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 talk explains loan types

By Yueying Zhu/ reporter

Students should be careful when getting student loans, a SE success coach said April 11.

As part of the campus’ Money Mondays series, Janell Oliphant presented Loans — Before Leaving.

“In most cases, repayment begins after a six-month grace period,” she said. “Each loan has one grace period, and the grace period begins the day after you graduate, withdraw or drop below half-time enrollment.”

Most grace periods have been used and are gone before students realize it, Oliphant said.

“For example, you use your grace period by taking a couple of semesters off,” she said. “Your loan can go directly into payment when you graduate.”

Subsidized, unsubsidized and PLUS loans are three types of direct loans. Subsidized loans are based on the financial need, and the federal government will pay the interest on the loan while students are enrolled in school at least half time. Unsubsidized loans are not based on financial need, and interest begins accumulating as soon as funds are disbursed.

“You are not required to pay the interest while you are in school, but we recommend that you do,” she said. “You always get more money in unsubsidized loans than you do subsidized loans.”

If students started borrowing after July 1, 2013, the federal government limits how many years they can continue to receive direct subsidized loans, Oliphant said.

“You may receive the direct subsidized loans for 150 percent of the published length of your program,” she said. “For instance, if your program length is four years, your maximum eligibility period is six years.”

If students need to borrow more money to complete their programs, they can get unsubsidized loans, Oliphant said.

“You must know that if you continue to enroll in the program after receiving six years of subsidized loans or enroll in a short program, at this point you may lose your interest benefits on the subsidized loans,” she said.

For the interest, the federal loan service will let students know whether they are responsible for paying the loan interest on subsidized loans if they lose the interest subsidy, she said.

Oliphant said students need their parents to get PLUS loans.

“The interest is through the roof,” she said.

Parents will need to determine how to pay for their dependent children, Oliphant said.

PLUS loans can be an option for graduate and professional students. PLUS repayment begins once they receive their loans.

SE student Edigar Kiema found the seminar helpful.

“I learned more than I expected,” he said. “It helps me think what student loans I might take, how it is going to affect my life such as my credit and so on.”

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