Thursday, September 17, 2009

Quick Student Loans - Don't be Hasty

Google "fast student loans" or "quick student loans" and you'll find a link to thinkfinancial(dot)com as your # 1 result at the time of this writing. Go to that site and you'll only find a link to a SunTrust private student loan application page. Think about it. You're in a hurry to get money to go to college as soon as possible and before you know it; you are likely to be looking at SunTrust student loan application. Is SunTrust your best option in this situation? Let's investigate.

Looking at an August 2009 review of student private loan providers, SunTrust ranked right in the center with 5 lenders below them and 5 rated above them. The best loans were all from federal credit unions. Before turning to a bank, definitely check out your neighborhood federal credit union for quick student loans.

Before making this crucial money decision, there are other important issues you must consider. Try getting someone with a good credit score to co-sign the loan with you. Traditional wisdom says never to co-sign a loan because of the risks. Still, if you have proven yourself to be a responsible individual in the past, maybe you can sweet talk a relative into "partnering" the loan with you. Even without a co-signer, quick student loans can be obtained but at a price. That price is a larger rate of interest and big time consequences due to missed payments. So, count the cost before you dive in too deep.

Be certain all other streams of money have been found before turning to quick student loans. Among these are college scholarships, federal loans, work study opportunities, and federal grants. There really is free money out there for college if you search for it.

Make sure you make a smart choice for your major. History degrees usually don't serve people for paying off quick student loans. You have to go after a degree that will land you a high paying job. A business degree is about the lowest you should go if a student loan is supporting your education. I'm even a little leery of that. Engineering, law, and of course medicine are your best money making degrees.

Lastly, think about starting out at community college for the first half of your schooling. The first two years of school are generally the same whether you are at a four year university or a two year community school. The price is a lot cheaper and often you receive better individual attention in your classes at a community college.

For good or bad, quick student loans are usually life changers. Be very careful before committing to one. Being impulsive has the potential of destroying your life for years to come.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tips To Help You Apply For A Federal Student Loan

1) Apply online using

2) Check deadlines. Be aware of your state's and your school's application deadlines. While there is no deadline for applying for federal student aid, you should apply as early as possible after January 1 of each year that you will attend college. Some state and school aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

3) Collect the information you need to complete the FAFSA:
* Your Social Security number and your parents' Social Security numbers;
* Your driver's license number, if you have one;
* Your alien registration number, if you are not a U.S. citizen; and
* Your federal tax returns and income information

4) Check your FAFSA. After you complete the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Review the information carefully and make any necessary corrections.

5) Respond immediately to any request from your school for additional information.


FFEL and Direct Loan Interest Rates Effective July 1, 2009

Fixed Rates for Loans First Disbursed on or After July 1, 2006

Subsidized Undergraduate Loan: First Disbursed 7/1/2008 to 6/30/2009: 6.00%
Subsidized Undergraduate Loan: First Disbursed 7/1/2009 to 6/30/2010: 5.60%

Subsidized Graduate Loan: 6.80%

Unsubsidized Undergraduate Loan: 6.80%

Unsubsidized Graduate Loan: 6.80%

Direct PLUS Parent Loan: 7.90%
Direct PLUS Graduate Student Loan: 7.90%

FFEL PLUS Parent Loan: 8.50%
FFEL PLUS Graduate Student Loan: 8.50%

Variable Rates for Loans First Disbursed Between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 2006

These rates were calculated based upon statutory formulas and equal the bond equivalent rate of the 91-day Treasury bills auctioned on May 26, 2009, plus certain statutory percentage add-ons. The 91-day Treasury bills were auctioned at 0.178 percent, rounded to 0.18 percent.

Subsidized (Repayment/Forbearance): First Disbursed 7/1/08 to 6/30/09: 4.21%
Subsidized (Repayment/Forbearance): First Disbursed 7/1/09 to 6/30/10: 2.48%

Subsidized (In-school/Grace/Deferment): First Disbursed 7/1/08 to 6/30/09: 3.61%
Subsidized (In-school/Grace/Deferment): First Disbursed 7/1/09 to 6/30/10: 1.88%

Unsubsidized (Repayment/Forbearance): First Disbursed 7/1/08 to 6/30/09: 4.21%
Unsubsidized (Repayment/Forbearance): First Disbursed 7/1/09 to 6/30/10: 2.48%

Unsubsidized (In-school/Grace/Deferment): First Disbursed 7/1/08 to 6/30/09: 3.61%
Unsubsidized (In-school/Grace/Deferment): First Disbursed 7/1/09 to 6/30/10: 1.88%

PLUS Parent Loan: First Disbursed 7/1/08 to 6/30/09: 5.01%
PLUS Graduate Student Loan: First Disbursed 7/1/09 to 6/30/10: 3.28%


*Interest rates on Stafford and PLUS loans disbursed before July 1, 1998, are calculated using different statutory formulas, percentage add-ons, or both.
*Generally, interest rates on Consolidation Loans are fixed rates calculated based on the weighted average of the loans being consolidated rounded up to the next higher 1/8 percent, not to exceed 8.25 percent.