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Iowa Student Loan
Free college financing information is available
By Lorraine Groves
Iowa Student Loan board member
(March 26, 2021) – If you have a student headed to college in the fall, or even in the next two or three years, you may be confused about the various ways to pay for it. Frequently, families find that their own savings and student earnings will not be enough to pay the cost of attendance after scholarships, grants and other financial aid.
If your student will need additional funding, you may wonder whether to start with federal or private student loans or if a fixed or variable rate is better. And what about those loans parents take out to pay for their children’s college expenses?
It can be overwhelming to understand how federal and private student loans differ, what their benefits and drawbacks are, and how to choose the best loan for your situation. And, it doesn’t help when you receive conflicting advice from other families who have gone through the process.
This is a time to rely on the advice of experts. Iowa Student Loan is a nonprofit organization that has helped families get the resources they need to pay for college for more than 40 years, from lower-cost private student loans to scholarships to online resources. We have put that experience to work for you in a free College Financing Information Kit.
The kit is available to any family who would like one. All you need to do is visit www.IowaStudentLoan.org/CollegeKit and request a copy be electronically delivered or mailed to you.
This packet gives you the power to make informed decisions when financing college. It includes information on:
. Options for paying for college, including the difference between federal and private loans.
. What parents and cosigners need to know about student loans.
. How to choose a private student loan.
. Comparing parent loans.
. Free online tools to help reduce the need to borrow.
The kit is a great way to start or expand family conversations about the cost of college, the ways to pay for it, and how much the student and the parents will each be responsible for. It’s important to periodically revisit education plans to ensure the chosen path continues to meet the student’s goals and the family financial situation.
Additional free resources are also available at www.IowaStudentLoan.org to help families as they begin or continue planning for education after high school. The Parent Handbook, a free online resource, and Student Planning Pointers for Parents, a twice-monthly e-newsletter, both help parents begin conversations with students who are in middle school or above.
High school students can experience Student Loan Game Plan, Return on College Investment and College Funding Forecaster tools to explore recommended maximum debt levels, educational paths and funding, and starting salaries for a variety of educational paths and careers.
All these tools are free and available online. Learn more about each of them by requesting your free copy of the College Financing Information Kit at www.IowaStudentLoan.org/CollegeKit.
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