Student loans are a helpful accessory when you need to cover costs when deciding to further your education, including housing and tuition. Student loans are there to be financial lifesavers when grants or scholarships leave your school funding a little short. There are federal loans available as well as private student loans that will help with the financial overload. Loan consolidation is another helpful tool when borrowed loans are at the repayment period and you are feeling overwhelmed.Federally funded student loans can be applied for online. FAFSA is an online free application for federal student aid. This program is available for both students and parents looking to apply for financial help. The application has seven steps that will ask you questions regarding your personal information, your school and plans, and financial information. The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students, or PLUS, is a loan program that relies on a good credit rating in exchange for helping with the financial needs of your student. This low interest rate program will help cover not only tuition costs, but also housing, books, and supplies. This student loan can be applied for online or through the mail.Private student loans are loans that are not offered through the federal government. They are available through banks or other financial institutions. This type of loan is offered to both undergraduates and graduates and it helps to cover school expenses when federal student aid does not cover your those leftover expenses. Private student loan applications can be found online and you are subject to a credit review by the potential lender. Your own credit or your parent’s credit is open for review and a co-signer may be needed if either credit rating is not approved for the loan. Obtain an application for your private student loan through your lender of choice or their online website, if applicable.Student loan consolidation becomes your best friend when the repayment period of your student loans becomes overwhelming. Loan consolidation will give you a break and put your various loans into one low monthly payment instead of various repayment dates with different amounts to pay for each loan. The Sallie Mae foundation is an excellent example of a loan consolidation program. All you have to do is visit their website and you have the option of downloading the application and sending it through the mail or filling it out online and applying for it right that second. It is a simple way to achieve student loan consolidation and it will give you the well-deserved sigh of relief and piece of mind.copyright 2005, 4th Media Corporation.