Are you ready to apply to college this year? Here’s what you need to know about student loans.

Are your kids ready to apply to college this year? Or maybe you’re a college student and still confused about the student loan process.

complete fafsa

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will help determine which federal aid programs you are eligible for. Some programs, such as grants, provide money to colleges that don’t have to be repaid. A federally-guaranteed loan is a low-interest loan that must be repaid. Always consider federal assistance programs over private lenders.
FAFSA normally opens on October 1st of the following academic year. We recommend that you complete FAFSA as soon as possible. This entitles you to all eligible financial aid. Click here for more information on deadlines.

private lender

If you need to borrow from a private lender, do your research and compare loan features and contracts to see which best suits your needs.

Unlike federal student loans, you can apply for private student loans at any time, but don’t wait until the last minute. If the funds are not paid on time, you may miss your tuition payment.

Check amount and budget

Find out if the loan amount is right for you. Lenders often offer loans that far exceed the amount needed for education. Create a budget to determine how much loan you need and how much you can afford to repay after graduation. Borrowing too much means paying more interest in the long run.


Getting a private loan co-guarantor is a last resort. Carefully consider federal loan options and consider finding a co-guarantor if you are unable to qualify for an affordable loan on your own. Note: If the loan payment fails, the co-guarantor is responsible for paying the debt. Both credit histories are affected.

free money?

Avoid “free money” from organizations you don’t know. Many scammers offer loans without a credit check to prey on students and parents with little or no credit.


federal student aidis part of the U.S. Department of Education and is the nation’s largest student financial aid provider.

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