Managing Student Loans

In order to improve their prospects both job and income wise, single parents are being encouraged to return to college education, to secure a better future. It is a more difficult decision for single parents to make, than for those not already responsible for others. A single parent needs to consider managing the time to cope with a child, work, and other responsibilities, as well as finding the necessary study time.

Assistance is available though through federal student loans, which are available to those who choose to study either full or part time. Many single parents are going to need to opt for part time study, in order to maintain a job to support the household. However as they are probably adept at budgeting already, through circumstances, they are often considered to be more responsible with handling college education, as it is more of a sacrifice for them to make. It stands to reason that the single parent is going to spend their time studying, working and caring for a child and home, rather than partying.

There are certain Tennessee scholarships available to assist with college funding, but if these are granted student loans will still be needed. It is worth investigating to see if you are eligible for a grant through the Tennessee Student Association Corporation, which gives grants for a maximum of eight semesters. Each college institution within Tennessee can also be contacted directly to see if additional financial aid is available. This is usually available to state residents who apply within their state, and is state sponsored. As well as approaching the colleges direct also search for available grants on your State website.

Every student needing a loan needs to first apply for a federal student loan, by completing an FASFA form. They offer a number of loans to students, two of which are of particular benefit to single parents on low incomes, as they are means tested and subsidized. The federal Stafford subsidized loan is based on need, and you don’t need to worry about any repayment until six months after graduation. The interest which accrues on the loan during college years is subsidized by the government. With the aid of this loan you do not need to worry during college about making any repayments, leaving you to concentrate on your studies. This is particularly suited for those who have no family financial assistance.

A further unsubsidized federal Stafford loan is also available but, if as a single parent you are on a low income it is more likely that you will qualify for the subsidized one. With either loan though the interest rate is capped at a fixed rate so you will know what level of repayments you will need to make once you graduate. The government also offers a federal Pell loan for those only on low incomes, and in some circumstances this may be forgiven by the government, if the student follows a certain profession such as teaching, after graduation.

With a joint package of available scholarships, grants and loans, there is the opportunity for a single parent in Tennessee to return to education, be it full or part time. The parent would be setting a great example to the child about the value of education, as well as improving their own prospects. With the rising cost of college it is sensible to make the decision early, and really research the possibility of grants and scholarships to supplement student loans.