For Immediate Release
July 31, 2014
Concord, NH — EDvestinU®, the nonprofit private student loan program of New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Program, has been fielding college funding questions from New Hampshire’s college bound students and families. School Services Specialist Richard Neilsen offers the answers to recent inquiries.
What is the difference between private and federal student loans? Private student loans are consumer loans made to individuals to help pay for college. They are provided by for–profit and nonprofit lending organizations and are not backed by the federal government. Private student loans are designed to supplement, not replace, other financial aid sources to fill funding gaps. Though it is necessary for many families to pursue private loan options to fund higher education, it is important to make informed decisions and apply for federal student loans first. More information about federal loans is available at www.studentaid.gov. If students have already exhausted federal loan options and are still unable to cover billable expenses, a private student loan may be a good option. Generally, they are less expensive than unsecured consumer credit cards.
What is the current interest rate on student loans for undergraduates? The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program is the largest federal student loan program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is the lender. For undergraduate loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2014, the interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan at 4.66%. Private student loan interest rates could vary based on several factors including: credit eligibility, in–school payments, co–signer credit, etc. EDvestinU’s fixed rate private loan interest rates vary between 4.9%–9.99%.
What questions should I ask when comparing private loans from different companies?
Where can I find scholarship information for the next application cycle? There are thousands of national, regional and local scholarships for students with good grades, leadership activities, financial need, or special talents. A great place to start searching for scholarships is at www.nh93.com, an online database of local scholarship opportunities. Students should also visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website at www.studentaid.ed.gov and the NH Charitable Foundation at www.nhcf.org.
Is it too late to apply to a community college for the fall? There are many colleges that are still accepting students for the fall semester and many others that offer courses all year round. And, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA can still be filed for the 2014–2015 academic year. For information about the many options available at New Hampshire community colleges, visit www.ccsnh.edu. To apply for student aid through FAFSA, visit www.fafsa.ed.gov.
For more information about EDvestinU® student loan options, its monthly scholarship giveaway program, or to access planning calculators, visit www.edvestinu.com.