If you have plans for higher education after high school, you need a way to pay for it. The average graduate leaves college with $37,000 in debt. That’s a big debt to start adulthood with – but it’s necessary to get the education you need. Before you take just any student loan offered to you, learn about the best student loan companies, what to look for, and how to apply for top student loans. A student loan is money you borrow from the government or a private lender to pay for college (tuition, room, and board, and various other fees).