Over their lifetimes, students who graduate from four-year colleges earn 80% more income than high school graduates. The average return on investment for a college degree is 20 times the cost of the education. A college education is still the best investment!From scholarships and student aid, to grants and student loans.
Education loans come in three categories: student loans (Stafford and Perkins loans), parent loans (PLUS loans) and private student loans (also called alternative student loans). A fourth type of educational loan is the consolidation loan, which allows the borrower to conveniently lump all of their loans into one specific loan for simplified payment.
Federal law actually sets the maximum interest rates and fees that any lenders may charge for federally-guaranteed loans. Nothing can prevent a lender from charging lower fees. Many lenders offer a wide variety of student loan discounts to attract borrowers.
5 Keys that You need to know about getting a student loan:
1) The University Prep Center recommends that you go with a loan company that can offer all of the following types of loans: Private Student Loans, PLUS Loans, Federal Stafford Loans, Student Loan Consolidation, and Private Consolidation Loans. Bottom line is that you want to be able to choose the largest selection possible.
2) Shop around! Don't take the first loan you are approved for. Make sure that it is the best loan for you! Understand all the terms and conditions associated with the interest rates and length of the payback. Check out numerous loan companies before making a final decision.
3) Always consider your options and speak directly with a financial aid counselor. Please be aware that if you are applying for graduate school, there are much fewer scholarships available for graduate school relative to undergraduate programs. We suggest that you apply for as many scholarships as possible, but a student loan might be the best bet.
4) If it's available to you, try to lock in a student loan rate. Some loans are based off the U.S. Treasury bill. In these particular cases, the loan fluctuates. This can either be extremely good, or really bad. So, when interest rates go up, you may want to restructure your loan.
5) NEVER ever borrow more money than you absolutely need! Compounded interest can really make a smaller student loan seem like a huge amount. Just take what you need to get by.
To qualify, you must:
Be willing to authorize a credit check.
Have good credit or a cosigner with good credit.
Be a student, working adult, or parent of a student enrolled at least half-time in an eligible school.
Please have the following information available:
Your Social Security number and contact information
Name of the school the student is attending
The amount of your monthly mortgage or rent
Contact information for one reference
The student's Social Security number and contact information (if applicant is not the student)
Issues or Concerns
If you ever have a problem with your federal student loan, the University Prep Center recommends that you contact the FSA Ombudsman at the US Department of Education. The FSA Ombudsman is dedicated to helping students resolve any disputes and other problems with their federal student loans. The FSA Ombudsman will thoroughly research your problem in an impartial and objective manner, and will try to develop a fair solution. The FSA Ombudsman doesn't have the authority to impose an outcome. Nevertheless, students have found the FSA Ombudsman to be extremely helpful in resolving different disputes with the lenders. You can contact the FSA Ombudsman by phone at 1-877-557-2575 or 1-202-377-3800, by fax at 1-202-275-0549, by mail at U.S. Department of Education, FSA Ombudsman, 830 First Street, NE, Fourth Floor, Washington, DC 20202-5144.