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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Reshod, Jun 2, 2000.
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You should apply for all the financial aid that is available out there, but try to shy away from the loans as much as possible. Especially look toward the Pell Grant.
Whatever you do, don't fall for the scams. This includes any program that asks for even a cent to help you obtain financial aid. Your best bet is to check out the US Department of Education's financial aid website. You can fill out and submit the FAFSA online, and it's free. Once the FAFSA has gone through, your college's office of financial aid will review the information it receives from FAFSA and tell you what financial aid you qualify for.
The site is located at www.fafsa.ed.gov
Now would be a good time to get started.
Reshod, be careful whose advice you heed because some people are far removed from college experience due to their advanced age and perhaps did not even attend college.
Borrowing to finance your education is one of the wisest investments you can make. First, the interest on these loans is very low and if you qualify (which you likely do if you are low income) the government will pay the interest on your loans while you are in college. Also, you will begin building your credit as soon as the loans appear on your credit report. Please contact your financial aid office and speak to a a senior year student of the university you are attending and ask them about their experience with financial aid. If you are a minority student, contact the office of minority affairs and ask them for guidance. Many persons from lower income families have not been trained to manage or plan their financial lives and so borrowing money can be "scary" to them. Do the best you can in college, make friends and never worry that things won't work out. They will if you have faith in the life that god gave you. Again, only listen to people who know from the facts of their experience not those who have an opinion. Such people can be destructive, keep them out of your life.
Let me speak from experience and agree with Doris (who may have a Masters for all we know, but certainly has a Doctorate in common sense).
Graduating from college burdened by debt was not a wise choice for me. In retrospect, I wish I had tried for grants rather than loans. Dealing with the student loan people wasn't easy and starting off a job and family in debt was discouraging. The loans are easy to get and it seems like nice easy money. However, a debt of $10,000, 20,000, or more is still a big debt that can take many years to pay back.
I would try for grants and not jump into debt right off the bat. Just my informed opinion
Doris gave great advice!
And Len is right too!!! When you take out those loans it seems like $50 a month is NOTHING, but the more loans you take out ~~ that $50 soon turns into a LUXURY carnote.
I do have a master's, and I was a teacher for 31 years. I was fortunate enough to have attended college at a time when the costs were much more affordable. Paying for college meant sacrificing a lot, but we managed. Today, the costs are absolutely astronomical, and four years of college for one person is enough to drive a family into deep debt for many years.
I'm not saying that students shouldn't take out loans. Unfortunately, it's a necessary evil these days. What I am saying is to be as conservative as possible when it comes to borrowing. Those monthly payments add up, and it takes forever to pay them off.
My son, who is 44, finally paid off all his student loans three years ago. He never missed or deferred a payment, and he received his degree in 1978. That's damned near a mortgage!
By the way, filling out the FAFSA online is free, and it's required to qualify for most state and federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. The site is a substitute for the paper form available in all high school guidance centers. Many sites out there charge students for doing the same thing the students can do for themselves for free.
Reshod, I agree wholeheartdly with Doris and Len. I am speaking as a 24 year old college graduate with over 20,000.00 in student loans. Try to borrow as little as possible and remember whatever you borrow must be paid back. Repayment seems a long way off, but will be here sooner that you know. Try looking for scholarships and grants from clubs and organizations in your area. You could also see if you qualify for a work study program with your university. Good Luck!!!
There are both good sides and bad sides to this issue. Let me speak from age and experience. Although I am 37 yrs old, I am also a full-time student. Your first course should be just as Doris suggested. File the Federal Student Aid Application on line. Pursue all avenues that provide "Free" access to grants. Then you perhaps you could consider one of the many workstudy programs that are provided at all public schools. When and only when you determine that you can't get any of these, consider a student loan.
Be aware that students loans WILL be repaid. If you do not your income taxes will be levied, it will destroy your credit, and these loans can never be bankrupted. It may seem very easy to receive deferments in time of troubles, but the interest will just snowball.
In addition, I have managed the accounts of numerous people whose student loans were sold from one bank to another. My one student loan was sold 4 times. Three of the banks did not report that they had sold the loan. They reported that I had stopped paying. It took me 3 years to correct this on my credit report.
As I said, there are good sides and bad. Just besure to seek every option possible. Good luck!