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How to Apply for a Student Loan

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A student loan is a type of loan that can be used to pay for tuition, fees, books, commuting costs, and other direct education expenses. Follow the instruction below to apply for a student loan.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA). The information you supply on this form will determine your eligibility for Direct Loans. Direct Loans are awarded through the U.S. Department of Education vs. a private lender. These loans are low-interest and have flexible payment terms.
  2. Wait on your financial aid offer. Once you find out how much you will be getting in grants, scholarships, and other forms of aid, you can decide how much you need to borrow to pay for remaining education costs. Your financial aid offer will include information about how much you can you can borrow in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. This amount is dependent on your grade level, your dependency status, and other factors. Read more about Direct Loan limits.
  3. Complete entrance counseling. If you haven't received a student loan before, you will need to complete an entrance counseling program that helps you understand the terms of the loan and your responsibility as a borrower. Your school may provide an entrance counseling program. You may also be able to complete entrance counseling online.
  4. Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN will be provided by your school or the Department of Education. Completing this note is the equivalent of a promise to pay back the amount of money you borrow. You can check with your school to see if it is possible to complete the MPN online.
  5. Find a private lender. If you get scholarships, grants, and a Direct Loan and still do not have enough money to fund your education, you will need to find a private lender that is willing to give you a student loan. You should try to find more than one private lender if you can so you can compare interest rates and loan terms before signing any paperwork. See a list of private MBA loan lenders.
  6. Review and sign a loan contract. After deciding how much you need to borrow and finding the right lender, you will need to sign the actual loan contract. Signing this contract means that you agree with both the loan and repayment terms.

What You Need

  • An Online or Paper Version of the FAFSA
  • Personal Identification
  • Personal Financial Information
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