The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Financial Aid Office is well aware that most students must borrow loans to assist with funding their education. Although low-interest educational loans are made available to students, the fact is, that it is a loan and “loans must be repaid".
Over $50 million in loans are borrowed each year by students at TTUHSC. The average debt our student’s accumulate is below national averages but students still need sound debt management education to help with understanding their options for repayment of the loans.
It is the goal of the Financial Aid Office to help students make responsible decisions about borrowing and repayment of their loans and to provide the necessary tools to make informed and knowledgeable decisions about their future.
The costs of higher education continue to increase and students must determine how they will finance their education and what funding resources are available to help them meet their goal.
Through the Financial Aid Office, funding sources are limited to federal loan programs, institutional scholarships and limited state grant/scholarship funding.
What Federal Programs are Available?
- Federal Direct Stafford - Subsidized Loan and Unsubsidized loan
- Federal Graduate/Plus Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
Loan borrowing is probably a necessary part of graduate education financing. Your approach to how you handle and control your finances will make a difference in your lifestyle now or in the future. The best advice you can get is to “Live like a student while you are in school so you don't have to live like a student while you are a health professional”.
For every $100 you spend using student loan money now will cost you about $200 by the time you've paid off your loans.
What about Private Alternative Loans?
In some cases, students with higher costs because of family, housing, etc., may have to borrow from private alternative funding sources. These loans usually have higher interest rates and offer very few benefits as compared to the federal loans. Therefore, these loans should only be used as a last resort as a funding option.
These loans are credit based. It is important for students to have a good credit report free of default or delinquency to prevent having a co-signer to qualify for the loan.
Tips: Something to think about?
- Develop a realistic budget to live by -- and stick to it!
- Keep good records. Maintain all loan material in a single file
- Review your credit report. Learn the importance of your credit rating
- Limit the number of credit cards that you carry -- out of sight, out of mind!
- Pay your credit card balances off each month if you can
- Outline your professional and personal goals -- review yearly
- Borrow only what you need
- Check interest rates to select the best loan
- Know your repayment and the deferment options
- Read information about your loan choices
Budgeting and Financial Management Resources
- AAMC FIRST Program: financial literacy and loan management information
- Annual Credit Report: obtain a free annual copy of your credit history from the three major US credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion)
- Budget Worksheet: compare your estimated monthly expenses with your actual expenditures to better manage your resources
- Cost of Living Calculator: find estimated costs for rent, living and other expenses to help you establish a monthly budget while in school
- Wall Street Journal Smart Money: helpful personal financial information for M4 students and residents
- Financial Awareness Counseling: a tool offered through the Department of Education to assist students in creating a budget and calculating potential student loan payment amounts