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Three Steps to Prep for Paying for College

If you decide to borrow to cover the cost of your education, apply for federal student loans.

If you’re considering taking out student loans to help pay for school, look into federal student loans. For many borrowers, federal student loans can be a better option because interest rates will generally be fixed. This means your interest rate won’t change over the life of the loan. Also, in some cases, the interest on your loan is paid by the federal government while you’re in school.

In order to be eligible for a federal student loan you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. 

Here are three steps to help guide you through the federal financial aid process. 

1. Do your homework before borrowing with student loans. 

Before you start your FAFSA form it’s good to have an idea of how much you will pay for your higher education and how much you need to borrow. Compare the cost of different schools with our Paying for College tool. Be sure to take advantage of any scholarships and grants before applying for a federal loan. 

2. Have your information ready and available before you start. 

Having basic information readily available before beginning the process will help you navigate through the FAFSA form. Some key pieces of information you should have are:

  • Basic information about you (Social Security number, date of birth)
  • Details about the schools you are interested in (school name, city and state, etc.) 
  • Previous year’s tax return, if you filed one

If you are a dependent student , you will need your parents’ basic information and tax returns as well. 

3. Know your deadlines. 

Complete the FAFSA form as soon as you can. Funds are typically awarded on a first-come first-served basis for each school year. Check deadlines  for your state, college and federal applications.  

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Once you complete the steps above, you’re ready to submit your FAFSA  form. If you’re looking for more information about paying for college the CFPB has resources that can help.

This article by was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

The post Three Steps to Prep for Paying for College appeared first on Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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