Going to college is a huge milestone! On the one hand, for many of us it's our first taste of adult life. But on the other hand, taking out loans for school can leave you with thousands of dollars in debt. So before you borrow, it's a really, really good idea to get the lowdown on student loans and make sure you totally understand what you're getting into.
In a nutshell, student loans are funds you borrow from the federal government or a private lender to pay for your post-secondary education. For federal loans, you apply through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is the same form you use to apply for financial aid.
To get a private loan, you need to go through a private lender or bank, and they will pull your credit report to determine if you're eligible for a loan.
All of this can add up to a pretty penny but remember, school is an investment in yourself and a great opportunity to learn who you are and about the world around you. And it's totally normal if you need a little financial help to make it happen.