Paying Student Loans

by Jeanine
(Nevada)


Trials and Tribulations of Paying Student Loans - When I was eighteen years old, I was “kicked out” of my house by my alcoholic parents. Rather than listen to them about being a failure, I collected up what scholarship money I had and moved to a cheap apartment by UCLA.


I did not want to be saddled with paying huge student loans when I graduated and I knew that meant borrowing as little as possible I went to the financial aid office and completed all the documentation to have independent status so I could qualify for more financial aid. I got two jobs and committed myself to living as cheaply as possible. I applied for all the grants and financial aid I could.

In three years, I got wait-listed for the nursing program at UCLA but was accepted at USC. I knew USC, being a private school, would cost much more money than UCLA but rather than delay school by another year I decided to think of it as an investment that would pay for itself in the future. I had to cut down to one job to accommodate my school and clinical rotation schedule. I had no choice but to take out a lot of loans to get through school. I graduated with almost $40,000 in student loans.

After I graduated, I started the Nurse Practitioner (NP) program at UCLA. I also started working as an RN, and worked every weekend, every school holiday and overtime when I could. Even though my loans were in deferment, I made a student loan payment every month, even if it was only $20. After my first quarter, I won a scholarship that paid for the tuition for the rest of my schooling. This was a huge relief, and I was able to make larger student loan payments. I was paying off the highest interest student loans first. Then I consolidated the rest of my loans with a 3% interest rate.

After I completed my NP program, I got a job as an NP but continued to work as an RN three weekends a month. I paid extra towards the principal of my student loan every month. I was able to pay off my student loans in eight years instead of ten! It was a great sense of accomplishment when I got the letter stating that my loans were all paid off. It took much hard work and perseverance. It was hard doing it without help from my family, but it was possible!

In a nutshell, the advice I would give to not be overwhelmed by paying student loans would be:

1) Borrow the minimum you need to get through school.
2) Work during school.
3) Live as cheaply as possible.
4) Pay student loans while they are in deferment if possible.
5) Pay off the highest interest loans first.
6) Consolidate student loans so only one monthly payment needs to be made.
7) Try to pay a little bit extra towards the principal.

Read more tips on Paying off Student Loans from other students and parents who have been through the student loan process.


Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Jeanine for your excellent advice on paying student loans. I encourage all students to follow your tips on paying student loans. Good luck to you.

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Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

by Kristen Cooper
(Gardena, California)


ATTN: High school Seniors! Make sure you know the difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans ! Subsidized loans are loans that will not accumulate interest during your college career.

Unsubsidized loans are loans that will accumulate interest every time you accept it per year. The best loan is SUBSIDIZED!

The government will also offer you the Parent Plus loan, Do not take it!, it is going to bind your parents in the loan, so if you cannot pay it off, Uncle Sam will come after your parents, it will accumulate interest just like the unsubsidized loan.

Do not be fooled with the idea of no accumulated interest... the subsidized loan will still have interest after the 6 month grace period given right after you graduate college. Fortunately, the amount at that later date won’t be as bad as the accumulated amount with the other two loans mentioned above.

Read more tips on Paying off Student Loans from other students and parents who have been through the student loan process.



Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Kristen for bringing up this important topic - Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. If you financial aid for college, complete your FAFSA and apply early for financial aid. If part of that aid comes as loans, the federal subsidized loans are definitely the best. Good luck to you.

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My Student Loan

by Brian E. Ward
(Harrisville, MS United States)

There Truly Is A God!!! (How my Student Loan Was Taken Care Of) - Wow!!! I thought that "demon" (my student loan) would never get off of my back!!! Well, I guess faith is a powerful thing! This is my story on how my Student Loan was "finally" paid off!!!

First of all, I was a young man, around 18, when I first got started with my college years. I majored in Pastoral Studies because of my "calling" into the ministry. Well, I was the first in my family to ever go to college... and this made it tough with my "student loan life"! Lack of knowledge can be a deadly thing!

It went like this, coming from a family that knew nothing about college, I had also never heard of anything such as grants or scholarships! I thought you just borrowed the money, went to school, and paid it off at the end in payments! Little did I realize this lack of knowledge would lead to trouble in my future!

A disability known as epileptic seizures came into play in my life. I could not hold a job, or even preach regularly, due to the seizures acting up. The payments just kept coming every month... ruining my credit each month that I couldn't pay! If I would have simply known about the grants and scholarships while in college, I would have never went through this!

Finally, after some extreme seizures, I got put on an EEG machine at a hospital while off of my medicine. I prayed and asked God to "Please let the doctors see what my family has been seeing!"... and that is exactly what happened! They saw me have 10 seizures and sleepwalk constantly... all throughout the entire night!

After all of this drama, the doctors listened to me about how I couldn't pay my bills due to not being able to hold a job because of this. Praise God, every debt... thanks to the help of the doctors and God himself, every debt... including my Student Loans... were completely forgiven... almost like a free bankruptcy!!!

My advice, both to students and to parents of future students... spend the time needed searching for any scholarship or grant that can add up and put you, or your child, through college without the burden of the Student Loans adding up and weighing on the student in the future!

Read more tips on Paying off my Student Loan from other students and parents who have been through the student loan process.



Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Brian for sharing your personal story about My Student Loan. Your story will help others. Good luck to you.



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