Saturday, February 24, 2007

Apply for a Loan

Information provided by Citibank

Once you have completed your award letter comparisons and have identified that additional funding may be needed, the next step is to understand your options.

Government Student Loans

Federal student loan options include unsubsidized or subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Parent Federal PLUS Loans and Graduate Federal PLUS Loans. Your school will recommend that you apply for specific loan products first. It is in your best interest to follow the school's instruction.

The college you select may choose to participate in one of two federal loan programs: either the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) or the Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP). Both programs are governed by federal regulations that determine the loan programs, loan limits, and repayment options.

  • If your college participates in the FFELP, private lenders will provide your loan funds. Your school's Financial Aid Office can provide you with a list of preferred private lenders.
  • If your college participates in the FDLP, your funds will come directly from the federal government. Your school's Financial Aid Office will be able to assist you with the application process.
Federal Loan Entrance Requirements

Before receiving Stafford Loan funds, the federal government requires that all first-time borrowers complete Entrance Loan Counseling. Ask your Financial Aid Office if your school accepts online entrance counseling.

Alternative/Private Student Loans Are Always an Option

If your financial aid award letter shows that you do no qualify for federal student loans, or shows that there is still a gap in your college funding, consider applying for an alternative or private student loan. Offered by private lenders, these loans can cover your funding gap and even cover the full cost of your education. Alternative/private loans typically offer competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options. Your school's Financial Aid Office can provide you with a list of preferred private lenders or you can visit Citibank's, which lists preferred lenders for many colleges and universities.

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