Financial Aid Mistakes That Can Cost You

If you’re considering college, you probably know that you’ll need to come up with a considerable amount of money for tuition and other expenses. But if you make some common financial aid mistakes, you could wind up costing yourself a lot of money. Here’s what you need to know to avoid these costly blunders.

1. Filing the wrong FAFSA
One of the most common financial aid mistakes people make is being late in filing the FAFSA. This form is used to calculate your financial need and get you started on your college journey. Make sure you file your FAFSA as early as possible so you can get the most accurate estimate of your need.

2. Not including all your expenses
Another common mistake people make when filling out their FAFSA is not including all their expenses. This can include things like housing, food, and transportation. Including all your expenses will give you a more accurate estimate of your financial need and help them figure out how much money they’ll need to come up with.

3. Not understanding the types of financial aid available to you
If you’re not sure what kind of financial aid is available to you, don’t hesitate to ask your parents or your college financial aid advisor. There are a variety of different types of financial aid, and you might be eligible for something that’s not listed on the FAFSA.

4. Not qualifying for financial aid
If you don’t meet the financial requirements for a particular type of financial aid, you won’t be able to receive it. Make sure you fill out the FAFSA accurately and check to see if you meet the eligibility requirements for the financial aid you’re interested in.

5. Ignorance of the repayment process
If you decide to go to college and wind up having to borrow money to pay for it, you need to be aware of the repayment process. Make sure you have a good understanding of how much you will have to pay back each month as well as what types of loans are available to you.

6. Not saving enough money
If you don’t have enough money saved up to cover your college expenses, you will likely have to borrow money to cover the cost. Make sure you are saving enough money each month to cover the costs of your education as well as any other expenses you may have.

7. Making late payments
If you don’t make your payments on time, you will likely wind up paying more interest on your loans than you would if you had paid on time. Make sure you are aware of the repayment schedule for the type of loan you’re taking out and make your payments on time to avoid any penalties.

8. Not understanding the college loan repayment process
Just like with your personal loan repayment process, you need to be aware of the college loan repayment process. This includes understanding how long it will take you to repay your loans as well as what kind of interest you will be paying.

9. Failing to get a credit score
Getting a good credit score is important when it comes to borrowing money, especially if you’re considering taking out a college loan. Make sure you take the time to get your credit score up and check to see if you have any outstanding obligations that could impact your score.

10. Not being able to afford to repay your loans
If you can’t afford to repay your college loans, you will likely have to enter into a repayment plan. This means you will have to make smaller payments each month and will have to pay interest on your loan until it’s paid off. Make sure you are aware of the repayment plan that’s available to you and understand how long it will take to repay your debt.

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