How to: Student Loans

DeAndre Pearson

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College can be a wonderful yet frustrating experience as an incoming freshman. For many, this is a sign of actually becoming more responsible for yourself and your future. Paying for college is a big issue for many incoming students and student loans are often a likely option. Here are some tips should you want to consider using loans.

Know your loans

You can get loans from anywhere: the bank, your family, the government. Your best bet would be to research loans that are always offered from the government to needy students enrolling in college. Two of the main loans used are subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans have a larger disbursement amount but a lesser principal percentage when compared to unsubsidized loans. Be mindful of the amount you allow every semester– you do have a maximum limit to these loans as an undergraduate. Once you’ve reached your limit, you will not be permitted to use anymore excess subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

Keep in contact with your financial aid department

It is very, very important to keep in contact with your financial aid department, One-Stop. The specialists there will give you the best explanation for any questions you have regarding loans. It would also be very wise to be proactive and reach out to your One-Stop specialists early and often. Trust me, you don’t want to be waiting hours on end for an advisor or waiting an eternity in line. Chances are, many students are concerned just like you about their loans, grants and scholarships. Just get in touch early.

Search for Grants

Grants are your friends for simply this reason: it’s money you don’t pay back. Along with scholarships, grants are companies way of donating to you free money that you don’t have to stress about paying back. The UNF Financial Aid department annually gives away grants for many areas: housing, academics, clubs, etc. It will work to your advantage if you aggressively pursue grants in and outside of your institution.

Pay attention to forgiveness exceptions

Not every loan requires you to pay it back. Well you do, but some loans also have special fulfillments. For instance, some loans are forgivable if you plan to become a teacher or if you plan to go in the medical field, like a nurse. Being able to find and secure loans that are in your profession is a big plus.  

If you keep these things in mind, balancing your budget for school fees will be less stressful than it needs to be.

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