Borrowing Wisely

Avoid Overborrowing

One common misconception that students have is that they must accept all aid (and loans) offered; however, this is not true.

You can choose to accept only the amount you need and decline the rest. If an unexpected financial emergency, or cost arises later, you can work with your financial aid staff to obtain the previously declined loan funds. 

When you avoid borrowing more than you need, you will reduce unnecessary origination fees and interest costs. If you find that you borrowed more than you needed, there is a 120-day period to return funds. If you are in this situation, talk to your financial aid staff about returning excess funds to reduce the principal balance owed and eliminate origination fees and interest charged. If the 120-day window has closed, the financial aid staff may suggest that you decrease your future loan disbursement(s). Talk with the financial aid staff at your school to determine the best way to handle your situation.
There is a limit to the total amount of financial aid you can receive each year (including loans and scholarships). You cannot receive more aid than what is set as the school’s cost of attendance (COA). Be aware of interest rates, fees, and repayment options before you accept loans because you may need to forfeit free or lower interest rate loans if you already accepted a higher interest rate loan. 

Additionally, you will want to borrow the least expensive student loans first. Review the origination fees, interest rates, and borrower benefits to determine the total cost of the loan. Only consider more expensive loans after all other options have been exhausted.