6 tips to help you pay for your college education

Posted: July 11, 2023 | Word Count: 465

While heading to college is a great adventure, the cost of college is sky high. Whether you’re still in high school or planning your enrollment at a state public school or a private college, here are some tips for what you can do now to be able to cover your college expenses.

1. Get your finances in order

If you’ve already chosen a school, get a detailed annual cost estimate and compare it to your existing savings, income and budget. If you haven’t picked a school yet, understand the potential cost differences between community, in-state and private schools. If college is still several years away, factor saving into your monthly budget.

2. Look for funding

No one wants to start off with student loan debt. But sometimes it’s the only way. First, make sure you have a college savings plan that allows tax-free withdrawals. Then, see if there are gaps in your college fund and look into federal loans, grants or scholarships.

3. Get a head start

Fill out a FAFSA application for federal student aid. To cover the gap, ensure you apply early so you don’t miss your school’s deadlines. A gap in funding happens when federal student aid and scholarships don’t cover all your college expenses.

4. Look into private student loans

Private student loans are for when federal student loans, grants, savings and scholarships don’t cover all your qualified higher education expenses. Applying for these loans is easy. For example, at Navy Federal Credit Union, a student loan application takes less than 15 minutes, and you have a variety of repayment options while you’re in school to help reduce your overall loan costs.

Plus, with a Navy Federal private student loan, you’re automatically eligible for a Career Assistance Program — online tools and training that can help you level up your resume, hone your interviewing skills and find job search opportunities and other tips.

5. Get a cosigner

Private lenders want to know you can handle repayment before giving you a loan. A parent, other family member or even a trusted friend with good credit can agree to back your loan. Having a cosigner may even help you get a student loan at a lower interest rate.

For example, Navy Federal allows you to request a cosigner release after you graduate school and make 24 on-time payments in a row.

6. Borrow the right amount

You may not know what all your college expenses will add up to, so it can be hard to know how much to borrow. Base the amount of your private student loan on the cost of your school’s attendance, which includes college tuition and college expenses like fees, books, computers, meals, travel and housing.

Navy Federal Credit Union is federally insured by NCUA.

This sponsored article is available to download for free use in print and online publications. If you must edit the article, please include at least one brand reference. All articles must retain the (BPT) or Brandpoint byline.
Download this Article