By unigoofficeMost students go to college with the hopes of finding good, well-paying jobs. However, you typically have to wait for that “well-paying” part until after graduation. With the rising costs of college, many students need some extra money to help cover school expenses like tuition, boarding, food, books, and more. As a result, more college freshmen are turning to student loans. If you’re considering a student loan to help make ends meet, paying for your education may be your first major purchase — and your first major exposure to the lending and payback process. The average student who utilizes student loans will borrow an average of nearly $30,000 to pay for educational expenses, according to a recent report by The Project on Student Debt. While taking out student loans is a necessity for many students, it’s important to know the responsibility you are taking on. For example, do you know the APR rate for the loans you are applying for? Did you take the time to calculate what your payment amounts will be when you graduate and enter the repayment period? Even with a college degree, the percentage of students who are able to secure employment immediately following graduation continues to drop. Unemployment for new college graduates is currently around 8.5 percent, while the rate for the entire country is only at 6.3 percent. With the tough job economy, many college graduates are taking part-time jobs or are “underemployed” in fields that are not fully utilizing their degrees. The six-month grace period for student loan repayment runs out quickly, so it’s important to know your options if you find yourself unable to meet your student debt repayment obligations. It’s also important to understand what it means to default, or what the consequences of defaulting on a loan can mean for your immediate and long-term futures? Parents of students who take out student loans should take the time to discuss the obligations and implications of student loan debt with their children. If parents co-sign for private loans (federal loans don’t require a co-signer), they will be just as liable for loan payments as the students. Summertime is the perfect time to research the types of student loans available and to learn more about the responsibilities they entail. For more information about loans, as well other sources of funding for college, check out eStudentLoan.com.