What If Your Funding Doesn’t Cover Your Costs?
An increasing number of undergraduate students are reaching the borrowing limit for federal student loans, according to Consumer Reports. With tuition and other college costs continuing to rise, the publication noted that parents often pick up the remaining cost of attendance.* If you or your student experiences a gap between your funding and the cost of college, here are some options you can explore.
GOVERNMENT LOANS, GRANTS, AND OTHER ASSISTANCE
To apply for federal loans, grants, and other assistance such as work-study programs, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each school year. If you need to borrow to fund your college education, federal loans can offer more attractive terms when compared to most other borrowing options. A grant is money that doesn’t need to be repaid, and work-study is a program that provides part-time employment to students with financial need. Even if you don’t intend to borrow money to pay for school, or if you think you won’t qualify for funding, filling out the FAFSA is worthwhile as even higher-income families can qualify for low-interest federal college loans.
If you haven’t submitted the FAFSA for the 2019-2020 school year, it’s not too late. You can still submit an application for consideration of federal assistance. However, students are generally encouraged to fill out the FAFSA as early as possible for the best opportunities for funding. The FAFSA for the 2020-2021 school year will open on October 1, 2019.
Many students receive extra assistance through scholarships. Even a small one can make a difference when buying textbooks and other necessities. Watch for information about SLFCU’s annual scholarship competition every spring at slfcu.org/ScholarshipCompetition.
PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS FROM SLFCU
Sometimes government loans, grants, and scholarships still don’t cover the entire cost of attending college. A private student loan from SLFCU can help bridge any gaps in funding. You can apply for an SLFCU student loan any time you need it, to help pay for tuition and other qualified expenses like textbooks, housing, food, and computers.
Borrow as little as $2,000 or as much as the cost of annual attendance (minus financial aid) for a maximum value of $120,000 in undergraduate loans or up to $160,000 in graduate loans. Choose the payment option that best fits your budget, including interest-only payments or $25 monthly payments while you’re in school. We offer lower rates for good grades and a 0.25% interest discount for setting up automatic loan payments.**
**Variable rate loan. Special conditions apply. If you enroll in automatic monthly payments from a personal checking or savings account to pay principal and interest amounts that are due, the margin will be reduced by 0.25%, subject to the floor interest rate of 4.0%. This rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is cancelled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. Rates and approval are based on credit history; applying with a cosigner can increase your likelihood of approval and may result in a lower loan rate. Check with the credit union for details.
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