Many military spouses start college later in life. They are not only students working on their education but also raising a family, supporting their spouse’s career and dealing with the challenges and joy of a military lifestyle.
When I first went back to college, I worked on an Associates of Art. Fortunately, I was able to be awarded a Pell Grant that paid for my schooling. But like many others, as my spouse moved forward in his career, I was awarded student loans to complete my Bachelor’s degree. Before I accepted any loans, I researched the amount I needed to meet the gap from what I could afford and the cost of tuition and books. The amount of loans still added up very quickly.
Fast forward several years, my spouse is reaching retirement and we both have student loans we used to complete our degrees. Today, I work in Information Technology and we put all the extra we can afford to pay our student loans. We are lucky, we worked a plan with our financial advisor and we have the means to complete our plan before he retires. This was a huge relief to know that we will be student loan debt free at retirement.
Student Loans can be crippling if you are not prepared for repayment terms, understand the interest rates and the type of loan you are taking out to pay for the cost of your education. Today, it is mandatory that a student take an entrance interview and an exit interview when taking out a student loan. But for many students that is not enough; therefore, several schools have taken the stand that students schedule an appointment with a Financial Aid Officer to review and understand a payback plan and how interest can add up quickly while a loan is in deferment.
Lately, there have been several articles published regarding the effects of student loans on Social Security checks. So, if you fail to pay your student loan and allow it to enter into default, when you begin to receive Social Security checks it can be garnished for the payment of your student loan causing a burden if you are relying on the Social Security.
Taking out a student loan is a BIG investment not only for oneself but also for your family; therefore, make sure to do your research.
Know the different types for Student Loans
- Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at a college or career school.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan.
- Direct PLUS Loans are loans made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.
- Direct Consolidation Loans allow you to combine all of your eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer.
Data obtained from https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans