Every student should investigate additional financial aid resources before applying for a private loan. Other forms of financial aid you could look into include:
- Grants: These are often funded by the federal or state government and do not have to be repaid. Students are only eligible for grants based on having completed the FAFSA (fafsa.gov). Not all students are eligible for grants, but ALL students should apply just to be sure.
- Federal Student Loans: Federal Direct Loans are federally funded and based off the FASFA. Federal loans tend to have lower interest rates than private loans, but should be used after all “free” money (like a grant or scholarship) has been exhausted.
- Federal Work-Study: Work-Study is federally funded and based off the FAFSA. This is a part time job on campus that you earn hourly wages from. Student employees receive a paycheck much like any other part time job.
- Scholarships: Scholarships are based on a variety of factors, including information from the FAFSA, student’s program of interest, and grades. All students should apply for scholarships! A student often has to be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress to be considered for most scholarships.
- Tuition reimbursement benefits is sometimes offered through your place of employment. Check with your employer and contact DMACC Student Accounts to see if you would qualify.
- DMACC Student Accounts offer payment plans to fit your monthly budget.
There are important questions that you must be able to answer before you apply for a private loan. If you do not know the answer to these questions, you’re not ready to apply for a private loan. You should consider:
- Do you know how much it costs to attend DMACC?
- Do you know what your income will be after you complete your program of study?
- Will you be able to afford the loan payments?
- Have you maxed out your Federal Direct Loan options?
- What is the interest rate? Does the Federal Direct Loan have a more favorable interest rate?
- Is the interest rate fixed or variable?
- When does the interest begin accruing?
- When does repayment begin? Does the Federal Direct Loan have better repayment terms?
- Does the loan require a co-signer? Even if you qualify for the loan on your own, with having a co-signer lower your interest rate?
- If your loan requires a co-signer, can the co-signer be released at some point during repayment?
- Many of these questions can be answered through a resource called FASTChoice. The use of this tool is (specifically, the Borrowing Essentials) required before any private loans will be certified at DMACC.
You should review DMACC’s private loan eligibility criteria prior to applying. In order to receive a private loan at DMACC, you will have to meet your lender’s eligibility criteria in addition to DMACC’s. Here are some (but not all) of those important criteria:
- DMACC’s Alternative/Private Loan Procedure is ES 4325. Please review this policy before applying.
- Private loan amounts are limited by a student’s cost of attendance (student budget) as determined by the Financial Aid Office less any other financial aid received.
- Students attending less than halftime cannot borrow any more than $1000 per term in private loans.
- Private loans are cancelled for students that fail to attend or are not enrolled at the time DMACC is disbursing the loan to the student.
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