Who can qualify for Stafford Loans? How?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ooo, Apr 2, 2013.

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  1. ooo

    ooo New Member

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    Who can qualify for Stafford Loans?

    What kind of timeline does it take to get a Stafford Loan? As in, is it much too late to even try to get one for the Summer 2013 semester?

    Can 5th year seniors qualify? I've never received a dime of financial aid... ever. No federal student loans... ever. No Pell Grants, no Stafford Loans, no private scholarships, no nothing. I've only ever paid for school with *private* student loans, jobs/income, and employer tuition benefits. I'm not looking to be a "super senior" on someone else's dime or anything like that. Really, I'm one class away from that BA. But, with my private student loans in repayment, I can't afford more tuition on top of those large private student loan repayments. Personal loans elsewhere aren't an option, as my private student loans make my debt-to-income ratio bad. I read that Stafford Loans aren't based on credit. Are Stafford loans based on income at all?

    I've tried self-studying to prove my Spanish proficiency, but I'm still not done. I think it's time I admit that I can't do this on my own and find an online Spanish course to take with a set course schedule/syllabus where I have a guaranteed completion date and a professor to help.

    (I know, I'm considering another loan with already large private student loans, but I want to finally finish my BA, move up in my career, and be in a better position to repay all of my old private student loans.)

    I'm one semester --- actually, only one class-- away from a Bachelor's and am wondering if Stafford Loans are even possible at this point. I've never had a Stafford Loan, or ANY other type of financial aid. Unsubsidized or subsidized, no preference. I'll be paying it back either way. Private student loans aren't possible right now- I have tons of debt in private student loans already from my teen years. I have many, many course credits (over 170, if you include credits from AP tests in high school, plus summer school during college). Shameful, I know. I learned my lesson too late. I also have 12+ graduate credit hour. I've paid for recent year's of education in cash, and some of the graduate hours were paid for by a former employer. I pay a huge chunk of change every month in private student loans already. Never received any financial aid, so I haven't wasted anyone's money but my own (in cash and private student loans) for those 170 credit hours. (Some of those hours were from AP tests in high school, some I paid cash for, some I paid with private student loans, etc.) I'm still paying for my past mistakes (educationally and financially), and likely will be for decades. I'm just wondering if Stafford Loans are even an option for me.

    I've worked extra hours this year and even gotten a raise. Unfortunately, my private student loan payments just went up again and are a huge chunk of change to pay each money. So, my private student loan repayments have wiped out the money I had saved for further education.

    So, who can get a Stafford Loan?

    Can you get a Stafford Loan even if you have more than 120 credit hours?

    Is it possible to get a Stafford Loan for the same year you apply? Am I too late?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2013
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Active Member

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    Perhaps you would get more relevant, timely, and accurate information by contacting the financial aid office at your school.
     
  3. ooo

    ooo New Member

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    They won't advise me unless I fill out the FAFSA. And, I don't plan to fill out the FAFSA unless anyone can qualify for unsubsidized Stafford loans. I won't get aid other than that, and I want to know my options asap.

    Google makes it appear that even graduate students can get unsubsidized Stafford loans, and others say you can get subsidized Stafford loans for up to 12 semesters of undergraduate study. Supposedly there's no credit check. What I'm curious about is... does anyone really qualify that easily? Who underwrites them? And, what's the annual limit on Stafford loans? Do Stafford loans only disperse twice a year at the start of each semester?
     
  4. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

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    A few things. Filling out the FASFA is online, free, and takes about 5 minutes. I'm not sure why you wouldn't fill it out. It doesn't sign you up for anything.
    If you fill it out, they work with your school, and your school will send you an "offer" also called "package" of financial aid with whatever amount they determine necessary for tuition and expenses. Then, you pick and choose which (if any) loans, grants, work study, etc. you want to "accept" and send it back.
    The only reason you don't qualify for a student loan is if you have a drug conviction or in default. You should know student loans are not discharged in bankruptcy and in most states, a default means they can (and will) pull your professional licenses, drivers license, etc. These loans have TEETH.
    Dismemberment schedule and criteria is set by your school.
    Loans must be repaid, Pell Grants are gifts. Pell Grants are based on income, loans are for anyone.
     
  5. ooo

    ooo New Member

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    Ah. I didn't know you had to "accept" a package. Can you apply to FAFSA only a certain amount of times, or is there no downside to applying each year you're interested? I didn't want to automatically take out loans/grants just by filling out the FAFSA without the option to decline, or having to wait weeks for my school to process it without knowing if I'm even accomplishing anything by waiting or if I wouldn't qualify as a "super senior." I'm trying to get this mangy degree finished ASAP, and want to get my game plan set in place soon.

    Good to know that these loans are so intense and impossible to shake. I am looking at a small Stafford loan, so I'm not worried about paying them back. My private student loans worry me much, much more though. Nice to know that the FAFSA is free. When I was in high school, for some reason I had to pay an application fee to apply to financial aid at the colleges I was applying to, and received no aid. That must have been something other than FAFSA. If the only thing colleges use for financial aid these days is FAFSA, and it's free, that's easy.

    My situation is also tricky...

    Can you only use Stafford loans at your school your degree will be granted from? My original school is across the country, and I'm looking to take the one remaining course I need for that degree at another school. I would ideally like to do this without "transferring" to the other school, then having to "transfer" back to the original school. The original school doesn't offer any online classes in the subject. It doesn't sound like I could use the Stafford loan at the second school, or am I wrong?
     
  6. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

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    You can qualify for a Stafford loan. Not sure why you're opposed to filling out the FAFSA without a guarantee of aid, the form(s) literally take 15 minutes to fill out.
     
  7. ooo

    ooo New Member

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    - I didn't want to automatically take out a Stafford loan if I find another solution first.
    - I don't want to wait weeks for my financial aid package to process if "super seniors" don't qualify for Stafford.
    - I don't want a ding on my credit from a credit check for this.
    - I've never gotten financial aid, and wasn't sure if there's a limit on the number of times you can fill out a FAFSA
    - I'm trying to find out what my options are soon. Waiting on my financial aid office to tell me my options = slow.

    I'm also trying to determine what my solutions are asap and enroll in summer classes. Waiting weeks (months?) on my financial aid office to tell me if Stafford Loans are even a remote possibility would delay my summer enrollment plans if I have to find another solution other than Stafford. Apparently I'm eligible for Stafford, but that leaves another question: can a Stafford loan be used at a secondary school?

    My situation is also tricky...

    Can you only use Stafford loans at your school your degree will be granted from? My original school is across the country, and I'm looking to take the one remaining course I need for that degree at another school. I would ideally like to do this without "transferring" to the other school, then having to "transfer" back to the original school. The original school doesn't offer any online classes in the subject. It doesn't sound like I could use the Stafford loan at the second school, or am I wrong?
     
  8. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

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    Short answer, you can receive aid for any school you are admitted into that qualifies to participates in the federal student aid/loan program, so yes, you should be able to receive a Stafford Loan at a school you're attending to complete degree requirements at another institution. When I attended Auburn a lot of kids would take classes at Southern Union Community College in the summer financed on fin aid and then transfer those credits back into Auburn.
     
  9. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

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    In addition to the advice on this thread, you can find out all of this in the FAQ section of the website. In fact, you'll have to complete and pass a quiz on borrowing anyway.
     
  10. ooo

    ooo New Member

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    Perfect! Very helpful to know, thanks. Hopefully my school can do the same. I'll try it.
     
  11. ooo

    ooo New Member

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    How do state deadlines work? If you submit them after the date,... is it just "first come first serve?"

    I logged in to FAFSA. It sure has changed since I was in high school. This FAFSA app now is short!
     
  12. cranky

    cranky New Member

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