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J.G. Wentworth Blog

Paying for College, Part Three: the FAFSA

Hi folks, J.G. Wentworth here. In today’s blog, we would like to continue our series of discussions on how to pay for college by talking about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as the FAFSA.

If you are looking into obtaining student loans to pay for college, the FAFSA is where you must begin. It is the form all students in the United States – prospective or current – must fill out to determine their eligibility for financial assistance. Simply put, FAFSA gives students access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school.

While FAFSA offers a wide range of financial aid, the four most common types are Pell Grants, Stafford Loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized), Federal Perkins Loans, and the Federal Work-Study Program. Pell Grants are given by the government in amounts as much as $5550, depending on the student’s financial background. Stafford loans and Federal Perkins Loans are offered to students at relatively low interest rates – though of course these loans must be repaid over time. In Federal Work-Study Programs, students find part-time hourly work through the university, and are paid for their time with funds provided by the federal government.

Whatever option – or combination of options – of student aid works best for you, it is extremely important that you begin the process by filling out your FAFSA. You can do so online, mail in a hard copy of the form, or even pay a professional for his/her expertise in the application, though that is certainly not required. While you generally have 18 months to submit the application (for example, to be considered for federal student aid for the 2013/2014 school year, you have between January 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 to get your application in), many states and colleges have earlier deadlines, so do your research in advance regarding when these specific deadlines must be met.

Most students end up using FAFSA to apply for loans, but following graduation, find themselves struggling to repay them. If you are having trouble making your student loan repayments – or would like to avoid getting into debt over college in the first place – and are currently receiving money from a structured settlement or annuity, you should consider selling your future payments for cash now; you can then take that cash and use it to directly pay for your college education. To learn more call J.G. Wentworth today at 877-227-4713.

Every individual’s financial situation is unique. J.G. Wentworth and its representatives do not provide financial, legal or tax advice.  You should consult a qualified tax and/or legal professional for advice and information concerning your particular situation.