If you’re facing income slashing due to the Corona Virus pandemic, keeping up with your bills may become increasingly challenging. After exhausting resources like gift aids and scholarships, you should always consider federal loans. Federal loans such as Direct unsubsidized loans are cheaper, more available, and have better repayment terms.
You’ll also enjoy additional benefit; low fixed interest rates, income-based repayment, and flexible loans. You can use the loan to pay for tuition, books, housing, etc. A Direct unsubsidized loan is a non-need-based, low -interest loan with flexible repayment options. It’s available to any undergraduate, graduate, or professional student. Unsubsidized means that the student is responsible for the loan interest charges during the in-school and grace periods. Let’s see what you need to get this loan.
Complete the FAFSA Form
To complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) takes about one hour. Below are some guidelines on using the FAFSA website:
Ensure you’re on the correct website
Most students mistake FAFSA for FASFA or FASA. they end up finding the wrong website. Note that the correct website is FAFSA.ed.gov. It ends with gov. not .com. It’s a free site; therefore, no charges for filling the form.
Complete the correct Year’s FAFSA
There are two versions available for FAFSA between January 1 and June 30. One is for the current award year, and the other is for the upcoming award year. Make sure you file the correct year’s FAFSA.
Determine College and State Loan Application Deadlines for the FAFSA
While Federal Aid has an 18-month cycle application, state and institutional aid dates of request vary. Most state FAFSA deadlines are in February and March, while others are usually on a first-come, first-serve basis. Some college FAFSA deadlines are in January and February.
When applying for a direct unsubsidized loan, filling out the FAFSA form requires some vital information. Such information includes Social Security Numbers and driver’s license. Preparing for these documents before the application saves you time. You can get the complete list of materials needed from Edvisors Guide to Filling the FAFSA. Besides, you can use the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet to preview the questions, thus get an idea of its requirements.
Get an FSA ID
Whether you are an independent or dependent student, you’ll need to sign the FAFSA. You can get an FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov. You and your custodian or parent, are required to have the ID. Using this ID to sign the FAFSA is by far the fastest and most reliable way to complete. The U.S Department of Education cannot process your application until all the signatures are received.
Save Your Work Frequently
Upon completing filing the FAFSA form, it’s advisable to save your work frequently. Not only does it keep your data safe and secure, but it also allows you to pause the form and finish it later. However, don’t delay completing the FAFSA since some states and colleges have very early deadlines.
Have a Valid EFC on File in the Financial Loan Office
EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is an index number. College financial aid staff use it to determine the amount of financial aid you receive. The information you report on your FAFSA form is used to calculate your EFC. The formula they use is:
Cost of Attendance = Expected family contribution / Your financial need
Your school will do its best to meet your financial need. You can get 100% or 10% of the direct unsubsidized loan you’ve applied. It somewhat depends on the financial aid they have available that year. It’s important to review your Expected Family Contribution.
Eligible Program for an Unsubsidized Loan
To be considered for the direct unsubsidized loan, you should be enrolled in an eligible program on at least a half-time basis. Full-time enrolment is a minimum of 12 and 9 credits per term for undergraduates and graduates, respectively. Therefore, the half-time subscription is 6 and 4.5 credits per semester for undergraduates and graduates, respectively.
The most essential of eligibility rules is that you should be a U.S. citizen. If you are not, don’t assume you can’t get the loan. Many non- U.S. citizens qualify for federal student aid. The most common category of Eligible Noncitizen is that of a permanent resident. I’ll take you through the other classes.
I’m a Non- U.S Citizen, Can I Get a Direct Unsubsidized Loan?
To get more information, check with your college or career school’s financial aid office. You are eligible for a direct unsubsidized loan if you fall in the categories below:
- You are a:
- U.S. national ( includes natives of Samoa or Swains Island) or
- U.S permanent resident with a Form 1-551,1-151, or 1-551C (Permanent Resident Card, Resident Alien Card, or a Green card.
- You have an Arrival-Departure Record (1-94) from U.S Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing;
- “Asylum Granted”
- “Cuban -Haitian Entrant”
- “Conditional Entrant ” (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980), or
- ” Parolee”
- Hold a T non- immigrant status, also called T-Visa
- You are a “battered immigrant-qualified alien“.
- You are a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Island Republic, or the Republic of Palau.
Other eligibility considerations include:
- You pass all eligibility requirements for a subsidized loan
- If you’re making satisfactory academic progress
- You haven’t borrowed the maximum aggregate Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan amount
- are not ineligible for other reasons
- You have received your high school diploma or its equivalent
For the direct unsubsidized loan, your family’s financial circumstances do not matter. Credit checks, co-signers, or separate loan applications are not a necessity. With the documents discussed in this article, you can only hope for your loan approval.