The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE seminar aids in student planning for loans

By Tommie Owen/ reporter

Career choice and paying for college are the most common student concerns, a SE success coach told students March 28. 

Rachael Villanueva presented Loans — Success Plan as part of the SE Money Mondays series, speaking about understanding student loan obligations and repayment.

“Hopefully, these sessions will help students make financial choices, build a positive credit history and not default on student loans,” she said.

Villanueva told students that federal loans should be the first option when needing to borrow money.

“They are generally less costly than private education loans from banks or credit unions,” she said.

When students take out a loan, they need to pay attention to the type of loan and the total expected interest. Villanueva explained the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

For unsubsidized loans, the federal government pays the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least part time.

If students don’t qualify for a subsidized loan and take out an unsubsidized direct loan, they are responsible for the interest.

“While there is an option to defer payment, students may want to seriously consider paying the interest while in school,” she said.

When they begin paying back their loans, they can choose from several repayment plan options.

Students are automatically put on the standard plan, the least expensive, but they can change their plan if needed, Villanueva said.

With the standard plan, the student receives a repayment schedule with a fixed monthly schedule that will have the loan repaid within 10 years.

Alternative available plans include graduated, extended, income-based, income-contingent, income-sensitive and pay as one earns. These plans are discussed in further detail at www.AIE.org/ibr.

“It would be a wise choice for students to be consistent in repayment of a loan because it begins building a student’s credit history,” she said.

This history can help students later in life to buy a house, purchase a car and even get a job they want.

On the other hand, serious consequences can negatively affect a student’s life if the loan is not paid back.

Employers check credit reports before making job offers. Tax refunds can be withheld as payment for loan and nonpayment of loans can cause higher interest rates due to negative credit history, Villanueva said.

After the presentation, students took a post-test to assess what they learned during the money session.

Student Dorcas Okunola said she would recommend Money Mondays to others.

“This has really opened my eyes,” she said.

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