Tips For FAFSA Student Loans and Aid
Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may not be as fun as graduation weekend, but it may be just as important. In order to be eligible for any type of federal grant or loan, you must complete the FAFSA. The FAFSA helps the U.S. Department of Education and Financial Aid Administrators determine your eligibility for financial aid.
You can get a FAFSA application from your library, high school, the college you plan to attend or online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Here are a few tips to a faster, friendlier FAFSA.
FAFSA Student loans are an investment in you.
In the case of a higher education, debt is not necessarily a bad word. Student loans, when handled responsibly, can help you establish credit. Consider low-interest rates student loans. Look into student loans rather than using high-interest credit cards or some other form of financing to pay for your education expenses.
FAFSA is a free application and offered online.
You do not need to pay anyone to complete the form. If you run into questions or are unsure of any section call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
Make it easy on yourself.
Completing the form online helps you make fewer mistakes, simplifies the application and provides faster processing. Plus, you’ll be able to get your results 7 to 14 days earlier.
Start NOW, and know your deadlines.
Federal, state and institutional aid is generally distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. The earlier you submit your information, the more likely you are to get a piece of the financial aid pie.
Familiarize yourself with the terminology.
Understanding the financial aid language helps make the process less intimidating. You can find a guide to financial aid terminology at the Department of Education Web site.
Keep a copy of your FAFSA. Keeping good records of all your financial aid material is critical.
There is life after FAFSA Student Loans. Private loans or consumer education loans are available from banks and dedicated education finance companies. These loans can be used to cover any education related costs not covered in your financial aid package, like books and living expenses.
This article was provided by Chela Financial, a not-for-profit education finance company that strives to put education within reach for students and their families. Use the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculator at loans4students.org to get a good idea of the financial help you can expect!