Understanding Your Loan Options… by Arshakia B.

studentloan There are several different types of loans that students can take advantage of to help cover the cost of tuition, fees, and other educational related expenses. When you complete your 15/16 FAFSA you will automatically be awarded subsidized and/or unsubsidized Stafford loans based on your eligibility. These loans are awarded after your eligibility for grants and scholarships is considered.

 The difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized is simple. The subsidized loan is need based; the federal government pays the interest on the subsidized loan while you are enrolled for at least six credits. The unsubsidized loan is non-need based; interest on the unsubsidized loan accrues from the time it is sent to the university until it is repaid in full. You must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits to be eligible for either of these loans.

 Once you are awarded Stafford loans, accepting them is easy. Visit studentloans.gov and 20140105082931complete the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling.

 Another type of loan is the PLUS Loan. For undergraduate dependent students, a Parent PLUS loan is another option. This is a loan taken out in your parent’s name, on your behalf. The Grad PLUS loan is available for graduate students seeking extra assistance.

In addition to Federal loan options, there are Alternative loans. These are private educational loans supplied through a bank or credit union of your choice. The terms of these loans differ from loans provided by the Federal Government. So make sure to do your research!

For more information about loans, visit our website http://www.umbc.edu/financialaid/loans.html

Also, don’t forget to complete your 15/16 FAFSA by UMBC’s priority deadline of February 14th!!

-Written by Arshakia B.

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