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Student-Loan Companies Want a Completed FAFSA

Francine L. Huff
LoanBiz Columnist

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Article Rating , 4 out of 5 based on 1 votes

Anyone hoping to receive student loans should submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is provided by the federal government to help determine how much and what types of financial aid students may be eligible to receive. Without a completed FAFSA, students may not be eligible for certain loans, grants, scholarships, or work-study programs.

Do You Know How To Follow Instructions?

It is crucial for students to first review the instructions for the FAFSA and follow them precisely. All requested information must be included or there may be a delay in processing the application. Students applying to different schools should note and comply with their varying deadlines for filing financial aid forms. Filing the FAFSA electronically can speed up the process.

What Does the FAFSA Tell Lenders?

Information provided on the FAFSA lets student-loan companies know how much a student's family earns and can be expected to contribute toward education expenses. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) can change depending on the school and how much it costs. The FAFSA also provides student-loan companies with the applicant's dependency status and the number of other family members attending college. Documents that are required to complete the application include:

  • Federal tax return
  • W-2 forms
  • Bank statements
  • Current business and investment records.

Students need to provide their social security number. A permanent resident card or alien registration is required for those who aren't U.S. citizens.

Who Can Apply?

Although anyone can fill out a FAFSA to determine whether or not they will receive financial aid, some students won't be eligible for federal student loans and other aid programs. People convicted of selling or possessing drugs may not receive federal financial aid. Those unsure of their status should fill out a drug conviction worksheet to determine their eligibility.

What is a Student Aid Report?

Once the FAFSA has been processed, students receive a report that summarizes information provided on the FAFSA and the student's EFC. They should carefully review this report and correct mistakes immediately.

The FAFSA form requires a great deal of information, but completing it is not difficult. Students and families who keep their income and asset records filed and organized should have little trouble. Although there are companies that file these forms and find sources of financial aid for a fee, their services aren't necessary. Applicants may be better off setting up their own timelines and nailing down student loans and other aid.

Sources:
Federal Student Aid
SallieMae


About the Author
Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist and the author of The 25-Day Money Makeover for Women. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows.

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