Students Loans, pt. 1

This is the first in a three-part series about my experience with student loans for my junior year.
Entry One: my initial options and choices

Yesterday, I turned down one of my offered financial aids and accepted another.  The two loans were offered hrough the University of Nebraska-Lincoln office of scholarship and financial aid. As a reporter for the Daily Nebraskan, I visited this office fairly frequently to write about the student loan market, financial aid and the Pell Grant (it was a big year for the Pell Grant).

The two loans offered to me were a Stafford Unsubsidized Loan and a Federal Direct PLUS loan.
A Stafford Unsubsidized Loan “is a federally guaranteed loan that is not based on financial need, but you do not have to make interest or principal payments until six months after graduation, or six months after you drop below a half time status.” (from here)

A Fed. Dir. PLUS loan is a loan that parents take out. I turned this down for that very reason. I accidentally accepted one freshman year and my dad was none-too-happy about it. My dad said repayment begins immediately, even if the amount is (relatively) small – $10,000 or so for my freshman year.

There are other types of financial aid out there; some, like the Pell Grant, are need-based and others, like scholarships, are based on criteria such as academics, ethnicity or performance (I have several scholarships). Here’s a good Web site to learn about financial aid.
Turning down the PLUS loan means I have to find $8,394 on my own. Soooo it looks like I’ll have to use a private lender.

Entry Two: the difference between public and private student loans
Entry Three: shopping and applying for private student loans

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~ by khaslett on July 23, 2009.

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