The Ultimate Guide To Borrow or Refinance Texas Student Loans
Updated On September 25, 2022
Editorial Note: This content is based solely on the author's opinions and is not provided, approved, endorsed or reviewed by any financial institution or partner.
If you live in Texas and are looking for the best way to borrow student loans or refinance Texas student loans, then this is the guide for you.
From Houston to Dallas and San Antonio to Austin, Texas is known for great people, great barbecue, and of course, great football.
In this ultimate guide to student loans, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Texas student loans, including how to borrow Texas student loans and how to refinance Texas student loans.
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Student Loans Texas
There are many options for Texas student loans. Texas has approximately 150 colleges and universities that serve over 800,000 students. There are six state university systems covering Texas: University of Houston, University of North Texas, University of Texas, Texas A&M University, Texas State University, and Texas Tech University.
Here are the best student loans in Texas and the best Texas state student loans, including low interest student loan options.
Texas Student Loans: College Access Loan Program
The College Access Loan Program, or CAL, provides alternative educational loans to Texas students who are unable to meet the cost of attendance. The amount of federal student loans that a student is eligible for must be deducted from the cost of attendance in determining the CAL loan amount.
Here are the requirements to qualify for the CAL Program:
- You must be a Texas resident and accepted for enrollment and enrolled at least half-time in a course of study leading to a certificate, an associate, bachelor’s, graduate, or higher degree; or an approved alternative educator certification program.
- You must meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements set by the institution;
- You must receive a favorable credit evaluation or provide a cosigner who has good credit standing and meets other requirements.
You can apply online for the CAL Program. The minimum amount to borrow is $100 and the interest rate is 6.6%. Student loan repayment for this Texas state student loans program begins after a six-month grace period. If your student loan balance is less than $30,000, the student loan repayment period is 10 years. If your student loan balance is greater than $30,000, the student loan repayment period is 20 years.
Texas Higher Education Student Loans: Private Student Loans Texas
If you’re looking for the best student loans in Texas, another great program is through the Higher Education Servicing Program. The HESC is a non-profit organization that helps Texas students to borrow student loans or refinance existing student loans.
There are three categories of Texas student loans through the HESC: student loans, sponsor loans and consolidation loans.
Student loans are for students, sponsor loans are for parents or other sponsors, and consolidation loans help you to repay student loans. As a student, you can still apply for student loans with a co-signer.
If you want to refinance student loans, HESC does not refinance Direct Loans from the federal government, which are federal student loans. So, you can refinance student loans with other student lenders, and here are the latest rates.
HESC offers three main programs for Texas student loans:
Student Loans Texas: Texas Extra Credit Education Loans
Under this program, you can borrow $1,000 – $65,000, which is repayable over a 10- or 15-year student loan repayment term. There are no origination fees, and both variable and fixed interest rate options are offered.
There is a co-signer release after 24 months, if you decide to apply with a co-signer. There is also three options for repayment: immediate, interest-only or deferred.
Student Loans Texas: Greater Texas Federal Credit Union Loans
The Greater Texas Federal Credit Union offers student loans ranging from $1,000 – $50,000. The repayment terms of these student loans is 10 years.
There are no origination fees, and both variable and fixed interest rate options are offered. There are also three options for repayment: immediate, interest-only or deferred.
Student Loans Texas: Baptist Credit Union Loans
With Baptist Credit Union Loans, you can borrow student loans from $1,000 – $25,000. There are no origination fees, and the repayment term is 10 years, with either immediate or interest-only repayment.
There are other trusted student loan lenders from whom to borrow private student loans. Here are the best private student loans options with excellent reputations.
Texas Student Loans: Federal Student Loans
Texas residents also have access to federal student loans, which are issued through the federal government. It’s best to apply for federal student loans in addition to scholarships and grants. Federal student loans come with certain borrower protections such as deferment and forbearance, which can help you if you lose your job or face financial hardship.
Federal student loans are open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are enrolled at least half time and who are working toward a degree. Your school also must participate in the Direct Loan program. With federal student loans, each borrower receives the same student loan rate. There are no credit checks.
To apply for federal student loans, you should complete the FAFSA, which is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Student Loans Texas: Direct Loans
There are two primary types of Direct Loans: subsidized student loans and unsubsidized student loans. Subsidized student loans are subsidized by the federal government while you are school. Therefore, you do not owe interest during this period. Unsubsidized student loans are not subsidized by the federal government, and therefore you owe interest on these student loans while you’re in school.
If you have financial need, you can receive subsidized federal student loans. However, since borrowing limits are relatively low with subsidized student loans, the remainder of your federal student loans will be unsubsidized student loans.
With Direct Loans, there is a six-month grace period after graduation, meaning your student loans do not have to start repayment until six months after graduation. You should be aware that unsubsidized student loans will accrue interest during this time period.
There are several repayment options for federal student loans. The standard student loan repayment period for a federal student loan is 10 years. There are several income-driven repayment plans such as PAYE and REPAYE that enable you to make payments on your student loans based on your income. You can pay as little as $0 per month under some income-driven repayment programs, and also receive student loan forgiveness if you meet certain requirements for these income-driven repayment plans.
You can consolidate your federal student loans into a single Direct Consolidation Loan, The advantage of consolidating federal student loans is that you will make a single monthly payment with one interest rate. A Direct Consolidation Loan also helps you to organize your federal student loans and monthly payments. The disadvantage is that you won’t save money because the interest rate is equal to a weighted average of your current interest rates on federal student loans, rounded up to the nearest 1/8%.
If you work in public service or as a teacher, you could qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness or the Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness program.
Student Loans Texas: Parent PLUS Loans
If you are a parent or guardian, you can borrow a Parent PLUS Loan through the federal government on a child’s behalf. Most parents qualify for a Parent PLUS Loan, although you cannot have an adverse credit history.
When it comes to Parent PLUS Loan repayment, there are fewer options compared with student loans. However, you can refinance Parent PLUS Loans to get a lower interest rate.
Student Loans Texas: Refinancing Student Loans
Student loan refinancing is one of the best ways to repay your student loans faster and save money. With student loan refinancing, you can refinance federal student loans, private student loans or both. When you refinance student loans, you receive a new student loan with a lower interest rate, the proceeds of which are used to repay your old student loans. Often, you can choose your repayment term, typically from 5-20 years.
This student loan refinancing calculator shows you how much money you can save when you refinance Texas student loans.
You can check out the latest student loan refinancing rates and see which student loan refinance options are best for you.