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College Beat: Student Loan Tips!
Written by Christi Given | July 11, 2014
PI ladies, many of you are likely approaching college, desiring to go to college or currently in college. If you’re a grad, this article may help you as well!
First and foremost, if you are about to be in college and don’t know where you want to attend, figuring it out is the first step in finding out how much your education will cost you. Read “7 Tips for Choosing a College” to learn how to pick a school.
Now, I want to give you some student loan tips and help!
Tip #1: Know how much your education costs.
This will help you plan financially and understand what type of loans or grants you’ll need or what you’ll owe.
It’s important to make sure you understand how much you owe because interest can add up! Just like a credit card, it will accumulate over time.
Tip #2: Pay something toward your loans.
Many students are able to defer their loans based on recently graduating or because of low income. But make sure once you’re on your feet in your career, you begin to make payments, even if they are smaller amounts. The little will add up over time.
According to studentaid.ed.gov, there are “grace periods” for different types of loans. There are usually four to five different types: Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, Subsidized Federal Loans, Unsubsidized Federal Loans, plus Federal Perkins Loans and other loans. I know the names are all confusing with the subsidized and unsubsidized. What the difference is with subsidized is that it usually means you have a financial need, whereas unsubsidized there are no requirements for financial need. Both can be deferred, but according to some financial aid sites, a subsidized loan is better long-term because the size of the loan is decided by your school and your need.
Also, during your deferment you won’t be charged with interest on your subsidized loan, at least during the six-month grace period, which is a bonus. The downside of unsubsidized loans is that “You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).” Read more here.
Tip #3: Consolidate your loans.
This will help you make payments monthly and will lessen the confusion with the different loans. Get a printout from your lender and/or call your school to find out more information through the financial aid office.
Tip #4: Look into forgiveness programs if you’re struggling financially.
The right thing to do is to pay back what you owe, but there are people who are struggling in the financial area, barely getting by to eat and pay their bills. Hopefully with your degree, which you invested in, you will be able to return what was borrowed. These programs should be used solely in dire emergencies such as a family crisis or other financial breakdown. There are different types of programs to help those in need. For example, there is the “Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program,” which obviously has qualifications for full-time teachers.
Tip #5: Apply for government aid (FAFSA) if you’re just entering college.
You may be qualified for financial aid through the government. If you’re living in a single-parent household or are in a low-income family, you may be able to get financial assistance (free grants) from the government to help pay for books and other resources.
Go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa for more information on how to apply.
Tip #6: Be faithful in the little, and you will be entrusted with more.
If you can be faithful doing little by little, even if your student loans seem monumental, remember: It’s always good to do what you can do in your best efforts! God sees the little and will honor that (Luke 16:10).
PI Girls, do you have any tips or advice for those going to a university or transferring to a new college? Comment below!