The downturn in our economy and the resulting credit crunch has affected parents’ and students’ abilities to obtain loans, especially private loans. Some private lenders have actually closed shop, and the amount of private loans this past year has declined 29%.
Are there ways to still manage to have enough money for post-secondary education? Well…there is some help out there.
First, the federal government is increasing the amount students can earn from summer jobs to raise the cap on what can and can not be considered an asset. If students have assets, colleges find them less eligible for aid. Over the next four years, the government will gradually increase the summer earning cap from today’s $3, 750 to $6, 000. Best to start looking for good summer employment.
For the 2009-10 academic school year, Stafford loans, government unsubsidized loans, have increased by $2,000, and the interest rate on the federal subsidized loans has been lowered to 5.6%. Federal loans programs are now worth looking into again.
College students should also look to saving expenses during their school year. One way to save is to consider a bike or walking. The cost of a car, its maintenance and gas, and insurance could be a considerable saving. You might also look into scooters for transportation. For example, the Vespa GTS 300 Super gets 65 to 75 miles per gallon and only costs $6,000.