Credit pros advise caution applying for student loans

Sep 13, 2012, 7:09 AM | Updated: 7:09 am

PHOENIX — Students planning for college may be looking for a way to pay for higher education, which could mean taking out a student loan.

The Credit Counseling Services at Take Charge America is urging potential applicants to consider several questions before applying for that loan.

One is ‘Will the career you’re planning to pursue pay you enough money to pay off that loan?’ Another question is ‘Have you applied for a scholarship?’

“You want to eliminate as much debt as possible,” Mike Sullivan of Take Charge America said. “Look first at scholarships. Look at grants. Look at money that does not have to be repaid before you think about borrowing.

“By far, the majority of students should be looking at the least expensive way of getting college credits and finding out what kind of a career option they really have,” Sullivan said.

Here is Sullivan’s complete list of suggested questions that students should ask before applying for a loan:

• What career are you planning to pursue? Consider your future salary and ability to pay off the loan. If you’re pursuing a profession with limited earning potential, it doesn’t make financial sense to take out a big loan you’ll have difficulty repaying.

• Do you plan to attend a private university, state school or community college? Consider the affordability of your education. While your heart may be set on an exclusive private university, it’s critical to evaluate the benefits, costs and available options. The allure may not be worth the reality.

• Have you applied for scholarships or grants? As a general rule, exhaust scholarship and grant possibilities before applying for loans. Your school counselor or financial aid office can provide resources. You can also find scholarship databases online.

• Have you completed a FAFSA? Anyone heading to college should submit the Free Application for Financial Student Assistance (FAFSA). You may be surprised to learn you’re eligible for some funding, even if you or your family are not considered “low income.”

• Have you researched your federal loan options? If you need to borrow money, federal loans offer fixed-interest rates, flexible terms and borrower protections that aren’t usually available with private loans. Perkins and Stafford loans are typically the best bet. Graduate students and parents of undergraduates can apply for a Federal PLUS.

• Have you done your homework on private funding? If you must turn to private funding, research the best private loans for your financial situation. Factors to consider include: interest rate before and after graduation, loan fees, terms, due date for first payment and monthly payment amount.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo Courtesy of Taylor Dintzner)...
Danny Shapiro

ASU fraternity raises more than $60K for TGen, shaves heads in honor of former member

An ASU fraternity has raised over $60,000 for a former member who used to work for TGen in Phoenix before his 2020 death.
5 hours ago
(File photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)...
KTAR.com

Arizona Thanksgiving holiday DUI arrests down slightly from last year, up from 2019

DUI arrests over the Thanksgiving holiday this year fell slightly from 2020 but was higher than 2019, the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said Monday.
5 hours ago
(Facebook photo/City of Phoenix, AZ USA)...
Torrence Dunham

Maricopa County ranked No. 1 in talent attraction for second consecutive year

The annual Talent Attraction Scoreboard by labor market analyst EMSI has Arizona being No. 1 in talent attraction for the second consecutive year and fourth time in the last six years.
5 hours ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

Home warranty company agrees to $150K settlement in Arizona over fake reviews

More than 1,300 Arizonans who purchased home warranty services from a company accused of misleading consumers will get restitution as part of a consent judgment, Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s Office announced Monday.
5 hours ago
(File photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)...
Kimberly Silverio-Bautista I Cronkite News

Arizona’s ‘QAnon Shaman’ gets new lawyer, sets up likely appeal of Jan. 6 guilty plea

Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man who pleaded guilty to his role in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, switched attorneys Monday, laying the groundwork for a possible appeal of his plea and 41-month sentence.
5 hours ago
Maricopa County flag...
Kevin Stone

7 finalists revealed for vacated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors seat

Seven finalists have been selected for the interview stage in the process to replace Steve Chucri on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
ENVOQUE MD

Thyroid issues: Here are the warning signs and what to do

In a 100-person office in the United States, an estimated 12 co-workers, employees and loved ones, will likely develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. That’s because, according to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12% of the U.S. population will experience thyroid issues.
...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
...
Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
Credit pros advise caution applying for student loans