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					Federal Student Loans                                  A Note to Parents

Federal student loans are government-backed, or        The more you can help pay for college, the less debt
                                                                                                                                                              Private Student Loans
guaranteed. They are low-cost, fixed-rate loans that    your child will have down the road. If you do not have                                             A Guide to Responsible Borrowing
help students and/or parents cover a portion of        the funds, consider borrowing on behalf of your child
their school expenses. Federal student loans have      (e.g., with a Federal PLUS Loan) or cosigning on your
certain discharge and loan forgiveness options not     child’s private student loan. Generally, a cosigned loan
                                                       has lower rates and fees.
generally available under private student                                                                                                                           RESEARCH
loan programs.
                                                       File a Free Application for
      Federal Stafford Loans are made to               Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
      students (rather than parents) and have
      annual loan maximums based on the                You and your child should file the FAFSA every year,
      student’s year in school. Subsidized Stafford    even if you do not think you will qualify for federal aid.
      Loan interest is paid by the government for
      low-income students during in-school and
      authorized deferment periods.                           The Oklahoma Guaranteed Student Loan Program
                                                             (OGSLP), a division of the Oklahoma State Regents
      Federal PLUS Loans are made to parents of                for Higher Education, is Oklahoma’s designated
      dependent, undergraduate students and can                 guarantor of student loans funded through the
      cover all costs remaining after other forms of          Federal Family Education Loan Program. OGSLP
      student aid are applied.                                  provides exceptional service and informational
                                                              resources to help students and families reach their
      Federal Graduate and Professional                                  educational and career goals.
      PLUS Loans are made to graduate and
      professional students and can cover all costs          Remember, always exhaust all federal loan options
      remaining after other forms of student aid           before considering private or alternative student loans!
      are applied.                                            Other questions about paying for college? OGSLP
                                                            can help. To learn more, call 800.442.8642 (toll-free),
                                                                e-mail info@ogslp.org, or visit www.ogslp.org.

                                                           The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, in compliance with Titles VI and VII of
                                                           the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education
                                                           Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other federal laws
        A Word to the Wise                                 and regulations, do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age,
                                                           religion, handicap or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures.
                                                           This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid and educational
                                                           services. This publication, printed by the Oklahoma Guaranteed Student Loan Program
                                                           Central Services, is issued by the State Regents as authorized by 70 O.S. 2001, Section
        Take advantage of all federal                      3206. 2,500 copies have been printed at a cost of $545. Copies have been deposited with
                                                           the Publications Clearinghouse of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. This publication
        student loans before borrowing a                   was produced by the Oklahoma Guaranteed Student Loan Program, February 2008.

        private loan.
              RESEARCH                                                       REMEMBER                                                      REPAY

Explore your Options                                          Understand your Obligation                                    Uphold your Promise
Private student loans are consumer loans made to              You must repay your student loans – even if you do not        Repaying your student loans is a serious legal
individuals to help pay for college. They are provided by     graduate or get a job in your chosen field. Failure to         obligation, so you need to set aside enough money
for-profit and nonprofit lending organizations and are          make scheduled payments could lead to default, which          to make your student loan payment on time and
not backed by the federal government. Private student         would damage your credit rating and lead to other             in full each month. Your lender will depend on you
loans are designed to supplement, not replace, other          serious consequences.                                         to uphold your promise to repay so that they can
financial aid sources to fill funding gaps. Only borrow                                                                       make loans to other deserving students. By paying
what is needed to cover your education expenses.              Before you borrow a private student loan, think about         your student loan on time, you will be acting as a
                                                              whether you will be able to repay it. This loan will reduce   responsible borrower. You will also be successfully
Work with the financial aid office at your school to look       what you can spend in the future on a car, home, furniture    managing your finances and establishing good credit.
into sources of federal, state and/or school aid prior to     and other living expenses. Here are some things you can
getting a private student loan. If you have already done      do while you are in college to help save money:               Some loans offer a grace period when you graduate,
this and are still unable to cover your expenses, a private                                                                 leave school or drop below half-time status. During
student loan may be a good option. Generally, they are               Identify needs versus wants and make your              the grace period, you are not required to make
less expensive than unsecured consumer credit (such                  purchases accordingly.                                 monthly payments. In most instances this will
as credit cards). If you require a private student loan, do          Make a realistic budget and stick to it.               increase the amount that you will pay on your loans
not wait until your tuition bill is due to apply for one,            Take advantage of work-study opportunities or          as interest charges are increasing on your loan(s),
because you may receive less favorable terms                         get a part-time job.                                   so check with your lender. At the end of your grace
and conditions.                                                                                                             period, you must begin making monthly payments.

Most programs allow borrowers to delay payments                                                                             Contact your lender if you are unable to make
during school and offer hardship deferments during                                                                          your monthly payments. You may qualify for other
repayment. These options often increase the total                                                                           repayment options, or be able to postpone or reduce
amount you will pay, because interest charges will accrue                                                                   your payments by applying for a deferment or
during deferment periods. Some private student loans                                                                        forbearance. These should be used only in times of
require a cosigner (a person who promises to become                     Can you Afford a Private                            extreme need and will increase the amount that is
legally responsible to pay your debt if you fail to do so).             Student Loan?                                       eventually repaid on your loan.
If you are considering a variable rate loan, understand
that rate changes may not be in your favor and could
result in an increased monthly payment.                                 Ask yourself whether a job in your
                                                                        chosen field will allow you to make
Read all material provided to you by your lender, and                   your monthly payments on your
                                                                                                                                      Pay your Interest
ask about things you do not understand. Most private                    student loans.
student loans are made by responsible lenders – and all                                                                               Consider making monthly interest
are regulated by consumer credit laws. Get to know your                                                                               payments while in school. If you do not,
                                                                        Use a student loan repayment
lender prior to borrowing, because your relationship                                                                                  the interest will accrue and be added to
                                                                        calculator, such as the one at
with them will be a long-term one. Visit the Better                                                                                   the amount you borrowed, costing you
                                                                        www.mappingyourfuture.org, to
Business Bureau at www.bbb.org, ask your financial aid                                                                                 more in the long run. A few dollars paid
                                                                        help you estimate the total amount
officer and talk to others who have worked with the                                                                                    each month on your private student loan
                                                                        of interest you will pay, what your
lender so you can make an informed decision.                                                                                          will save you money over time.
                                                                        monthly student loan payments will
                                                                        be, and how long it will take to repay
                                                                        your loans.

				
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