Do I Really Need a Federal Student Loan?
Borrowing is a responsibility. Be sure to consider all your funding options and make sure borrowing is right for you before making a long-term commitment to loan repayment.
- Plan ahead: Review typical costs for tuition, fees and books at MCC (link to new COA webpage) and write down your monthly expenses and income. Try to cover your monthly expenses with your income and use financial aid only for tuition, fees, books and expenses directly related to your education.
- Apply for scholarships and grants: These are funds that do not have to be repaid, but may take an investment of your time to secure funding.
- Consider asking your employer for tuition assistance or reimbursement: Many regional and national employers offer funding assistance for education. Local employers may also be willing to assist. Don’t be afraid to ask, especially if you can demonstrate how your education benefits your employer.
- Take advantage of tax benefits or incentives that are associated with your tuition and/or student loans. Visit the IRS website for information on tax benefits for students and their families.
If you find you need a student loan to help fund your education, borrower only what you need and know your rights and responsibilities and monthly payment obligations. MCC and your federal student loan servicer can help you stay on track with your monthly payments.
- Estimate the amount of debt you can afford: Use a repayment calculator to understand the cost of monthly payments and use the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to get a reasonable estimate of your future salary based on your career goal.
- Make interest-only payments on your student loans while you're in school: Paying interest on your federal unsubsidized loans saves you money in the long run.
- If you are struggling to make loan payments, call your loan servicer: Your loan servicer will assist you in finding a payment plan that fits your budget and can help postpone payments if you have a financial or other hardship. To view what repayment options work for you click HERE
- Your loan servicer contact information and overall federal student loan history may be viewed through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
- You will need your FSA ID to login to NSLDS.
- Stay on schedule: Repaying your student loans on time each month may help you build an excellent credit history.
- Prepay your student loan: There are no prepayment penalties and you'll save on the total interest due.
If you’re struggling to make payments, get help now!
We’ve teamed up with Solutions at ECMC to answer all of your student loan repayment questions. Solutions is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping students manage educational loans and their resources are available to you free of charge. To contact a Solutions Student Loan Repayment Advisor, email or Web chat, or call them at 877.331.3262.