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Student Loan Interest Rate Increase

Student loan interest rates are determined by T-Bill rates each June. Students who take out loans for the 2018-2019 academic year, will pay an interest rate of 5.05%. This is an increase in the rate from 2017-18 which was 4.45%

Filed applications and getting ready to kick back? Not so fast!

Completing college applications is a major accomplishment that deserves some R&R and a celebration. However, part 2 of the college application process is making sure you filed college admission scholarship applications by deadlines. In addition to an early admission deadline of November 15, for example, there may be a December 1 deadline to apply for scholarships. Some colleges extend their scholarship deadlines and remind applicants of scholarship deadlines. That was the case this month with the University of Tennessee at Knoxville which extended their deadline from December 1 to December 15.

Paying off student loans early

One way to beat the rising student loan interest for new borrowers is to plan to repay their student loan earlier than the ten year standard term. Paying $100 per month extra when a student goes into repayment saves about $4,000 which is the approximate amount the new interest rate will cost.
 
There is some misinformation in the media about the impact of the new rate. One recent national talk show guest inaccurately said that there is an early repayment penalty on students loans. There are also people trying to say that doubling student loan interest is nothing to worry about.

What's in your college piggy bank?

One of our favorite gifts to give our kids is the one-size-fits-all kind; money.  Families involved in churches often ask their children to put 10% of those gifts aside for Sunday School offerings.  Families planning to send their children to college could apply that strategy to college savings activities at home.
 
There is much to be said for including children in the savings activities for their college educations. Call it early financial literacy training.  If parents and students saved that way for college with the guidance of a certified financial planner, it would take away some of the stress associated with paying college tuition when the child gets ready to enter college.

Need scholarships? Have limited time? Check these out!

Not all scholarships require mass quantities of work.  For example, high school and college students can apply for the Suntrust Sweepstakes through May 9, 2012.  The payoff is $1,000.  It takes seconds to apply.  High school seniors and current college students can apply multiple times. To enter the Suntrust Sweepstakes, go to: www.suntrusteducation.com/sweeps.
 
Another great scholarship for high school students is the Sammy Award.  The $1,000 Sammy Award requires that high school seniors who participate in athletics and athletic clubs, with a gpa of at least 3.