How To Choose The Right Private Student Loan For You

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With many fall semester bills due on August 1, you may currently be looking for ways to cover your remaining tuition balance. And you may be considering private student loans for the job.

Unfortunately, when it comes to borrowing private student loans, things are as unruly as the Wild West—except there’s no John Wayne to make the tough decisions for you. So, before you sign the dotted line, here are some tips to help you choose the right option for you, pilgrim.

The Graceful Way To Handle Your Student Loan Grace Period

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Congratulations, class of 2014! Graduation came a lot faster than you expected, right?

I’m sure it already feels like the clock is ticking on a few things, like finding a job or getting your own apartment. However, don’t forget one more: If you took out federal student loans, your grace period has begun too.

Loans may not seem like a priority right now if your payments haven’t started. But, just like graduation, they’ll be here before you know it. Prepare accordingly by handling your grace period, well, gracefully. Here’s how.

What’s Going On With Sallie Mae And The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act?

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Last week, the Department of Justice found Sallie Mae in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), ordering them to pay $96.6 million in restitution and penalties for unfair and deceptive practices while servicing private student loans. Sallie Mae admits no wrongdoing.

$60 million of that money is to compensate an estimated 60,000 borrowers whose SCRA benefits Sallie Mae may have improperly denied. So, what is SCRA, who does it affect, and why is violating it such a big deal?

Undocumented Students Can Get Aid, Too

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You applied to college and you got in. Congratulations! Why so blue? You’re an undocumented student and you can’t afford college on your own? I get it. The first eligibility qualification for federal student aid is “you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.” The second qualification for most (but not all) state aid—right after the one that says “you must be a resident of that state”—is “you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen”. Don’t throw in the towel just yet! Sure, your options are limited—but you do have options.

Why Getting Financial Aid Is A Lot Like Playing “Monopoly”

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It’s still cold outside, and I’ve been trying to find entertaining things to do inside since this winter seems like it will never end. (Are we in Westeros?) So, I rediscovered board games. Oh, the hours of mindless play you can have with Monopoly—especially if you play the wrong way.

During a recent visit to the Community Chest, I started thinking about paying for college (because who doesn’t ponder such issues while holding this stuff and wishing it was real?). I noticed similarities between financial aid misconceptions and the game; however, unlike that bank error, making either of these mistakes is definitely not in your favor.

2 Surprising Things That Won’t (Always) Keep You From Getting Financial Aid

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Financial aid season is upon us—and it can be a lot to keep track of and understand.

To receive financial aid, you have to file your taxes, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), submit other financial aid documents, and potentially, do even more. (Anything else colleges can add to your plate before you even enroll??)

It’s no wonder things fall through the cracks during this process. However, if you miss something important, that doesn’t mean you should give up. In fact, here are a couple surprising things you can do and still (usually) receive aid.

Do You Have To Be A U.S. Citizen To Get Financial Aid?

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It’s that time of year. While most of us battle the bitter cold of winter, college students and soon-to-be college students battle something else: financial aid applications.

And while that process can be tough, it’s not as tough as students skipping it because they think they won’t qualify. You see, there’s this notion that only U.S. citizens can get federal financial aid.

Erroneous!