The current credit crunch has students and parents concerned about whether they will be able to get the loans they need to cover college costs. The good news is that federal student loans are and will remain widely available to students and families at all income levels. These loans come with government-guaranteed benefits: affordable, fixed interest rates; substantial borrower protections; and new repayment and forgiveness options. However, the small percentage of undergraduates who use private, non-federal loans are likely to face stricter credit standards and possibly higher prices. Students and parents should only consider private loans as a last resort because of their high risks and costs.