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What Parents Need to Know About Student Loan Options :: WRAL.com

This article was written for our sponsor, NC Assist Loans.

For many high school graduates, college is the next step on the road to a future career. As a parent, the excitement of sending a child to college can come with worries, including helping your child choose a college and major that will meet their needs – not to mention paying fees. tuition, accommodation and all other necessary costs.

In fact, paying for higher education is increasingly a major stressor for families, with nearly 70% of parents worried about covering costs, especially in the midst of the pandemic. Fortunately, understanding the resources available can help ensure your child is able to afford the school of their choice and focus on learning.

North Carolina students and those attending school in North Carolina have several options when it comes to financial aid for their education. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid through the US Department of Education. This will determine your child’s eligibility for federal assistance, including government-subsidized grants and loans.

Completing the FAFSA will also connect your child to state aid that can be used at a local community college or any University of North Carolina institution.

Local Loan Program Fills the Gap

Often, after your child has combined the scholarships, grants, and all the savings you or he or she have set aside for college, there may still not be enough to cover the cost of a university education. This is where the NC Assist loan from the College Foundation of North Carolina comes in.

“The NC Assist Loan is an educational loan that students can use to bridge the gap between the cost of attending college and their existing financial aid,” said Brittany Privott, regional representative for the NCFC. “It is open to North Carolina residents or students attending a North Carolina school. You can borrow up to the school’s tuition, less any other financial aid you are eligible for.

The NC Assist loan is available to parents and their children, which means you can apply to pay for your child’s education or your child can apply. In some cases, a child may not have the necessary credit score or history to qualify, i.e. when a parent or other person may co-sign to guarantee repayment.

Whichever process you choose, the NC Assist loan offers several benefits.

“This loan is an alternative loan, not a federal loan,” Privott said. “It has a fixed interest rate and no origination, application or guarantee fees. There are also no late fees or rejected payment fees.

Interest will start accumulating from the start, but repayment doesn’t need to start until six months after your child leaves school or falls below half-time.

Estimation of loan needs

Although the loan can cover up to the full cost of attending a school, Privott recommends borrowing only what is necessary. After all, the less debt after college, the better.

Additionally, the NC Assist program has no deadline, and you or your child can reapply each year to borrow money based on current financial obligations. The waiting time between loan approval and receipt of money is usually only a few days.

“The NC Student Assist website also offers online resources for students to help them get an accurate picture of their financial needs,” Privott said.

The student and parent loan estimator will help you determine what the monthly payments might be, depending on the amount borrowed. Additionally, the Smart Borrower Calculator estimates the value of your child’s future career against the cost of education.

“What you want to do in the future determines the level of education you’ll need,” according to NC Assist. “When you complete your training or college program, your work salary pays your bills, including payments on any student loans you may have taken out to help pay for your education. That’s why smart borrowing should consider your future career and how much to borrow at the same time.

This article was written for our sponsor, NC Assist Loans.