August 28, 2009

Financial Aid 101

Posted in FAFSA, Parent PLUS Loans, Scholarships, Stafford Loans, Student Loan News, The Financial Aid Process tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:57 AM by Joe From Boston

With colleges heading back this week, you should have your financial aid already lined up, but it’s the perfect time to start planning for next year.

Let’s go over the basics:

* Fill out the FAFSA as early as you can.  Financial aid is first-come, first-served so get your paperwork in early.  If you ‘re waiting on a few last 1099s, use your existing paperwork to file early, and file an amendment when everything finally arrives.  If you use a tax prefessionsal, they will often file the FAFSA for you for little to no additional charge.

* You need the FAFSA for all federal loans, such as Stafford, PLUS and Perkins loans.  Some scholarships also require the FAFSA.

*Always exhaust your federal options first, such as Perkins, Stafford and PLUS loans, before looking at alternative sources of funding such as private loans or home equity loans.   Federal student loan offer borrower incentives and protections that you will not find elsewhere.

August 25, 2009

Can I repay the PLUS loan early? Are there penalties?

Posted in Parent PLUS Loans, The Financial Aid Process at 7:43 AM by Joe From Boston

Yes! You can repay the Parent PLUS Loan early without any penalties.

There are never any pre-payment penalties for Parent Plus loans. If you pay the loan in full you will not be responsible for any future interest, and you will not be charged with any penalties.

If only all loans were like this!

August 18, 2009

Do I need the FAFSA?

Posted in FAFSA, Parent PLUS Loans, The Financial Aid Process tagged , , , , , at 8:37 AM by Joe From Boston

Yes, if you want the PLUS Loan, you need to fill out the FAFSA.

All Federal loans require the FAFSA to be filled out – this includes PLUS, Grad PLUS, Stafford and Perkins loans.  Even many scholarships require the FAFSA.
Also, remember that financial aid is first-come, first server, so next year make sure you get it in early!  File it in January if you can.  If you need to make an amendment, that’s fine, but get it in early!  Money is tighter than ever these days.

August 7, 2009

When will I begin repaying my PLUS Loan?

Posted in Parent PLUS Loans at 8:25 AM by Joe From Boston

Good news!

You now have the choice of making payments while your child is in school or deferring payments until after graduation.

If you choose to pay after graduation, interest will accrue from the time of full disbursement. You can choose to pay the interest monthly, or you can defer both interest and principle until the student graduates. If you choose not to pay the interest monthly, it is capitalized no more than four times per year.

Remember that “capitalization” means that the accumulated interest is added to the principal.  All future interest will be calculated using the new, higher principal, so that in the end you will pay more.

August 3, 2009

I love awarding scholarships

Posted in Scholarships at 11:46 AM by Joe From Boston

One of my favorite parts of working for the Student Loan Network is awarding scholarships, and today we gave away one for $10,000!

Congratulations to Tiffany Beebe of the College of Idaho!  All of us here who work behind the scenes for are so happy for you!

Watch our live drawing held at 11am today.