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Student Aid FAQ

How to Pay for Grad School
Answered by Anita Thomas on 01/03/2020

To qualify for federal, state, and college financial aid for graduate school, you have to submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA is required to receive federal and state grants and scholarships, as well as federal student loans, including Perkins Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Grad PLUS Loans.

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Are there any repayment discounts for private consolidation loans?
Some lenders provide auto-debit discounts for making automatic monthly payments by direct debit from a bank account. Typical discounts include an interest rate reduction of 0.25% or 0.50%.

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How long is the repayment term for private consolidation loans?
The length of the repayment term varies by lender, typically 15, 20 or 25 years. Lenders offering fixed interest rates may have shorter repayment terms. The repayment term may depend on the amount borrowed.

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Are there really scholarships for twins?
Yes, there are several scholarships available for twins and other multiples, especially identical twins and triplets.

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What's the difference between scholarships and grants?
Both scholarships and grants are forms of gift aid, which is money for college that does not need to be earned or repaid. Although people often use the terms scholarships and grants as synonyms or interchangeably, there are important differences.

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What is the average amount of a student loan?
The average federal loan debt outstanding is $28,973 per borrower, as of June 30, 2015.

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How do I find student loans if I don't have a creditworthy cosigner?
Most new private student loans require the borrower to have a creditworthy cosigner. This includes more than 90% of new private student loans to undergraduate students and more than 75% of new private student loans to graduate and professional students. But, what if the student doesn’t have a creditworthy cosigner?

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What are the benefits of federal student loan consolidation?
Federal consolidation loans allow borrowers to combine several federal student loans into one loan to streamline loan repayment. The monthly payment amount may decrease because repayment can be spread over a longer time period. Because there are no penalties for prepaying the loan in full or in part, borrowers may make larger monthly payments or extra payments if they wish. Borrowers may also change repayment plans at least once a year.

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How can I lower my student loan payments?
Student loan payments can be a source of financial stress for many borrowers who are struggling to repay their loans. Every dollar of loan payments is a dollar less that is available for other priorities. So, borrowers sometimes seek to lower their monthly student loan payments.

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What are the credit requirements for Grad PLUS loans?

The borrower of a Grad PLUS Loan must not have an adverse credit history. An adverse credit history is defined as being 90 or more days delinquent on any debt, or having a credit report that shows default, bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment, or write-off of a federal student loan debt during the five years preceding the date of the credit report.


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