December 22, 2009

Use Christmas to teach your children about budgeting

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:49 PM by plusloans

This morning I read an interesting article on about using Christmas as an opportunity to teach children about budgeting. In my opinion, budgeting is a skill that far too many kids go to college without.

Many children off all ages believe that Christmas is a time to get everything and anything they want. However, it is important to instill the concept of limits in them. Children should know that their parents do not have an unlimited amount of money and they will probably not get everything on their Christmas. Teach them how to prioritize what they really want.

You can also teach your kids how to budget their money when buying gifts for others. Teach them to set aside an ultimate amount of money they can spend and divide it among the people they want to buy for.

Hopefully after years of Christmas budgeting they will take the lessons of moderation with them to college and into their adult life.

December 21, 2009

Are you ready for the FAFSA?

Posted in FAFSA tagged , , , at 1:47 PM by plusloans

FAFSAFAFSA season is right around the corner! Are you ready? If not FAFSA4caster is a website that will help you prepare. FAFSA4caster allows you to essentially do a test run of the real FAFSA. After you have gathered and submitted all of your information it will give you an estimate of your eligibility for financial aid. This FAFSA trial will help you cut down on costly FAFSA errors. After January 1, 2010 when you are ready to apply or you can conveniently transfer all of your information over to FAFSA on the Web. FAFSA4caster also gives you the option to apply for a FAFSA PIN and helps you increase your knowledge of the financial aid process.

December 15, 2009

Take Advantage of Financial Aid Workshops

Posted in FAFSA, The Financial Aid Process tagged , , at 1:52 PM by plusloans

The 2010-2011 FAFSA will be available after January 1st. That is just two weeks away! If you are the parent of a high school senior it is important for you to take some time out of your schedule to learn about financial aid and how to properly fill out the FAFSA.

Mistakes on the FAFSA can cost you thousands of dollars in financial aid. If you have lingering questions about how it works make sure you talk to people who have been through it or financial aid experts. Luckily, this is the time of year when high school and communities hold financial aid workshops to help families of prospective college students understand the process better.

Contact you child’s high school guidance department to find out when they are holding a workshop. After you attend you will feel a lot more confident about the process and ready to help your child obtain financial aid for college.

December 3, 2009

Can I Cancel My Parent Plus Loan?

Posted in Parent PLUS Loans tagged at 12:54 PM by dbonvie

YES. You can cancel a PLUS loan the same way a borrower would cancel a Perkins or a Stafford loan. In fact, even after the funds have been disbursed to the school you can still cancel your loan. You would just contact a financial aid officer at the school and let them know that they can send the funds directly back to the lender, provided your request is received within the designated add/drop period. Keep in mind, however, that in some instances you can not get back the origination and default fee of 4% back.

Does A Parent Plus Loan Have Fees?

Posted in Private Loans tagged , , at 12:02 PM by dbonvie

YES. Parent Plus loans do have fees.

The standard fees attached to a federal Parent Plus loan include a 3% origination and a 1% default fee. That 4% can be quite significant too if you are taking out a great deal of money for your student. It’s also important to note that those fees are taken right off the top as well. So if you need $10,000 you should apply for $10,400. That way $10,000 will make it’s way over to the school.

You may also find that some lenders are willing to waive the default fee. If this is the case jump on that deal. A 3% fee is obviously better than a 4% one.