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When determining whether it is necessary to borrow with an alternative loan, it is important that you consider the following factors:
  • You have borrowed the maximum amount for which you are eligible through the Federal Loan Programs, and
  • If additional funding is needed to pay for education expenses.

In addition, you may want to ask a lender these questions:

  • How much in total loan fees will I pay?
  • What is the current interest rate and how is it calculated?
  • How long do I have to repay the loan?
  • Do I have a grace period with this loan? If yes, how long?
  • What are my repayment options?
  • How much can I borrow for an academic year?
  • Does my school have to certify the application?
  • How strict are the credit requirements?
  • Do I need a cosigner?
  • How long does the application process take?
  • How will I receive my loan funds?
  • How often do you capitalize interest?
  • Do I have any deferment options?
  • When will my first payment be due?

You may go to the website of the lender of your choice to review requirements and features for alternative or private student loans.  It is recommended that you exhaust your eligibility for federal student loans before considering a private student loan and that you compare at least 3-4 loan programs before selecting a lender for your private student loan.

  • Read and save copies of all student loan records, letters, and payments.

  • Contact your lender or holder as soon as problems become evident with any questions, to apply for deferment or forbearance, or if you are having any repayment difficulties.

  • It is important that you read all correspondence from your lender.

  • Your lender will usually contact you to arrange a repayment plan.  If you do not receive a repayment schedule, take the initiative and contact your lender.

  • Put yourself on a cash budget.

  • Be wary of ATM abuse.

  • Use credit cards for emergencies only.

  • Save a portion of your summer earnings to offset your academic year expenses.

  • Borrow conservatively.

  • Keep accurate records.

  • Maintain a good credit history.

  • Reduce "dining out" expenses.

  • Find a roommate to help share expenses.

page updated 4/13/2011 11:12 AM

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Financial Aid Deadlines

  • Academic Scholarships - March 15, 2011
  • Summer Financial Aid Priority Deadlines - March 15, 2011
  • Fall Financial Aid Priority Deadlines - March 15, 2011
  • Spring Financial Aid Priority Deadlines - September 1, 2011

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