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How To Apply For A Student Loan

Updated on April 12, 2011

The Facts About How To Apply For A Student Loan

If you know how to apply for a student loan, you have the opportunity to qualify for a lot of financial aid including loans and grants. Even if you don't think you will be able to get any help for college you should try because it costs nothing to apply and can only benefit you.

The first step in applying for financial aid for college such as student loans is to fill out a FAFSA application.The FAFSA application can be filed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. You will be asked a series of questions pertaining to you and your parent's (if applicable) financial situation. Other information regarding the college you will be attending and education background will be asked. The FAFSA application has to be filled out annually.

The results of the FAFSA will determine your financial aid eligibility and the amounts of student loans or grants you can receive.

The Process of Student Loan Applications

The first step in applying for a student loan is to go www.fafsa.ed.gov. Be aware that If you search for FAFSA on the internet there are many sites that my come up but use the one I gave you because they do not charge to file the application. Some of the other sites are trying to make a buck by taking advantage of unknowing college applicants. They will take your information and money and then apply for the free FAFSA.

Once you are on the correct site, you want to make sure you have all your personal information available. You will need current year W2 information, social security numbers, and any current asset information for both the student and the parents if applicable. You will also need to have the college code for the college you are planning on attending. If you are not sure of which college you are going to you can college codes in for each college. Your financial aid information will be provided to each college by FAFSA. You don't even have to have applied to the college yet as they will keep the FAFSA information in their computer database.

You will also need a four digit pin number which you will get at www.pin.ed.gov. Your PIN can be used each year to electronically apply for federal student aid and to access your Federal Student Aid records online. I suggest you do that first and be sure to make a note of what it is as you will reuse it many times.

The FAFSA form is very simple to fill out but would probably be intimidating for the first time user. There is a column on the right with tips and tricks for filling it out. It is helpful and easy to use.

The FAFSA form will start off with your social security number, name and date of birth. Some of the questions asked will be regarding assets, home ownership, tax returns, number of family members, etc. You do not have to complete it at one time. It gives you the option to go back to it.

At the end of the application it will give you a number of expected family's contribution which is the dollar amount the student has to pay. The lower the number the more financial aid you will offered in forms for grants and loans.

Benefits of Applying for Student Loans

When you apply for student loans through FAFSA you will be awarded a financial aid package by the college. If applicable it will include grants by the federal and state governments, scholarships and will also include student loan options

Grants and scholarships do not have to be paid back but loans do. The good news is that there are federally funded loans that offer low interest rates and extended payback periods. These are usually given without credit checks.

You can also get private student loans that are funded by banks and other loan institutions. These are more conventional loans with higher interest rates but are subject to credit worthiness. Private student loans specifics vary by the lender so be sure to check out repayment programs.

The process of applying for student loans is well worth the effort in the benefits it can offer in attending college.

How To Apply For A Student Loan
How To Apply For A Student Loan

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