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Paperwork demystified — find forms and instructions here. Tips on filling out the FAFSA and maximizing eligibility.

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‘Ask the Aid Advisor’ for personalized help. Read the financial aid FAQ and glossary for other answers.

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Dozens of tools for calculating college costs, loan payments, savings, and the expected family contribution (EFC).

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Get online info about testing, college admissions and jobs.

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Fixed-rate parent student loans—as low as 5.8% APR

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Upcoming Events

Financial Aid Forms Workshop: Enosburg Falls High School

6:00pm – 8:00pm Enosburg Falls High School

Join us for a free Financial Aid Forms workshop. At this informal workshop, we will assist you as you file your FAFSA and Vermont state grant applications.

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Financial Aid Forms Workshop: River Bend Career Technical Center

5:00pm – 8:00pm River Bend Career Technical Center

Join us for a free Financial Aid Forms workshop. At this informal workshop, we will assist you as you file your FAFSA and Vermont state grant applications.

College loans for students

FAFSA Help: VSAC helpline walk-in assistance 11/16/17

4:00pm – 8:00pm VSAC Resource Center in Winooski

Will you be filing a FAFSA? The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is your pathway to funding for the education and career training after high school. Every student should file!

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Learn About VHEIP: Oak Grove School Open House

5:30pm – 7:00pm Oak Grove School

VHEIP will be at the fall Open House for parents and students at Oak Grove School in Brattleboro on Thursday, November 16 from 5:30 to 7:00pm to give away free piggy banks or backpacks and speak with parents about how they can save and pay for college.

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Can Students Pay Off Their Loans? Delinquency On College Debt Soars Above That Of Credit Cards, Mortgages, loans for college students.#Loans #for #college #students


Can Students Pay Off Their Loans? Delinquency On College Debt Soars Above That Of Credit Cards, Mortgages

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Graduates-to-be walked before their commencement ceremony at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, May 12, 2017. Photo: Reuters

After increasing for 11 straight quarters, aggregate household debt toppled the previous peak in 2008, reaching a total of $12.73 trillion in the first three months of 2017, according to a quarterly report released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That total is 14 percent above the valley formed by the drop in household debt that followed the Great Recession, the result of a decrease in borrowing in the wake of the credit collapse.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the New York Times noted soon after the Fed report’s release. It signifies consumers’ greater access to credit, a harbinger of healthy economic growth and activity. But the report also harbored a real cause for concern, specifically for millennials. While aggregate student loan debt only made up 11 percent of the total — compared to mortgages, with 68 percent of household debt — the average delinquency rate for student loans has shot above all other forms of debt in recent years, and stayed there, according to the Fed report.

The rise in aggregate mortgage loans may represent a comeback for the housing market, as that delinquency rate has plummeted to below 4 percent from its 2009 peak of over 12 percent. For serious delinquencies, or those of at least 90 days, the rate is closer to 1 percent, the Fed found.

Student loans, by contrast, continued a dramatic rise in delinquencies that began about a dozen years earlier, with the rate of missed payments lingering around 10 percent today, up from around 8 percent in 2004. The rate of student loan delinquencies longer than 90 days has come close to 10 percent as well, up from under 6 percent in 2004. In terms of delinquency rates, the student debt category was followed by auto loans, with below 8 percent, and credit cards, with about 6 percent.

There is a litany of reasons for the disparity, according to Melinda Kay Lewis, an associate professor of practice at the University of Kansas’ School of Social Welfare. For starters, she said, the average financial profile of the student borrower makes that type of debt “a very different animal” from, say, mortgage debt, owed by Americans who are generally older and more financially stable. Buying a house, she added, might appear as less imperative than buying the upward mobility that colleges are purported to provide.

“For many students, it’s either no student loan financing or no school at all,” Lewis said. “People are really caught — they know that they need higher education to advance economically, but they have little ways to pay.”

Student debt stood at a staggering nearly $1.44 trillion as of the first quarter, and the total — along with the delinquency rates noted in the Fed report — is bound to swell further.

Much of the Fed’s response to the economic fallout of the Great Recession involved lowering its policy interest rate, the federal funds rate, which gave borrowers some relief by pushing interest rates on various forms of debt to follow suit. But to have a proper response to the next financial crisis, whenever it may be, the Fed needs to move its policy rate back up to what Fed Chair Janet Yellen often refers to as a “neutral” level of up to 3 percent, up from its current bandwidth of between 0.75 and 1 percent. (The central bank dropped the federal funds rate to nearly zero from above 5 percent in the wake of the recession, and has been raising it in 0.25-percent increments since December 2015.)

Students with fixed interest rates or federal student loans taken out prior to 2006 have little to worry about, but the same can’t be said for other student borrowers.

Yellen is expected to announce another increase in the rate at the conclusion of its monetary policy-making body’s next meeting, on June 14, after she said in a press conference that the Fed would delay a hike at its previous meeting in May.

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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke during a news conference after a two day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington, D.C., March 15, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Seeking to mitigate the issue ahead of the next Fed meeting, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) reintroduced a bill Wednesday that would permit student loan borrowers to refinance at current federal loan interest rates.

“With interest rates scheduled to rise again this summer,” a press release announcing the measure noted, “the urgency for Congress to address the student debt crisis and to allow borrowers to access today’s lower rates is stronger than ever.”

While it’s garnered widespread Democratic support, the bill’s previous iterations have fielded criticism for leaving out distressed borrowers, who likely wouldn’t qualify for refinancing, and forcing borrowers to pay a 0.5 percent fee that would come with a refinance.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren spoke at an “Our Revolution” rally in Boston, March 31, 2017. Photo: Reuters

For Lewis, the associate professor, a better answer would be a full transformation of how students pay for college, rather than smaller, patchwork remedies that end up leaving many students behind and don’t address the root of the problem.

More scrutiny and awareness of the risks involved with for-profit colleges — which account for a disproportionate amount of student debt — earlier, “front-end” investing in kids’ educations and a revamp in public funding of public colleges would be a good start, Lewis said.

After all, delinquency rates, she noted, are often higher for students with smaller loans who didn’t attend elite, big-name institutions, and are therefore seeing little return on their investment.

“We have students from community colleges who can’t pay off their debt,” Lewis said, adding that the ramifications of college unaffordability for the broader economy could be detrimental. “One of my greatest fears with the student debt issue is that students will look around them and decide that the risk is too much.”


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Student Loans Mythbusting

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Students loans

Updated October 2017

Students loans Ignore newspaper headlines about students leaving university with Ј50,000 of debt. That’s a mostly meaningless figure. What counts is how much you’ll repay; for some that’s far more, for others it’s free.

This guide is written to bust common myths about student loans, grants and finance, including the 20+ key facts every potential student, parent and grandparent should know.

20+ student loans mythbusting tips, including.

Students loans

Recently graduated and worried about the interest?

Read Martin’s “Student loan interest’s rising to 6.1% – should you panic or pay it off?” guide

Before we start, I’d just like to say:

For 23 years we educated our youth into debt when they go to university, but never about debt.

It was for this reason, and while no fan of them, when massive changes were announced to student finance for those starting in 2012 or beyond – including the trebling of tuition fees – I agreed to head up a student finance taskforce. The idea was to work with the National Union of Students, universities and colleges to ensure we busted the myths and misunderstandings that resulted from so much political spittle-flying.

Don’t confuse the cost and the price tag

Students loansWith headlines shouting about Ј50,000 student debt and that getting bigger as living loans increase in 2017, it’s safe to say many students and parents are scared by this huge sum – and worry about how they’ll ever repay it.

But in essence that fear is misplaced. That’s because the price tag of university is mostly irrelevant. What matters in practical terms is how much you have to repay – and that’s a completely separate number from the total amount of tuition fees, maintenance loan and interest, because it all depends on what you would pay.

What you repay solely depends on what you earn after university. In effect this is, financially at least, a ‘no win, no fee’ education. Those who earn a lot after graduating or leaving university will repay a lot. Those who don’t gain too much financially from going to university will repay little or nothing.

This guide applies to the system started in England Wales in 2012

If you started before that you’re on a different system; please see the Should I repay my student loan? guide for full info on past loan systems.

You don’t need the cash to pay for university

It ISN’T a case of ‘pay up or you can’t go’. Once your application has been processed, tuition fees are automatically paid by the Student Loans Company. And there is a loan for living costs too.

Of course you don’t have to take these loans, you could pay the tuition fees directly. Yet as you’ll see (in point 15) that’s often a bad idea.

However, some students won’t get the same support as the majority.

If you already have a higher education qualification

If you already have a higher education qualification you’re unlikely to be able to borrow the money. Included within undergraduate courses are Higher National Diploma/Certificate courses and certain teacher training courses such as the PGCE.

If you’re wanting to study health care or medicine?

The Chancellor announced an overhaul to the existing grants system for student nurses in his Autumn Statement in November 2015.

From academic year 2017/18, student nurses will no longer receive grants and will instead apply for student loans, which the Government says means they’ll get more to live on than they’d get through the grants system.

The amount students will get depends on whether they live inside or outside London and whether they are living at home.

Taking into account a long-course allowance, the maximum a student would get living outside London and not at home is Ј10,092.

Nurses who have already started their studies will continue to get grants and nursing students who’d already applied for grants for the 2016/17 academic year would also have received these.

When nurses leave their studies and start to repay their loans, it will be under the normal loan repayment system described in this guide, meaning they will repay 9% of everything they earn above Ј21,000. The starting salary for a nurse is Ј21,600, so in the first year they will pay about Ј54 towards their student loan.

How the system currently works

Medical and health care students get support from the NHS bursary scheme, where they’ll also get an additional NHS grant and maintenance loan from Student Finance England. The amounts and rules are different depending on the course.

Undergraduate medical or dental students on five/six-year courses will have all tuition fees paid in their fifth and final years. Those on four-year courses must contribute Ј3,465 to their first-year fees, then receive Ј3,465 in years two, three and four as a bursary. Both will then be able to apply for a student loan for the remainder of their fees (eg, undergrad med student can apply for a loan for one to four years).

Graduates on the four-year accelerated medicine programme will have to fund the Ј3,465 tuition fee for all the years themselves. Eligible students can apply for a loan up to Ј5,535 to cover the remaining tuition fees.

You must reapply every year for the NHS bursary, and applications have to be received within six months of the first day of the academic year.

Fees for suitable non-medical courses, eg, physiotherapy, nursing and midwifery, are usually paid directly by the NHS so eligible students will not be required to pay tuition fees.

They will also be eligible for a Ј1,000 grant, means-tested bursary up to Ј4,395 (Ј5,460 in London, Ј3,351 if living at home, less for courses under 30 weeks each academic year) and a non-means-tested maintenance loan of up to Ј2,324 (Ј3,263 London, Ј1,744 home; all are reduced in final year of study).

If you’re a Muslim student

Muslim students in England are set to be able to get alternative student finance acceptable under Sharia, although there is no news on when this will be made available. We’ll update the guide as soon as we know more.


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Paperwork demystified — find forms and instructions here. Tips on filling out the FAFSA and maximizing eligibility.

Personal loans for students

‘Ask the Aid Advisor’ for personalized help. Read the financial aid FAQ and glossary for other answers.

Personal loans for students

Dozens of tools for calculating college costs, loan payments, savings, and the expected family contribution (EFC).

Personal loans for students

Get online info about testing, college admissions and jobs.

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Graduate Students and Loans

According to the 2007 2008 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, about 56% of graduate and professional students take out loans for school. In fact, the average loan debt for a graduate student is $37,000. This number is even higher for those seeking a professional degree. And it does not factor in undergraduate debt.

Before you pursue graduate school, understand the financial commitment you are making, especially if you need to take out loans or if you already have loans from your undergraduate education. Here are a few things to be aware of:

The Importance of Good Credit

If you are thinking about going to graduate school or getting a professional degree, first take a close look at your finances. A good credit history makes you eligible for more types of aid, since many loan programs for graduate students require a credit check.

  • Check your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three consumer reporting agencies:
    • Experian
    • TransUnion
    • Equifax
  • Visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS ). If you took out federal loans for your undergraduate education, find out how many loans you have and the current balance for each. You will need your PIN (personal identification number) to access this information.
  • Practice good credit card use. Do your best to minimize any outstanding balances on your credit cards. Starting graduate school with significant credit card debt may wreak havoc on your credit score if the expense of school creates more debt in the short term.

Repaying Your Undergraduate Loans

Can’t figure out how you’re going to pay off your undergraduate loans while you’re in graduate school? If you have federal loans that are in repayment when you start grad school, you may be eligible for an in-school deferment.

A deferment is a temporary postponement of repayment, so you don’t need to pay back your loan’s principal during this time. However, you are still responsible for paying the interest that accrues (unless you have a subsidized federal loan).

To be eligible for an in-school deferment, you must be enrolled at least half time. If you don’t qualify for an in-school deferment (for example, your enrollment is less than half time) or for any other deferment, your loan may be eligible for a forbearance.

Contact your loan servicer to ask about deferment or forbearance. These options may not be available if you have an alternative (private) loan.

Loan Consolidation

You may want to consider a consolidation loan if you are juggling payments on multiple federal loans. Consolidation allows you to combine several loans into one, with just one monthly payment to one servicer.

The advantages of consolidation include lower monthly payments and a fixed interest rate. However, with consolidation, you will make more payments over a longer period of time, meaning you will pay more in total over the life of the loan. Plus, on a consolidation loan, the interest rate is higher than the average interest rate for the original loans.

For more on consolidation, including whether your loans are eligible, visit StudentAid.ed.gov.

Taking Time Off

Many students decide to take time off between undergraduate and graduate school. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing this, especially in terms of money management.

  • Get some work experience and earn some money so you are more financially prepared. You may even want to make payments to reduce the amount of your undergraduate loans.
  • Think about what you really want to study, so when you go to grad school, it’s an investment in your career not just an expense.
  • Rest and recharge your batteries to prepare for the stress of a rigorous academic environment.
  • Experience an easier transition when you go directly from undergraduate school.
  • Get your degree at a younger age, maximizing your lifetime earning potential.
  • Realize that any loans that you already have may go into repayment.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your time off on your grad school applications, if you decide to pursue an advanced degree.
  • Incur additional debt for graduate school on top of any debt you have from your undergraduate years.
  • Have no time to make payments on any undergraduate loans.

Grace

Grace begins the day you leave school, graduate, or drop below half-time status. During your grace period, you don’t have to make any payments on your loans:

  • Federal Stafford Loans come with a 6-month grace period.
  • PLUS Loans do not have grace period. However, if your loan was first disbursed after July 1, 2008, you may be eligible to defer repayment an additional 6 months. Interest will continue to accrue during this post-enrollment deferment period and will capitalize if you do not pay it.
  • Perkins loans come with an initial 9-month grace period.
  • Alternative (private) loans may or may not have a grace period. Contact your loan servicer to find out.

If you have undergraduate loans, your decision to pursue a graduate or professional degree may affect your grace.

For example, if you go to graduate school immediately after undergraduate school, you will not use the 6-month grace period on any undergraduate Stafford Loans, and you won’t need to make any payments until you leave school. However, if you take time off before you go to graduate school (or don’t go), the grace period will run out, and you’ll need to begin making payments on your loans.

Attending School Less Than Half Time

If your attendance at graduate school drops below half time, you may lose your eligibility for some types of financial aid.

For example, to be eligible for certain federal student loans, you must attend school at least half time. If your federal loan has already been disbursed and you drop below half time, the loan will go into repayment.

Depending on the type of aid you received, however, it may be OK to attend school less than half time. For example, some tuition reimbursement programs allow you to enroll in only one class or attend a brief seminar. And you do not need to be enrolled half time to be eligible for the tax benefits from a Lifetime Learning Credit.

Before you drop to less than half time, check what the rules are for the type of aid you have. Make sure that if you drop below half time, you have the financial resources to pay back any monies owed on loans or other aid.

Also check if your attendance status affects any deferments or forbearances that you may have in place. Repayment may begin immediately, and you don’t want to be caught off guard.


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Student loan options can be overwhelming at first glance. But when it comes to federal student loans, there are just a few options.

The first step in getting one of the federal student loans listed below is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. While the FAFSA does determine eligibility for need-based aid, it also acts as an application for student loan options, both for need-based and non-need-based loans. It supplies students who need financial aid with that help as well as provides financing options for those students that would like to borrow with low-interest federal loans but don’t necessarily qualify for need-based aid.

Subsidized Stafford Loan

The subsidized Stafford Loan is available to students who qualify for need as determined by the FAFSA. Students must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen as well as have a high school diploma or GED. Like most federal student loans, interest does not accrue while the student is in school. If students qualify for a subsidized Stafford Loan, it will be stated on their award letter notification along with the amount for which they can borrow.

The Perkins Loan is another federal loan option that is for needy students. Again, students must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen as well as hold a high school diploma or GED. Again, interest does not accrue with the Perkins Loan, and students will find out whether or not they qualify as well as for how much when they receive their award letters from colleges.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

Finally, the unsubsidized Stafford Loan is a little different from the other federal loans. For both the subsidized Stafford and Perkins Loans, students must qualify for need as determined by the FAFSA. However, the unsubsidized Stafford Loan is available to any student, regardless of need. Also, unlike the other federal loans, interest accrues while the student is attending school. Again, if students want to apply for the unsubsidized Stafford Loan, they must complete the FAFSA.

Students can also qualify for a federal student loan consolidation after graduating from college or graduate school.


Helping Vermont Students Prepare For College, college loans for students.#College #loans #for #students


college loans for students

Fixed-rate parent student loans—as low as 5.8% APR

Go green!

With e-statements and automatic debit. Login or register for MyVSAC and choose e-statements.

College loans for students

An Adult Student

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Struggling to Pay My Loan

College loans for students

An Education Professional

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A Parent

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Upcoming Events

Financial Aid Forms Workshop: Enosburg Falls High School

6:00pm – 8:00pm Enosburg Falls High School

Join us for a free Financial Aid Forms workshop. At this informal workshop, we will assist you as you file your FAFSA and Vermont state grant applications.

College loans for students

Financial Aid Forms Workshop: River Bend Career Technical Center

5:00pm – 8:00pm River Bend Career Technical Center

Join us for a free Financial Aid Forms workshop. At this informal workshop, we will assist you as you file your FAFSA and Vermont state grant applications.

College loans for students

FAFSA Help: VSAC helpline walk-in assistance 11/16/17

4:00pm – 8:00pm VSAC Resource Center in Winooski

Will you be filing a FAFSA? The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is your pathway to funding for the education and career training after high school. Every student should file!

College loans for students

Learn About VHEIP: Oak Grove School Open House

5:30pm – 7:00pm Oak Grove School

VHEIP will be at the fall Open House for parents and students at Oak Grove School in Brattleboro on Thursday, November 16 from 5:30 to 7:00pm to give away free piggy banks or backpacks and speak with parents about how they can save and pay for college.

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Loans

Direct federal loans are a form of financial aid available to assist undergraduate students attending college at least half-time. Students may use the funds to pay for tuition, books, and living expenses. Loans must be repaid at a low fixed-rate.

Interest Rates

To be eligible for Federal Loans you must :

  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
  • be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
  • be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds;
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school;
  • sign statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes; and show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law

A loan based on financial need for which the federal government pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school, grace, or deferment status. For Direct Subsidized Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2014, the borrower will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during the grace period. If the interest is not paid during the grace period, the interest will be added to the loan’s principle balance.

A loan for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement and continues through the life of the loan.

A loan available parents of dependent undergraduate students for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status.