Applying for Student Loans: The Process Is Easier Than You Think
If you are considering going back to school you may think that applying for student loans is difficult. However, the process is actually quite simple. There are a few documents you will need to gather in advance and you may need some information from your parents. Once you have all the initial preparation done you need to set aside an hour of your time and then begin filling out the forms. Other than that there is very little to do. Consider the following steps to get the process completed quickly and efficiently.
Gather Your Documents
You need a few documents before you can apply for student loans. Gather the following items to get the process started:
• Social Security Number
• Legal Address
• Tax returns for the previous year
• Asset Information
• School code for the College you will attend
Once you have these documents you need to go to fafsa.gov to fill out your free application for federal student aid. This site is the government’s webpage for applying for grants and student loans.
Apply for a Pin
If you have never filed an application for student aid you will need to select the link for a pin application. The pin is used to sign your application electronically. You will use this pin every time you fill out an application. The site will allow you to select your pin once you have entered a few personal details. Make sure you store the pin in a safe place and never share it with anyone else. If someone accesses your pin they could fill out a false application in your name.
Determine Your Status
When applying for student loans and grants you will be required to determine your status. This means that you have to determine whether you are an independent student or a dependent student. As an independent student the government will only consider your income and assets. However, if you are classified dependent you will have to report your parent’s wages and assets. In most cases you are dependent until you are 22 years old or until you file a tax return claiming your own dependent. The forms you fill out will tell you whether or not you are independent or dependent.
Create a Password
The fafsa application will allow you to select a password for logging back in if you need to stop at some point and finish your application later. Always select a password even if you think you won’t need it. If for some reason your computer crashed or your internet went down in the middle of filling out the application you would need to log back in.
Applying for student loans is actually easier than you think. If you gather the correct documents and follow the step by step process you can complete the entire process in less than an hour. Once the application is complete your results will be forwarded to your school and the will put together an award package for your upcoming school semester.