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The Loan Application Process
The first step in the student loan process is the FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA becomes available on October 1st each year, and it is important to fill it out as soon as possible because some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. The FAFSA will take about two to three weeks to process.
Applying for a Student Loan
Student loans can be a vital part of financing your education, but it’s important to understand the process before you apply. Federal student loans are available to eligible students and parents at participating schools, and you can choose from several repayment options to fit your budget.
To apply for a federal student loan, you’ll need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. The FAFSA form is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid, which includes grants, work-study, and loans. You’ll need to provide information about yourself and your family’s financial situation, including your income and assets.
It’s a good idea to get started on your FAFSA form as soon as possible after October 1st of the year preceding the year you plan to attend college or career school. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to gather the required information and submit your form by the deadline for your state or school. You may also be able to get an estimate of your expected family contribution (EFC) by using the FAFSA4caster tool.
Once you’ve submitted your FAFSA form, the Department of Education will process it and send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR will include your EFC and other important information about your eligibility for federal student aid. Review your SAR carefully and correct any errors that you find.
Then, contact the financial aid office at the school or schools you’re interested in attending and let them know that you’ve submitted a FAFSA form. The financial aid office will use the information on your FAFSA form to determine how much aid you’re eligible for at their school. They’ll also let you know what types of aid are available and how much money you’ll need to contribute toward your education expenses.
Applying for a Parent PLUS Loan
The best way to start the PLUS loan application process is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. By doing so, you’ll provide the Department of Education with information about your family’s finances and your student’s cost of attendance.
If you’re eligible for a Parent PLUS Loan, you’ll then need to complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). This legal document explains the terms and conditions of your loan and can be completed online at studentloans.gov.
Once you have completed the MPN, your child’s school will certify the loan and disburse the funds. Typically, this process takes about two weeks.
The Loan Disbursement Process
The first step in the loan process is the loan application. After the loan application is complete, the next step is the loan disbursement. The loan disbursement is when the loan funds are distributed to the borrower.
If you have chosen to have your loan disbursement(s) made by direct deposit, your money will typically be available in your bank account within 3-5 business days from the date your loan is first disbursed.
For example, if you are scheduled to receive two disbursements and your first disbursement is scheduled for September 15th, you can expect the funds to be available in your bank account on or around September 18th or 19th. If direct deposit is not an option for you, a paper check will be mailed to your home address. Please note that it may take up to 14 days for the check to arrive.
The first loan disbursement usually takes place within 10 days after the loan is fully approved. For federal student loans, the money is sent directly to the school. The school then deducts any applicable fees before crediting the remainder of the loan money to the student’s account to pay for tuition, fees, room and board, and other school-related expenses.
The Loan Repayment Process
The first step in the loan repayment process is to make sure that you have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA must be submitted in order to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. Once you have submitted the FAFSA, your loan will be processed and you will be notified of your loan amount, interest rate, and repayment terms.
Most federal student loans have a six-month grace period. During this time, you’re not required to make any payments. If you have unsubsidized Stafford loans, the interest accrues during the grace period.
The repayment process begins after the grace period ends. You’ll get a statement in the mail telling you when your first payment is due. The statement will also list your loan balance, interest rate, and the date your first payment is due. If you have multiple federal student loans, you’ll get a separate statement for each loan.
The first step in the process is choosing a repayment plan. You have several options, and the plan you choose will determine how long it will take to repay your loans.
The Standard Repayment Plan offers fixed monthly payments for up to 10 years. If you have a balance remaining on your loans after 10 years, you will be required to pay the remaining balance in full.
The Graduated Repayment Plan offers lower monthly payments at first, and then gradually increases your payments every two years. Your monthly payments will be higher than they would be under the Standard Repayment Plan, but if you expect your income to increase over time, this plan may help you manage your monthly expenses. The Graduated Repayment Plan also allows you to extend your repayment term to up to 30 years if necessary.
The Extended Repayment Plan is available to borrowers with high loan balances. Under this plan, you may extend your repayment term to up to 25 years, which will lower your monthly payment amount.
The Income-Driven Repayment Plans are available to borrowers with high levels of debt relative to their income and family size. These plans base your monthly payment amount on a percentage of your discretionary income (defined as the difference between your adjusted gross income and 150% of the poverty guideline for your state of residence and family size). You must reapply for an Income-Driven Repayment Plan each year, and there is no guarantee that your application will be approved. You may also be required to pay any outstanding balance on your loans in full if you fail to reapply or are no longer eligible for an Income-Driven Repayment Plan.
There are a few different options for loan forgiveness, which is when the government or your lender cancels all or part of your student loan. You might qualify for loan forgiveness if you work in certain public service jobs, volunteer with certain organizations, or join the military. You might also qualify if you can’t make payments on your student loans because of an economic hardship, your school closed before you could finish your program, or you were the victim of identity theft. If you have trouble making payments on your student loan, contact your student loan servicer right away to discuss your options.