Monthly archive April, 2008
The FFEL Stafford and Direct student loan programs, the most common loans available to students nation wide, involve the coordination of a number of different agencies. This can include more than you might think. In addition to you – the student, your school’s financial aid office, private lender banks, the federal government, guarantor agencies, and loan servicing companies are all working together to get your loan funds to you. With all these people working together, doing your part to keep the system moving smoothly can be relatively simple. One of simplest and most bennificial things you can do is complete your student loan entrance and exit counseling promptly and accurately. Entrance counseling is part of the “paperwork” you do before taking out your first student loan. Parts of it include reference and contact information for you (info that the other agencies will need), counseling on how to manage and spend your money once you’ve received it, and information on your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. It’s important that you pay close attention to this process while you’re doing it, though it may seem overly simple. Anything that the system suggests you print out and/or keep for your records, do [...]
Do you remember back in high school when you got your very first job? If you were like me you probably drove around to every pizza, burger, and fast food joint in town, asking if they were hiring. It’s typical to end up at some grocery store or waiting tables at the local diner. These are known as jobs for students. Most big corporations don’t tend to hire 16 year olds who lack a high school diploma. In fact, this is what drives us to work hard and do well in college. After a taste of these “jobs for students,” we’re so anxious to move up and away from these low-paying jobs. Once I had reached college, I looked into a variety of jobs for students. Anything from delivering Chinese food, to waiting tables, to working as a lifeguard at the local pool. Although all of these jobs worked out okay, and paid the bills, they weren’t the be-all end-all to jobs for students. These days there are much more valuable resources to take advantage of. So toss that local newspaper in the trash, and stop wasting all your gas by driving around from window to window, in search of [...]
If you’ve graduated recently, or are in your final semesters, it may be time for you to start thinking about student loan repayment. One of the most basic things to remember for those who have borrowed money through the Federal Stafford Student Loan program is that you have options for the way in which your repayment takes place. Student loans are typically set up on a ten-year repayment program, with a set minimum payment due every month. However, you may also qualify for a graduated or income-sensitive repayment plan. A graduated plan starts with relatively small minimum payment which is scheduled to increase over time. Income-sensitive payment plans adjust the minimum payment based on how much money you are making at the time. These options are written in to the federal regulations that govern Stafford loan repayment, and can be great for graduates who are unsure about how much money they will be making as they begin their careers. If you choose to take out a consolidation loan, your options may change. So be sure to speak with your school’s financial aid advisor and a representative of your lender bank before deciding how to go forward with your loan repayment.