Student Loan Tips to Reduce Your Anxiety and Stress

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As you may or may not already know, my oldest daughter is starting college this coming September. And when it comes to the topic of college, "to take or not take" student loan is always a common question. It is common knowledge that the whole student loan process can be frustrating and confusing, so today I am bringing you student loans tips from a freshman college mom. Whether you already have, or is considering student loans, here are a few prized tips I learned these past months to help relieve your anxiety and stress.  

When Considering Student Loans

  • First things first, consider early college high schools, as they give your child a chance to complete up to two years of general education college credits. Your child can then transfer to a college of choice that will accept the credits. You will also want to do your homework, as high school college counselors are not incapable of making mistakes. Find time to do some research and don’t be afraid to ask questions and get clarification.
  • Second, whether you think you will be approved, be sure to complete the FAFSA application and apply for all grants (Pell, TAP, etc) possible - before considering taking any loans. You never know what someone may give you money for.. academics, commute, etc. Please note you can complete a FAFSA form for every year the student is enrolled in school.
  • Before considering private loans take advantage of the federal student loans available, as federal student loans offer greater options, protection, lower and less variable interest rates. Federal lenders are also more likely to work with by deferring your loans or changing your payment plan if your financial circumstances makes it difficult.

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  • Before you opt to take all loans available, work with your financial aid counselor at your prospective school to do the math. They will be able to give valuable insights and suggestions to help you and your child decide which loans are worth taking.
  • When selecting loans, opt for the subsidized ones first. A subsidized loan is the one which the government pays your interest while in school. This basically keeps the loans from growing as it remains fixed.
  • If after adding subsidized loans you are still falling short, consider paying out of pocket if the gap is not a large one. You can opt to have your child get a part time job, or they can consider work study.
  • Last but not least, if you must absolutely take out an un-subsidized loan (the government does not pay for your interest while your child is in school), be sure to pay the interest. Making the interest payments will make a significant impact and save you a great deal on what you have to repay.

I hope these tips helps, but before I go I would like to remind you just like anything else, keep your MPN or Master Promissory Note (binding legal document by which you agree to repay your loan or loans) in a safe place. This document includes a Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities statement that outlines the terms and conditions of the loans you received. You will want to review this statement before making key decisions regarding your loans. Visit studentloans.gov to learn more.

What student loan tips do you have for freshman college moms or anyone for that matter?

The info offered is based on general principles and experiences intended for educational purposes only; I offered based on my own experiences, so please consult with professional for solutions to fit you personal situation.