Find out how you can get the right student loan to pay for your college expenses.
When it is the time to get through to the college of your choice there is always the hurdle of money coming in between. You may get a scholarship but that in itself is not enough to keep all the other factors under control.
Types Of Loans Available
First and foremost it is crucial that you know four types of Direct Loans available to students at present are.
- Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at a college or career school.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but eligibility is not based on financial need.
- Direct PLUS Loans are loans made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Eligibility is not based on financial need, but a credit check is required. Borrowers who have an adverse credit history must meet additional requirements to qualify.
- Direct Consolidation Loans allow you to combine all of your eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer.
1. Document Preparation
When you decide that you would need a student loan you would also have to set up all your documents in place. To apply for the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) here is a list of documents required:
- SSN no.
- Date of birth
- Address both yours and your parents
- A list of all the schools where you plan to apply with details
- Tax returns for your parents
- Income information for parents
- Last two years AGI
- Scholarship or grants if you have received
2. Filling Out FAFSA
Whatever type of loan you intend to take you would have to fill the FAFSA form. In order to maximize your funding, you should submit this form as early as possible. In case you may not be considered eligible for a loan you might just manage to get one from the school itself.
3. Review Of The Student Aid Report
After few weeks you can review your student aid report. If you have given an email your report should be mailed to you. However, if that does not happen there is another way in which you can check the same.
- First, open webpage FAFSA.gov.
- Next click “log in”
- Enter your FSA id in the space given
- You can now proceed to “My FAFSA” page
- Finally, click on “View or print your student aid report”.
4. College Board CSS Profile
You can apply on the College board CSS profile page to know if you can receive any institutional aid. Go through the below steps to be able to do so.
- Sign up for a College Board account.
- Next, visit CSSProfile.org and sign in using your previous information
- Go to “Begin new profile”
- Select all the schools that you want to apply to
- Give all the other information that is needed.
5. Have A Look At Your Financial Aid Letter
Once schools receive your FAFSA they would in all likelihood send you back a financial aid reward letter. You would have to go through the letter and understand how much financial aid you would get. A normal financial aid reward letter provides the following details:
- An estimation of how much your cost of attendance would be. Basically the cost you would incur for one year of attending school there.
- The expected family contribution which indicates how much money you would have to pool in from your side.
- You will be given the federal loan amount that you would be getting. This amount you would have to pay back along with interest.
- If you are eligible for a grant or scholarship you would receive information about the same. This money you do not have to pay back to them.
6. Know How You Can Receive Funds
Though each school has different procedures of giving funds for most of them it is done after a round of counseling and signing of a promissory note from your side.
The document would be giving you all the details of your loan and how you have to repay it. In case there is any confusion check with the school’s financial aid department to know the steps you have to undertake to get the money.
7. Applying For Private Student Loans
In case the federal loan you are receiving is not enough to meet your needs you would have to consider applying for private student loans.
Private student loans can cover the gap between what you need for school and any federal student aid you receive, including grants, loans and work-study pay, as well as how much you can afford to pay toward your school expenses.
To get the chance to receive one you would need to have a cosigner who can sign that loan for you. However, remember that private loans cannot fall into the forgiveness criteria and once taken you to have to repay at any cost.
Finding the perfect student loan for yourself can be a tough task. By being aware of the requirements you can apply early and thus increase your chances of getting approved.
Make sure to keep following up so that if there are any glitches in the procedure you can take remedial steps to remove them quickly.