After learning the cost to attend college, you may panic. How much money do I have in the bank? Will I have to work my way through college? Can my parents help with my educational expenses? These questions may understandably run through your mind. But before you work yourself into a frenzy, understand that there are financial options available to you.
Most people who apply and attend college don’t have a huge bank account. For this matter, many have to rely on government loans to cover their expenses. Learning about student loans can ease your financial worries and better prepare for you the financial aspect of attending school.
If you’re still in high school, your high school counselor can help sort through your financial options, plus you can contact the financial aid department of colleges on your list. Additionally, the Internet can be an invaluable source for learning about student loans through the government.
Don’t wait until the last minute to educate yourself on different student loan options. Here are three websites for learning about student loans.
1. Studentaid.ed.gov – Federal Student Aid
An office of the U.S Department of Education, the Federal Student Aid website can provide all the information you need to apply for federal student aid. This website offers tips on exploring career options and completing college applications. A comprehensive website for all things college, the Federal Student Aid website breaks down your financial aid options, discusses eligibility requirements, plus explains how you can apply for federal aid online. Additionally, there is information and tips on loan repayment options and managing student loan debt. Other tools include a school search, a college checklist, plus tips on how to avoid student loan scams.
2. Direct.ed.gov – William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
This website is an excellent source for parents and students applying for a federal Direct Loan. As a student, you will learn about various low-interest loans available through the Direct Loan program, plus information on how to complete your application for aid. This site also explains your rights and responsibilities as a borrower, and offers tips on managing your student loan debt while you’re in school and after you graduate. Learn about repayment plans, deferment options and forbearance. Additionally, this site discusses other financial aspects, such as student loan debt consolidation and student debt cancellation.
The Direct Loan website is also useful for parents applying for student loans. You will learn about different types of Direct Loans, as well as the requirements for applying for a Direct PLUS Loan for parents. This is a simple way to know your responsibilities as a borrower, plus familiarize yourself with Direct Loan features.
This site also features helpful information from the U.S. Department of Education. If you’ve already been approved for federal aid, you can manage your account directly from this site – complete entrance counseling, sign your promissory note or request a repayment plan. And if you do not know your financial aid options, this site can point you in the right direction. Find information on loan programs and stay up-to-date on recent changes with federal aid. Here, you can complete a student loan application, request a PIN to manage your account online, research consolidation and learn about hardship provisions.