Planning & Paying for College: Overview

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1 CHARTERBANK - Student Checking 4.0 Planning & Paying for College Above: Student Checking Debit Card Design Planning & Paying for College: Overview Many factors go in to planning and paying for college. The estimated cost of tuition, books, supplies, fees, personal and living expenses, should be provided to you by your college. While there are many sources of financial aid to help with these expenses, some depend on your family s income as well as other funds coming in. You need to determine all the additional money you ll need each month to make ends meet in college. Steps 1-4 will provide you with a basic overview of how to plan and pay for college. The sections following will provide you with detailed information and instructions on everything from applying for financial aid to choosing your loan repayment plan.

2 CHARTERBANK - Student Checking 4.0 Planning & Paying for College Step 1: Financial Aid There are many types of financial aid. Federal loans, scholarships, college work-study programs and others. What types of financial aid you are eligible for are determined by your FAFSA information the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Note that there are numerous documents you ll need when you apply, including tax returns, so it will take preparation. A report called your Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to you detailing what types of aid you are eligible for. Step 2: Review your Financial Aid Package Ask your college financial aid adviser to create a financial aid package for you. It s based on financial need and may include scholarships, grants, work-study and loans. Your school will notify you of the types of aid for which you are eligible. The Types of Funding section in this document will outline several of the funding options available to you. Step 3: Create your Budget Plan When you head to college, you have to manage your money. That calls for a budget. A budget doesn t work if it s not thorough. You must include EVERY item of expense and income for the year. Remember, there is no typical month. Expenses and income both fluctuate monthly. You can download the Budget Planning Worksheet in the Budget Planner section found on the 411 on Banking page. It prompts you to include as many of these items as possible to make your plan accurate. It s a great tool! Step 4: Determine if Additional Resources are Needed When you see the bottom line of your Budget Planning Worksheet, you ll be better able to determine if and how much additional funding you ll need for year one of college (You apply each year). The amount you can borrow in Student Loans is based on the income you expect to earn after leaving school. From 8 to 15 percent of your yearly estimated income is a range of the amount you will be able to afford to repay monthly. Cut your expenses, but don t over-commit on a post-college payment you cannot afford.

3 CHARTERBANK - Student Checking 4.0 Planning & Paying for College Let s Get Specific - Applying for Financial Aid Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Have your driver s license, Social Security number, prior-year tax return, W-2 forms and bank statements handy before you start. You can submit your application online at fafsa.ed.gov or get a paper FAFSA application from your high school counselor or college financial aid adviser. To submit with an electronic signature, you and your parents must get Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) from the U.S. Department of Education at pin.ed.gov. Dependent students are required to have parents sign the FAFSA prior to submission so they will need a PIN. After submitting, watch for your Student Aid Report (SAR) that will tell you the amount of money your family is expected to contribute toward your education (Expected Family Contribution or EFC). The SAR should arrive in as few as five days if you apply online or in four to six weeks otherwise. A copy of your SAR goes to your college s financial aid office to develop your financial aid package. It can be comprised of scholarships, work-study, grants and loans. You should be notified when your school has your financial aid options ready, but it s up to you to follow through if you haven t heard in a reasonable length of time. Next, you ll need to fill out a Master Promissory Note (MPN)/loan application document. This is your application for a Direct Loan with the Department of Education. Once your lender receives certification of required enrollment criteria, your loan will be processed and you will be notified of your funds disbursement date. Funds go directly to your school. Any overage should be paid back to you through your college s or university s Bursar s office. Types of Funding Types of Financial aid differ. Understand each and apply for the best ones for you. Scholarships and Grants Always look for the least expensive sources of money first. Grants and scholarships are considered free money because you usually do not have to pay them back. Scholarships are awarded to students with exceptional achievement in such fields as academics, performing or visual arts and sports. Grants are based on financial need. Your high school guidance counselor or financial aid adviser is your best resource for finding and applying for scholarships and grants. Work Study The Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP) provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students who need financial aid. Pay rates are relative to the type and difficulty of the work you perform, but they are always at least the federal minimum wage. You can work a limited number of hours based on your financial need and this is determined by your college. Contact your financial aid adviser for help.

4 Planning & Paying for College Federal Loans While scholarships, grants and work-study are free, student loans are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest. Here are the types of federal loans available: Federal Stafford Loans Best type of loan to start with because they feature fixed interest rates and flexible repayment options. There are two types: 1. The Subsidized Stafford Loan - For qualified students who demonstrate financial need. The federal government will pay the interest on this type of loan as long as you re enrolled in college at least half-time. 2. The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan - For students who do not demonstrate financial need. Also, for those who need an amount in addition to their subsidized Stafford loan. The borrower pays the entire loan amount and the interest with no government assistance. Federal Perkins Loan A loan for students who demonstrate extreme financial need. It is federal government subsidized to help you pay for both undergraduate and graduate school. Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) PLUS loans are made to parent borrowers regardless of income level. They help parents of dependent students cover the cost of college without borrowing from their home equity, retirement savings or credit cards. Graduate PLUS Loan For graduate and professional students to help cover graduate education expenses. Graduate PLUS loans are made to student borrowers regardless of income level. Private Loans Private loans can help pay education expenses when other forms of aid do not cover all the costs. These loans can be applied to your education-related expenses. Choosing a Repayment Plan CHARTERBANK - Student Checking 4.0 Loan repayment plans take many forms. Choosing the one best suited to your anticipated post-college situation is very important. This is not a complete list. Work with your lender to understand every repayment option available. Loan Repayment Options Standard Plan Provides for minimum payments each month as low as $50 for up to 10 years. This plan ultimately results in your paying less interest than with most other plans. Student Loan Consolidation Combines all of your federal student loans into one, fixed rate loan.¹ If you decide to extend your repayment term, your monthly payment can also be lower. ² (1). Your actual interest rate will be the weighted average of the interest rates of the loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest 1/8 of one percent, but will not exceed 8.25 percent. Borrowers must be consolidating eligible federal loans that are in repayment or in grace period and they have a combined outstanding principal balance of at least $10,000. Private education loans cannot be consolidated under federal consolidation loan program. (2). Extending your repayment term helps reduce your monthly payment, but the amount of the interest you pay over the life of your loan will increase. The repayment period may extend up to 30 years, depending on your loan amount. In addition, you may risk losing the deferment and forbearance rights of your current federal loans. Repayment options generally apply to federal loans.

5 Planning & Paying for College Graduated Plan Offers lower payments for two, three or four years, with full payments of principal and interest for the remaining repayment term. Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR) Applies to the most prevalent types of federal student loans. Under IBR, your income and family size are used to determine a monthly payment cap that is intended to be affordable for you. Income-Sensitive Plan Depending on your gross monthly income, this plan allows monthly payments to vary from year to year. Extended Payment Plan If your first federal loan was dispersed on or after 10/07/98 and your Stafford and PLUS loans total more than $30,000, your repayment period can be extended up to 25 years. Deferred Payment Plan Allows you to postpone principal and interest payments until graduation. Your long-term loan costs will increase when you elect to defer payments. Sample Repayment Schedule The following chart shows an example of monthly loan repayment amounts over 10 years, the total amount paid for federal loans and the suggested income levels to afford the payment using the Standard plan. Amount Borrowed 120 Monthly Payments Total Amount Paid Suggested Income Level $5,500 $63.29 $7,595 $9, $15,000 $ $20, $25,893 $25,000 $ $34,524 $43,155 $50,000 $ $69,048 $86,310 *Based on a 10-year term and a fixed interest rate set by the federal government on Stafford loans of 6.8 percent. CHARTERBANK - Student Checking 4.0 Your Responsibilities as a Borrower Understanding your loan commitment and repaying responsibly is a vital aspect to building strong credit for the long term. Remember: You are responsible for REPAYING your loan, including interest and fees. You signed a contractual agreement. Your loan could go into DEFAULT if: You are late with your payments You fail to meet the other terms of your loan agreement. Late payments have consequences. Depending on how late your payments are, you could become ineligible for further financial aid, deferments or forbearances until your payments are current.

6 Planning & Paying for College The Consequences of Defaulting on Your Federal Loan: The loan default will become part of your permanent credit history. Your loan will be assigned to a collection agency. The unpaid amount of your loan may become due and payable immediately. The IRS may seize your property, garnish your wages or sue you to ensure repayment. If you are having trouble repaying your loans, there are some options. Contact your lender as indicated on your monthly statements. They will review your situation and find out if one of the following alternatives is available: Deferment should you have certain situations, like economic hardship, unemployment, returning to school or serving on active duty in the military, deferment can give you the option of postponing payments. Forbearance permits you to postpone or reduce payments temporarily during a time of financial difficulty. Interest continues to accrue during your postponement period, which you are responsible for. The No Payments Option for PLUS and Graduate PLUS Loans allows repayment forbearance, upon request, for a maximum of 48 months. Forgiveness forgives the loan completely under some circumstances, such as permanent, total disability or death. The loan does not have to be repaid. CHARTERBANK - Student Checking 4.0

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