For those of you preparing to start college, you may have started to look into student loans and the FASFA deadline.
Student loans are oftentimes a huge part of the college experience for many people going, and they can be pretty confusing. There are also specific dates that need to be adhered to, and FASFA deadlines are vitally important to know about.
Let’s start with the deadlines first, and then we will discuss other things you need to know about student loans.
What Is the FAFSA Deadline?
There are actually more than one FASFA deadline that you should know about. Here are the three deadlines you should be aware of for filling out your FASFA and applying for student loans.
The Federal Deadline
One very important FAFSA deadline to keep in mind is from the U.S Department of Education, also known as FAFSA themselves.
Their time constraint is simply that the FAFSA of the current year becomes unavailable on the 30th of June of the school year it applies to.
What this means is that, for example, the 2019-2020 FAFSA was made available to the public on October 1, 2018, it will disappear from their website on June 30th of 2020 (because that is the end of the 19-20 school year). The 2020-2021 FAFSA will be due in by June 30th, 2021. However, this is simply the longest deadline, there are others you need to know about too.
Technically speaking, this means that you can finish a full year of college before even accessing the form. However, the federal student aid programs have limited money to give out, so earlier is going to be better.
The State Deadline
Another FAFSA deadline to be aware of is one that is determined by your home state.
Depending on the state in question, some of them may have hard, set deadlines and others will simply have suggested ones. The suggested deadlines are put in place to make sure you have a chance to get priority consideration for financial aid.
There are a lot of states that have limited funding, so the deadlines may be really early to ensure you have a chance of getting some of it. A lot of these states will award financial aid until they run out of it, so, the earlier, the better.
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The College Deadline
Last but definitely not least, you have to consider the deadline of the college itself. Typically these are going to be very early, and they will vary depending on the schools you are looking at. They are also usually well before the school year even starts.
Always prioritize the college deadlines, you should be able to find them on your financial aid documents from the college. To be considered for the largest amount of money, you must meet these internal deadlines or get your applications in before them. If you can not find your school’s dates on your forms, we suggest that you call the financial aid office.
If you plan on applying to a selection of different schools, make sure that you know each and every FAFSA deadline for each school. You can begin the application process as early as October 1st, which gives you plenty of time before any deadline in question.
To make it even simpler, this early launch date actually coincides with a lot of college application deadlines. This means that you can apply for your federal aid and for college at the same time. This is true even if you don’t know where you are applying yet.
Add any schools that you are considering to the form, even if you aren’t sure if you are applying or you’ll even be accepted. These can be removed and others added later.
Other Things You Should Know About Student Loans
Now that we have discussed all you need to know about the FASFA deadline, here are 5 other things you should know about student loans. There are a lot of different details that are easy to overlook, so keep these tips and facts in mind when starting to fill out your FAFSA form.
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1.The Seriousness of Student Loans
If you decide to take on student loans, you should be aware of how serious they are.
It is rare to have these loans forgiven, only about 5 percent of people who apply for it get it. Student loans also cannot be dissolved, even through bankruptcy. These debts are there for life until they are paid off.
If you stop making payments on your student loans, the federal government has the right to start docking your pay in order to pay the debt. The best way to take care of this debt is to consistently make the payments on time.
There are ways to have a loan forgiven, but you’ll be required to work in jobs that many feel are not desirable, including serving in the public sector with not-for-profits, government organizations, and other qualifying public services like teaching, law enforcement, and the military.
The issue with these programs is that they are often not accessible even when you are working in those fields. Sadly, 99 percent of people who apply for loan forgiveness received rejections.
2. When Do Your Loan Payments Start?
Like any loan, student loans must be paid back. They do not, however, have to be paid back as soon as you graduate. Borrowers get a “grace period” after they leave school, and payments on their loans will become due after six months.
Remember, if you miss any payments, you can’t get forgiveness of your student loans, so be sure to pay on time and communicate with your loan company.
3. Private Loans
Public loans are not your only option, there are private lenders who will help you pay for college. If you are interested in pursuing a private loan, your school’s financial aid office can help with their preferred lender list. This list is put together by the colleges and they offer a detailed look at who they will work with, making the job much easier for you.
Private loans are not the same as public loans, they aren’t limited in the interest they charge and you may not qualify for any kind of forgiveness or deferment like you can for public money. Be sure you are well educated on the private loan terms, including when the loan will come due, as some private loans can actually start requiring payment before you graduate.
4. The Different Types of Student Loans
Filling out your FAFSA makes you eligible for two types of loans. Both are federal, but one is subsidized and the other unsubsidized.
Subsidized loans, are for students that need aid due to financial hardship. The federal government pays the interest while you are attending school, so that doesn’t accrue to your loan during your attendance.
Unsubsidized student loans are available to any and all students, regardless of their financial need. However, the students using these loans are responsible for all interest on them, starting the day that the loan is paid out. That interest accrues to the principal, so each month, you owe interest on a little bit more money.
Be sure to seriously consider if the expense of unsubsidized loans is worth the benefit of the loan.
5. How Much Should You Borrow?
Following up on knowing whether an unsubsidized loan is worth taking, be sure that you are only borrowing what you absolutely need.
If you borrow more than you can expect to make, you can expect to have to pay more for many years than if you limit your borrowing to the bare necessities. Consider what your chosen profession usually earns in their first year in the job market, and do your best to keep borrowed funds under that amount. If you don’t know what salaries are for your planned profession, do some research.
Loans can cause a lot of stress when they are due to be paid, but you aren’t making enough in your chosen career. Be careful, research entry-level incomes for your field, and keep borrowed money to the minimum if possible.
Our Final Thoughts on FAFSA Deadlines and Student Loans
We hope that you find our guide on FAFSA deadlines and student loans to be helpful.
While it can be a trying, extensive process to research and get started, it is vitally important for your degree and your future career.
Making sure that you know exactly what you are doing by applying and accepting federal aid will ensure that your college and financial aid experience is the best it can be.
If you still feel overwhelmed and like you have quite a few unanswered questions, there are some of the most frequently asked questions that FAFSA has answered for students and parents.
No matter what you don’t understand or can’t wrap your head around, they have a detailed answer for you.
What are you most excited and/or nervous about when it comes to the FAFSA application and submission process? If you have filled out a FAFSA form before, what advice would you have for those doing it for the first time?
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