|If you have heard about any kind of Federal financial aid for
students, you are already familiar with US Department of
Education loans. The US Department of Education handles all
government aid for defraying the cost of attending college in
America, from grants to loans.
The first thing that you will need to do to apply for US
Department of Education loans is to fill out a FAFSA, or
Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. FAFSA
forms compare the amount of money required to attend a specific
college to the amount of money that can be expected to be paid
by the family of the attendee. Any difference is the amount of
money eligible for student aid.
Qualifying for US Department of Education Loans US Department of
Education loans have specific qualifications that an applicant
must meet to be eligible. The qualifications include US
Citizenship (some non-citizens with social security numbers are
also eligible), financial need, possession of a valid Social
Security Number, and proof of eligibility for higher education
in the form of a high school diploma, General Education
Development (GED) certificate, or similar. Furthermore,
applicants for US Department of Education loans must be in good
financial, academic, and legal standing. In other words, they
must be registered with the Selective Service if required, they
must not have defaulted on a student loan in the past, they can
have no record of conviction on charges of sales or possession
of drugs, and they must maintain a certain grade point average
(GPA) to continue to receive student loans from the Department
Types of US Department of Education Loans There are three main
possibilities when considering US Department of Education loans:
grants, which are monetary gifts, student loans, and work-study
programs where the money for education is earned. Only in the
case of student loans does the money need to be repaid. Most
federal grants are based solely on financial need, and some are
given on a first-come-first-served basis, so it is important to
apply as early as possible.
Work-Study programs are not technically US Department of
Education loans, but they are a federally mandated way to
receive financial aid to attend college. A number of work-study
hours are specified as part of the financial aid package. These
usually involve jobs working with non-profit companies or on
campus, and pay a modest salary. The money earned can be used
for college tuition.
True US Department of Education loans include the Perkins
Loan, the Stafford Loan, and the PLUS loan for parents.
Perkins loans have a particularly low interest rate and can be
paid back over a time period of as long as 10 years. There are a
limited number of Perkins Loans available to each school every
year. The Stafford Loan has a higher interest rate than the
Perkins loan, and doesn't necessarily offer a grace period after
graduation. However, there are more Stafford loans offered by
the US Department of Education every year. Stafford loans are
even available to students who don't have a pressing financial
need. Stafford loans may be paid off over a period of as long as
PLUS loans are the final type of US Department of Education
loans. They are offered to parents of undergraduates, as
opposed to the students themselves. Payments on Federal PLUS
loans start two months after the money is received, and can
be paid off over a ten-year term.
About the author:
Mark Kessler's website offers a comprehensive free resource of
college financial aid. Don't even think about paying for school
until you've read this about Consolidating Student Loans, as
well as Alternative Student Loans, ACS, Bad Credit, and US Department of
Education loans, including a variety student loan
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