July Newsletter: Student Loan Changes
The 411 on Private Student Loans
Looking to cover some last-minute college expenses? Private student loans can be a great resource for many students. When you’re deciding which loan is right for you, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Compare APRs, not just interest rates
- Look at repayment plan options
- Scope out benefits like cosigner release and rate reductions
Learn more about comparing loan options at PrivateStudentLoans.com.
Need to Know: Student Loan Changes
This has been an interesting month for student loan holders, to say the least. On July 1st, interest rates on Federal Subsidized Stafford loans increased from 3.4% to 6.8%. Then July 10th brought even more changes when Congress reached a potential deal.
Under this new bill, student loan interest rates would become variable. The rates for new federal student loans would be the Treasury Rate, plus set percentage points for each loan type. This means the new federal student loan rates would be:
- Undergraduate Stafford Loans: Treasury Rate + 1.8 = 3.61%
- Graduate Stafford Loans: Treasury Rate + 3.4 = 5.21%
- PLUS Loans: Treasury Rate + 4.5 = 6.31%
It’s unclear right now what will happen, as the budget committee is in the process of analyzing the bill’s impacts. Keep an eye out for new developments at StudentLoanNetwork.com.
Financial Aid Next Steps
Summer is now well underway, and while it’s important to get some much-needed rest, make sure to also stay on top of your financial aid! If you have already accepted your financial aid award, that’s great, but you’re not done yet! Before the summer flies by, here are some next steps you should complete sooner rather than later:
- Sign your MPN — In order for your federal student loans to be disbursed, students (or parents with PLUS loans) must make sure to sign their Master Promissory Note.
- Complete Entrance Counseling — All federal aid borrowers are required to complete Entrance Counseling online. This one-time counseling session provides useful information to borrowers to make sure they truly understand the obligation of their student loans.
- Fill financial aid gaps — Don’t wait until September to realize you’re short on funds. Use this time to find scholarships, request PLUS loans, or find a private student loan.
What Our Scholarship Winners Are Saying
Dai Garner was the winner of the May $1,000 NPD Scholarship, and could not have been more thrilled. Check out what she has to say about the ScholarshipPoints program:
I actually googled “Scholarships” and that is how I found out about ScholarshipPoints and to be honest I NEVER expected to win because I figured so many people probably have so many more points than I do so they have a better chance, which was not the case. I had just created my profile and began earning points a week before I was selected for the scholarship. The morning I received the email I had to reread it because I just knew it wasn’t true, but then no more than a hour later a received a call from a ScholarshipPoints representative telling me to claim my scholarship. I was beyond ecstatic, words can’t even explain my level of joy.
Join ScholarshipPoints today and maybe you’ll be the next big winner!
Here are some new scholarships to check out!
- Education Will Change the World Prize — Deadline: Nov 30, 2013
- ACES Copy Editing Scholarships — Deadline: Nov 15, 2013
- Boettcher Foundation Scholarship — Deadline: Nov 1, 2013
- Allied Healthcare Scholarship Program — Deadline: Sep 11, 2013
- Tese Caldarelli Memorial Scholarship — Deadline: Nov 1, 2013
See more new scholarships.
Tweet With Us
On July 18th, join us on Twitter for a #CollegeCash chat. At 7pm PST, we’ll be answering your questions about recent Stafford loan changes. Follow @FinAidForum for more info on this!
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