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Federal Student Loan 101

Written by: Natalie Aranda

Approximately $60 billion is allocated every year by the Federal Government to be disbursed among needy students as grants and loans, to pursue post secondary or higher education. Though it is not the only source of Government education funding, the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) is the largest student's loan-funding source in America.

The starting point of getting Federal student loans is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which can be done electronically. To be eligible for a student loan you must be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen, posses a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate and you must be demonstrably genuinely in need of financial assistance for studies. On top of it all, you must be pursuing or preparing to pursue further education.

Conviction on charges of doing drugs or possessing of drugs can disqualify you from getting a federal student loan. But there may be chances of getting student loans from the states in such a case. So its advisable to fill out the form and verify the status later.

Its better to obtain student loan directly from the government agency and not through some private agency that may be a scam. Millions of dollars are pocketed by such frauds depriving the real beneficiary from furthering their career. For more information on this, contact -1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or visit www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams.

Student loan is awarded basing on the need evaluated by the government, unsubsidized Stafford Loan being the exception. Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the information about your family income is instrumental in determining how much a loan applicant would get. All these facts are derived once the student fills in the FAFSA form furnishing relevant details.

There may come a time after availing a student loan when you feel that the existing interest rate on your loan is high and that direct student consolidation loans would offer you a lower rate of interest then you should go for a direct student consolidation loan. If you are close to default or having trouble with paying monthly installments direct student consolidation loan would help you. A six months grace period before repayment starts can be availed if you consolidate while in school. Direct student consolidation loan renews your deferment options if you have exhausted deferment options on the existing federal student loan. Direct student loan consolidation can be utilized by any Federal student loan beneficiary and what more it's free of any cost.

About the author:

Natalie Aranda writes about money and personal finance.

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