Student Loan Tips

Student loans are not fun; sometimes it is the only option to a better future. Before considering getting a loan, start with free money. Look online for financial aids (start with FAFSA), scholarships, and grants to help you save as much money as you can. There are plenty of scholarships that you can apply mostly for free and others might ask you to write an essay or some other task but it is worth trying. You can find all these resources online, at your local library, community college, or at any 4-year institution. If you’re working, check with your company if they offer a tuition-reimbursement program and ask about the process and stipulations.

Usually, you have to submit an application prior to taking a class and this is for making sure which benefit you fall into. They usually give in more $$ for full-time employee and some companies doesn't pay for part-time employees. Some companies will only pay for classes or degree that can be beneficial to them. For example, if you are working at a tech company then chances are they won’t be paying for your nursing classes. So know what you want and pick your battle. Also, some companies will payout if you make a certain grade mostly, grades B or/and higher. There are stipulations but it help you save $$$, help you motivate in getting higher grades, and most company will reimburse you as soon as you get your final grade (considering you submitted all the necessary documents after getting approved).

If getting a loan is the only option don’t fret, you are not alone! There are plenty of companies that you can apply for student loans such as Nelnet, Sallie Mae, Navient, etc.. The important first step is to browse each companies and choose what is best for you. You also have to consider the services they offer, interest fees, and other special options that you might be needing down the road such as Economic Hardship, Permanent  Disability, Forbearance, etc.. After choosing which company is best suited for your needs, either ask for a printed application to send to you or complete your application online. If you are sending it online, avoid locking the documents with a password. Chances are, when they code it or upload your documents, it will be routed somewhere else that can only delay the processing.

If you choose to send your application and documentation via snail mail, be sure to answer each question legibly. If your handwriting is unreadable, consider completing them online via Adobe, Nitro, or other similar program then print them. If you don’t have access of those program at home, try using the computers at your local library, at any literacy program in your area, or you can ask a person whom you trust to help you complete the application. This will avoid any incorrect information and will save you time and money by avoiding resending documentation.

I understand how sometimes we can be protective with our personal information such as our social security number but sadly you have to provide them--you are getting a loan after all. If you leave them blank, chances are your application approval will be halted. Then you have to send a proof or resend a completed application.  Keep in mind to never assume that the people who will receive your  mail will hand-open your application. These companies are huge, they receive thousands of mails so they use machine-operated gadgets such as envelope openers and scanners. So consider these tips:

  • Refrain from stapling your papers--these will get caught in the machine and will tear your docs. Don't go staple-happy. I have seen papers that are stapled on every corner. You don't want the person who scans your paper getting frustrated at your expense. 
  • Do no use paper clips or any metal or hard clips--same reason above.
  • Avoid covering your application with sticky notes! If you must write a note, write it on a separate piece of paper indicating the concerned questions or taped the note at the blank page on the back.  
  • Please use your full name. For example. if your name is Rebecca Smith and it’s the same name on your driver’s license and social security card, then please write your name the same way. Don’t write Becky Smith instead! If you changed your name legally, then provide a proof of the change. This will help avoid duplicating borrowers and if this happens, then you have to provide another document that you are the same person. Treat this process like you are getting a home loan. 
  • Create a separate email for your loan application and use it every time you correspond to the loan company. Email addresses are unique identifiers, this will help associates to pull up your files in one search easily. If you prefer to use another email address or changed it, please provide a note or send them an email regarding a change of information -- just like when you notify people with a change of address. Please create a decent email address. Don’t use beerlover, sexymandy, tamponswingers or similar cringe-worthy email addresses. After all, this is a serious financial matter, be professional and act like how you want to be treated.
  • If there’s any change in your personal information such as a name/gender change, marriage, address, phone number, or email address, notify your loan company along with the proof of the change. A copy of your marriage certificate, driver’s license, social security card, and any court documentation that will prove your name change legally will help you with the trouble later on. 
When sending your application via post, consider the bulk of your paper. Don’t just fold everything and stuff it into a regular envelope. If there’s a lot of paper, try sending it in a flat document envelope. You can also ask the company for some kind of an acknowledgement that they have received your application. Then wait for their response. If they need more information, send them. If you are approved, then congratulations on your way to a better future. 

Just remember that student loans are debts that you have to repay. You have a quid pro quo with the company. You asked them for a loan to help you with your college degree, they help you by lending the money, and you should pay it back when you get what you need. Think of the Lannisters from the Game of Thrones. You may not like them or aspire to be them but one thing is for sure, “the Lannisters always pay their debts.”






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