Make Good Choices about Financial Aid
Here are some descriptions of terms and conditions you’ll want to examine before making a decision of your lender. Learn more about the different types of financial aid offered at Sherman College on our FA page.
Lenders charge interest on the money that you borrow. The higher the interest rate, the more that you will pay. Many lenders will give borrowers interest rate reductions for using automatic payments or making a certain number of “on time” payments. For private loans, your interest rate may be dependent on your credit rating.
Fees are common with most loans. They are usually a percentage of your loan amount. Currently, most lenders charge a 1% origination fee and a 1% default fee. The fees are taken out of your loan proceeds prior to disbursement. Some fees are required on federal loans. Some lenders may pay part or all of the fees on the borrower’s behalf. Fees on private loans vary depending on the loan program and the lender.
Repayment Periods and Terms
Most lenders offer a variety of repayment plans. Extending a repayment period may mean lower payments now, but can cost you more interest over time. Below are some terms that you need to be familiar with:
- Grace Period: This is a period of time after you leave school during which you do not have to make payments on your loan. For the Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, this is a six month period. With other federal or private loans, this time period could vary.
- Deferment: This is a period of time that your lender allows you to temporarily stop making payments due to certain eligibility requirements. Check with your lender for these requirements.
- Forbearance: This is a period of time that your lender allows you to temporarily stop making payments due to financial hardship.
Responsibilities of the Borrower
The decision to take out a loan comes along with responsibility. You are required to pay back the full amount you borrow plus interest. Failure to repay can result in a damaged credit rating among other consequences. You should take your loan as a serious responsibility and make wise choices:
- Don’t borrow any more than you need in student loans.
- Live within your means. Prepare a budget and stick to it! It may take a little time to develop your budget, but it will be well worth it to help you track your expenses.
- Keep track of your loan amounts and be aware of when your repayment will begin. You can track your Federal Loan amounts through http://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_FAP/.