Money Smarts Blog

Money Smarts Blog

Trying to Figure out how to Pay for College?

May 7, 2014

Originally posted in May 2014.

Here are the three things you need to know to help you pay for college.

FAFSA: It’s never too late. Submitting your FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) at the beginning of the year is always the best idea, but if you didn’t know where you’d be going, or forgot to hit submit, you’re not out of luck. If you live in Iowa or Illinois, the deadline to submit your FAFSA is June 30.

Scholarships: Seriously, it’s never too late. Yes, a lot of scholarship deadlines may have passed, but there’s still time. Check with your school, local businesses or do a quick internet search. You’ll find plenty of scholarships still available, and maybe even a few you didn’t know you qualified for.

Don’t stop. Your first year of school isn’t the only time to look for scholarships. Continue searching and reapplying the entire time you’re in school. It’s not going to get any cheaper.

Private Student Loans: Be smart. If you’ve gotten all of the scholarships you can and maxed out your grants and federal student loans, a private student loan can help you bridge the gap between the cost of school and your bank account. But, be smart about your loans—don’t take out more than you really need.

Yes, you may be able to get an extra $5,000 in student loans to cover a new tv or finance your spring break trip, but you’ll have to pay it back eventually.

Student loans from IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union can help you finance the rest of your college education, and keep you from over borrowing. Go to ihmvcu.org/StudentLoans to learn more.

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