General Question

hsrsmith's avatar

What is the best way to go about applying for student loans?

Asked by hsrsmith (121points) May 27th, 2010

I am going to attend Boston University in the fall to begin my undergraduate degree. I did not fill the FAFSA out earlier this year mostly because I would not receive any financial aid. I have decided that I would like to fund my education with student loans and pay them back with money as soon as I graduate instead of funding my education with cash in the bank – for many reasons, but mostly to increase my credit and to pay with money in 2014 instead of 2010 money with the weak economic situation.

How much can I expect to receive in government student loans? And what is the best way to apply for them? What is the process like? Will I be able to fund my education completely on the government loans? And if not – how do I apply for private loans? Do I apply for one year at a time, or for my entire undergraduate education? Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance for your help!

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11 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

You need to talk to your student aid counselor at your school.

hsrsmith's avatar

I wish I could. I graduated high school several years ago. I have been working and have had quite a successful career, but decided I would like to go to university. I will be quite older than all the other freshman, but it’s something I’m doing. It is incredibly hard to go to university several years after high school!

lilikoi's avatar

I think you should still fill out a FAFSA. You might not get the subsidized loans (govt pays interest) or the Pell Grant (free money) but you may still qualify for unsubsidized government loans and if not, they would probably direct you to other loans that you could apply for. There are different types of private loans. You can just go down to any bank and they have a slew of different types of loans available including personal loans, although those have caps on the amount you can borrow. Another good place to start is

jrpowell's avatar

Call the school you plan on attending. They are willing and eager to help you borrow money that you will end up giving them.

perspicacious's avatar

Go to the financial aid office at your college; they can help with this.

tedd's avatar

You HAVE to fill out the fafsa before you can get a private bank student loan (99% of banks won’t even consider offering you a loan if you haven’t done that). So do that first. (not to mention the rates and money from the government tends to be a lot better).

Whatever student loans you do end up getting, PAY ATTENTION TO THE INTEREST RATES. A decent average rate is in the 6% range. A great rate is in the 3% range (look up Great Lakes Education, theirs are usually in the 3’s).

The difference between 6% and 9% over the course of a loan can be tens of thousands of dollars in interest.

And lastly, STAY AWAY FROM WELLS FARGO…. They’re terrible, everything from customer service, to organization, to interest rates…. just awful.

pearls's avatar

Talk to a financial aid advisor at the school.

zandrace's avatar

Are you a Mass resident?

You absolutely need to fill out the Fafsa

RedPowerLady's avatar

You do need to fill out the FAFSA. That is the first thing the college financial aid office will tell you to do. It is the only way to get the typical government issued student loans.

Even if you are not yet enrolled in the college you can go speak with one of their financial aid counselors or academic advisors. If the college is in another state you can call and do so.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

One more for the necessity of the FAFSA.

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