Future Undergraduate Student Loan Advice

Thursday, June 25, 2020

High school students who are thinking about going to college will want to read up on advice for taking on undergraduate student loans.

High school students who are thinking of going to college after earning their high school diploma may have to consider taking on undergraduate student loans.

Once taking on a student loan, students will have a great responsibility.

What are some things to take note of?

You can work on student loan plans with the following steps:

Reach out to your financial aid office regarding any FAFSA changes.

It is quite possible that you and your family may be in a tight financial situation due to the health and economic crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic. If so, the information you submitted previously on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, has now changed for this year.

Did your financial situation change substantially? If the answer is yes, contact your school’s financial aid office and request an adjustment called “professional judgment.” Doing so may help you gain access to more loans or other types of financial aid.

Look up your student loan servicer and make sure your information is up to date.

Always make sure that your student loan servicer has your latest address and contact information. This way, you don’t miss any important communication related to your student loans.

Loan services collect monthly payments and manage student loan accounts on behalf of the federal government. With multiple federal student loans, you may have more than one servicer and therefore receive several student loan statements—one from each one. Find federal student loan servicers and contact information at StudentAid.gov.

Check your remaining student loan balance.

Keep yourself updated regarding how much you borrow in student loans each year. This way, you can keep track of how it adds up over time. Not paying attention makes it easy to graduate with a large student loan balance that will shock you.

Use the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement tool at StudentAid.gov. For any private loans, contact your servicer or lender and request your current balance.

Take time to look for privately sourced scholarships.

You may have a difficult time finding a full-ride scholarship if you are already in college, but you are likely able to find smaller private awards that can help go towards expenses such as textbooks and rent. Remember, every dollar counts!

Take a look at local scholarships that are available. They may be smaller in amount, but also less competitive than national scholarships. Try searching the internet for organizations that offer scholarships and use new money to lower the amount you borrow in student loans for the following academic year.

Compare any interest rates on private student loans.

You probably borrowed a private student loan to pay off any gaps between tuition cost and financial aid awards or federal loans. Use the summer to compare rates.

You do not have to borrow loans from the same lender each year. As such, you will want to make sure that you are getting the best rate possible.

You may even want to consider borrowing from a nonprofit or state-based organization. These lenders follow strong consumer protections and offer loan options with little to no origination fees and fixed interest rates.

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