible repayment terms?

Flexible repayment terms allow you to choose a repayment plan that fits your financial situation. This could include options for income-driven repayment, extended repayment, or graduated repayment.

Can I have my student loans forgiven?

Yes, under certain circumstances, such as working in a public service job or teaching in a low-income school, you may be eligible for student loan forgiveness programs.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.

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