The Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) includes Federal Stafford Loans for students and Federal PLUS Loans for parents and graduate-level students. FFELP loans will have a lender and a guarantor.
The lender can charge an origination fee, similar to the points on a home mortgage, of up to 2 percent. The guarantor must charge a federal default fee of 1 percent. Those fees are deducted before the loan funds are sent to the student’s college. Not all FFELP lenders charge the same fee
The Student Loan Peoplesm, the state’s only public nonprofit student loan provider, charge no origination fee and pays the federal default fee for borrowers. To be smart shoppers, students and parents should find out what fees each lender charges. The lower the fees, the more money the student gets to pay for school.
Students and parents should also see what benefits lenders offer when they’re paying back Stafford or PLUS loans. Many FFELP lenders offer interest rate reductions for automatic withdrawals and reductions to the principal for a history of on-time payments. The Student Loan People offer BestStart Stafford loans with better benefits than most national lenders. The agency also offers BestPLUS loans for parents borrowing to pay for a child’s undergraduate education and BestGrad PLUS Loans for graduate and professional students.
In addition, some lenders offer special benefits. The Student Loan People offer three special programs. Best in Class offers interest and principal forgiveness for teachers, counselors and librarians in certified Kentucky schools. Best in Care does the same for nurses, while Best in Law provides benefits to public service attorneys. Principal forgiveness for nurses and teachers requires them to work in certain critical-need fields.
These are available only for teachers, nurses and attorneys who received their student loans from The Student Loan People. For complete details about these programs and low-cost student loans, visit www.studentloanpeople.com; write The Student Loan People, P.O. Box 24328, Louisville, KY 40224-0328; or call (888) 678-4625.
To learn how to plan and prepare for higher education, visit www.GoHigherKY.org. For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit www.kheaa.com; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, Ky. 40602-0798; or call (800) 928-8926, extension 7381.