A. To receive a federal loan, you must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal loans are funded by the government, while private student loans are funded by a bank, credit union or online lender.  

Federal student loans offer borrowers protections and alternative repayment options that private loans may not, such as income-based repayment or forgiveness programs. Federal student loans have flat interest rates set by Congress, while private loans interest rates depend on the borrower’s or co-signer’s credit.  

Always remember that any money borrowed will have to be paid back with interest and sometimes fees!