sorry, i couldn’t think of any other tile, but we are getting closer to adventures in London!
Blue Eyed London. London Eye, London, England. Summer, 2013.
The basic progress for this week is pretty simple: I finished my loan paperwork and am now waiting for my school to get back to me so I can start in on my Visa…
It’s one slow going step at a time as my deadlines creep steadily closer… awesome.
So, last week I gave some of the basics of the process I am undergoing, but now that I’ve actually gone through the documents, there are more technical aspects I can guide you through.
No matter how many charts and checklists I had on hand, I was still pretty lost when it came to getting through all my loan documents. The sites don’t give all the information one may need at first glance and that makes it hard to decipher exactly what papers you need to complete.
The steps before getting onto the main portion of the Loan process was the primary focus of last week—filling out FAFSA early and making sure all your answers are correct. You should read your SAR (Student Aid Report) and the “Comments about Your Information” section and resolve any issues under the “What you must do now” section. If there were any issues you should submit any documents mentioned in the latter section with the rest of your application.
The next parts of the Loan process can be done through Student Loans website after you receive your student number. I believe this can technically be done before you officially accept your offer (something I wish you knew before this late in the game), but I’m not 100% sure of this.
Once you are ready to start the Loan process (and I’d have time open as the whole process is easier if you can do it in one go. Some parts are, in fact, required to be completed in a single seating.), you can log into the site with your FAFSA login information and run through the side bar to get comfortable with all the options there.
Step one is completing your Entrance Counselling for “Stafford for undergraduates/Stafford and PLUS combined for postgraduates.” You can find this on the main page under “Entrance Counselling” or in the side bar under the “Counselling” heading. After you fill out the pages (it’s really just answering the quiz questions so they know you are reading it all), take a screenshot and/or save the completion certificate PDF for later use. Printing out a copy of your counselling is a good option for keeping your own documents up to date. If you forget this step, you can also take a screenshot of your completed counselling log found in the same counselling section with the link “View completed counselling”
Step two is working through your Stafford loan and your Stafford MPN (Master Promissory Note). The problem I ran into on this step was that “Stafford” was not one of the listed choices—not until you open the document you actually need. It is located under the heading “Master Promissory Note” under which is the link to “Complete MPN.” This will load a page with three options. The first option “Subsidized/Unsubsidized” is your link to the Stafford Loan MPN. Fill out all the paperwork (it takes about 30 minute which you’ll need to complete in one sitting) and then download and save your MPN for your records and later use. As a grad student, you can borrow up to $20,500 and no credit check is required if you only want a Stafford Loan.
Step three of this process (if you will need more than what is offered through a Stafford loan), is to take out a Grad PLUS Loan and fill out the related MPN, if this is your education level (I am a postgraduate, therefore, this is the loan I needed). The only reason you would have to apply for these loans is if you are borrowing more than $20,500 (the maximum Stafford loan) and then, yes, a credit check is part of this process. Remember, you can only borrow up to your COA (Cost of Attendance) which is a monetary sum sent to you in your school acceptance letter. When it comes to the amount you are borrowing, you have a few options including naming an amount (do NOT ask for more than your COA) or letting your school determine the maximum. Once you finish your papers and the MPN, just like with all the other documents, you should save the documents and have it ready for future use (Including your credit check).
Each of these forms will have an email sent to you informing you that the school of choice has been notified your completion and sent your documents into them. However, as your school—if you are going overseas for studies—will probably inform you, these documents aren’t really of much use to them. Instead, they need each student to fill out a few extra papers (for me, this was my paperwork checklist with my COA and the funding I wish to pursue, and a completed and attached the Tuition Fee Instalment Request Form) and send these papers along with the downloaded loan papers and MPNs to the financial office.
About two weeks later, you should receive a letter and/or packet with your loan package which you can then use to fill out you visa paperwork… FINALLY!
So in the interim (hopefully just next week), we’ll cover the Visa prep check list with any preliminary documents one may need and any other bits of prep and tips I can scrounge up. Hopefully I’ll make some housing headway, as well.
Yep, lots to cover as we proceed, but I hope this was helpful.
Until next time,
This is Leave on the Wind, Helping you soar.