What to do if you need more financial aid If the professional judgment is unsuccessful, or if you need more money to fill a payment gap, you have a few options, in this order: • Scholarships: Look for scholarships from your state or private organizations. You can use this tool from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators or the Department of Labor’s scholarship search tool. • Federal student loans: You’ve already submitted the FAFSA, which is the key to borrowing federal loans. Accept all direct subsidized loans (they don’t grow interest while you’re not making payments) before taking direct unsubsidized loans. There are limits to federal student loans so you might need additional funds. • Private student loans: Your last resort is private student loans from banks or online lenders. If you don’t have any credit history or income, you’ll need a co-signer who does. Compare rates from multiple lenders to find the least expensive option. If you do have to borrow to help pay for school, a good guideline is to take on a loan that has a payment of no more than 10% of your forecast monthly take-home pay after you graduate. Use a college debt affordability calculator to estimate payments.
Anna Helhoski is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website.
The article How to Get a Professional Judgment for Financial Aid originally appeared on NerdWallet on October 8, 2020.
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