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Preparing and paying for college can be one of the biggest challenges that you and your child will face. The United States Department of Education administers federal education policies, including student loans. The below information is provided to help you prepare for this journey.

How do I help my child prepare academically and/or financially for college?

You can help your child make informed decisions about his or her college education. The U.S. Department of Education has prepared a checklist that provides information and guidance on how you can best help your child be prepared.

How do I apply for a federal student loan or federal grant?

In order for any student to receive federal financial aid, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed. Additional information and applications for loans or grants can be completed on-line through the Department of Education website.

What happens if I cannot make my payments or if I default on my federal student loan?

It is extremely important not to default on any loan, and defaulting on a federal student loan will impact your credit history. Eventually, your wages may be garnished as a result of defaulting on a student loan. It is therefore very important to contact your loan servicer and the Department of Education before a default occurs.

There are several programs available through the Department of Education that may help to make your loan repayment more affordable including Income Based Repayment Plans or Loan Consolidations. Under some circumstances, your loan may be forgiven or deferred. Please click here for information that may be helpful if you need assistance with your loan payment options and programs.

Other helpful hints:

In addition to the resources that are available through the U.S. Department of Education, you should check with the finance office of colleges that interest you to determine if additional non-federal financial aid is available. Examples include scholarships, private grants, and tuition discounts.

In some cases, commercial lending options may be more suitable to your situation than FAFSA loans. You should explore this option with your financial institution to determine if this is an option for you.

Many social or professional organizations provide educational finance assistance. If you are involved with any organization such as an alumni club or other social or professional organization, you should check to see if financial assistance is available.

My office is always available to assist you with issues that you may be experiencing with your student loans. If you cannot find the answer to your questions through these links or would like my office to contact the Department of Education on your behalf, please complete my Privacy Release Form. My staff will be happy to provide you with all possible assistance.
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