Make Student Choice Your Choice
If you’re an incoming college student or currently furthering your education, you know how intimidating the words “student loans” can be. Personally, as a college student I don’t even like to think about mine because it makes my stress level sky rocket. Luckily, there are resources available to make the process a little easier.
There are so many options whenever it comes to financing your education goals. I was fortunate enough that all my tuition/room and board was covered through a little student loans and scholarships; which means my college debt is less than others. However, for some it’s not that simple.
Here are some things to look for that perfect loan:
Your credit is important.
Okay, let’s be honest. You were probably going to pick the easiest option because college brings enough stress, right? Don’t do that. Student loans are a huge obligation. The decisions you make now will affect how you live when you graduate. Your credit score will play a HUGE role in this aspect of any loan. Make sure you check it often to know where you stand on the credit line. You can check it online using the free annual credit report site.
Is your school approved?
Many loan institutions have a list of schools they are willing to work with. You will have to get your school’s approval of the loan to make sure they are “acceptable” funds to cover your education costs. Many institutions across the nation accept the Student Choice Loan, provided by the Credit Union. Check to see if your school is on the list of approved schools to make sure it will be accepted before you apply.
Apply and get approved.
Just like getting good rates, your credit score will be an enormous factor in whether you’ll get approved or denied. Luckily, if you’re credit isn’t the greatest or you haven’t built your credit up yet, you can get a co-borrower (someone who signs with you) on the loan - most student loans require this anyways. This can be a lengthy process because private student loans often require a long processing time, due in large part to submitting and reviewing the necessary documentation while also waiting for the school to certify the requested loan amount. Just remember to be patient!
With the internet and smart phones, we are fortunate to have so many resources available to help make the process a little less confusing. To be honest, I just went with the flow until someone told me I needed to do something else. I highly advise not to do that because it adds a great deal of stress. Educate yourself, this will make it easier now, and whenever you’ll begin repayment. In addition, it will make sure you’re heading in the right direction. When you take the time to learn, it will all make sense. The Credit Union has a wonderful service called iGrad – which is one of my favorite tools. This helps make sure you’re financially fit and gives you money tips and tools recommended based on your profile.
Make every attempt to get scholarships to pay for your schooling if possible (this will be the best option for your future). Search for them internally with your school or externally and see if you qualify for any grants or interest-free loans.
If you have to take out student loans, make sure you are being financially smart about your choices because it will affect your future finances. If you are looking for student loan options, see if you’re eligible for our Student Choice Loan.
If you have any student loan advice or comments, we’d love to hear! Let us know in the comments below.