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In the current economic environment, one impact of the credit crunch is that it’s getting harder than ever to obtain loans of all kinds, including student loans. Unfortunately, millions of Americans rely on loans to pay for a college education. That’s why roughly $730 billion in federal and private student loans are outstanding, and only 40% of it is currently being repaid, according to, which tracks student loans.

If you require loans to pay for your education – or your child’s – you need to arm yourself with information to be a smart borrower. Here are five facts you should know in order to do just that.

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