Don't Fear the Loan Monster

by Kristen

In the dark, all alone, I feared the loan monster. I sat in the corner and stared at the dark cloud above my head. He was $5500 and I really needed him to pay for school, but then my boss gave me a hand. He lifted me out of the dark and told me about a scholarship I could apply for through my job. He helped me fill out the forms and he proofread my essay. He tried to reassure me that I would get the scholarship, but I was unsure. I didn't believe that someone like me, with mediocre grades and a pessimistic attitude toward financial aid, could really get money for school that I wouldn't have to pay back.

After a grueling two months of hoping that I got the scholarship, I got an email from the scholarship committee that said that I was moving onto round two, the interview. Knowing that I was no good at interviews, I became terrified. I was so worried that I would just make a fool of myself in front of a large panel of judges, but I went. I did my best and I made the judges laugh. I only hoped that it would be enough.

One month later, I got another email from the scholarship committee. Assuming it was just going to be the judges telling me that I did not get the scholarship, I just closed the email before reading it. Then, my mother called me, hysterical. She was screaming, "You got it! You got it!" That's when I opened the email again and read it. I got the scholarship! The judges must have really liked me, because I was one of only thirty people who received scholarships out of the four-hundred that applied.

My advice is to anyone who is living in fear if the loan monster. Don't let the monster back you into the dark corners of the room. If you cannot find any scholarships that you qualify for, ask your boss or a teacher to help you. I received $2500 from my job and I couldn't be happier. Even if you aren't good at writing essays or being interviewed, just go for it and do your best. I'm sure you'll do just great! If you don't get the first one, don't stress out too much. Just keep trying and get help if you need it. If it weren't for my boss helping me out, I'd probably still be living in fear of the loan monster.

Read more advice on Paying on Student Loans

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Kristen for sharing your interesting story. The financial aid process can be very scary – I love your loan monster analogy! Scholarships through your employer are an excellent way to pay for college, and asking for help is a great way to start. Check out some of our Scholarship Money for College.
Best of luck.

There are also some programs for Student Loan Debt Forgiveness and Consolidating Student Loans . Check these out to see if you qualify.

Repaying Student Loans

(Corey, Alabama)

My take on paying off student loans varies from others. Before having to deal with taking out a student loan to pay for college, I think you should explore all avenues as possible before choose that route.

It’s important to really know the field of study that you want to go after. I think there’s nothing worse than going into a field and when you have finished and can’t find a job, but those monthly payment began to roll around on those loans that you have previously taken out to finish college. Education has to really be planned.

If for some reason I am forced to take out a student loan, I would have to make the decision to attend a Community College and possible choose the Medical Field, Such as Physical Therapy, which is a 2 year program at my local Community College. Then after completing that, I would then decide whether I wanted to go further in my career. If not, student loan would not be a choice because I will be faced with the inability to pay it back and trying to live on my own as well.

If there are students that are our there, that are struggling to pay back those loan, Here are some tips that I think they can follow:

1. Research online to see are their any programs out there that you may fall under that would forgive those loans based on the amount that was borrowed.

2. Is there a possibility that you can file a hardship because of your age and inability to pay those loans back?

3. Check with your pastor or community leader to see whether you can have some assistance in repaying those loans back.

4. If all others fail try and talk with the loan officers to see whether you can have low monthly payment interest free with longer to repay the money back.

Planning and wanting to attend college is a wonderful thing, but sometimes your finances doesn’t warrant such decision in attending a 4 year institution. If I have to make the choice in choosing a 2 year and applying for financial aid, than that’s ok too.

Read more College Financial Aid Tips from other students and parents who have been through process.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice
Thank you Corey for sharing some common sense advice about Repaying Student Loans. It makes it easier if you never have to take out the loans. Good luck to you.

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