It’s time to start thinking about student loans
Now more than ever, a college education is necessary for equipping young minds with the knowledge and critical thinking skills they need to live a successful and fulfilling life. While Arsenal Credit Union does not offer student loans, we do provide an excellent opportunity for young members to help fund their education and other valuable resources.
Each year, we award up to $5,400 to deserving students through our scholarship program. The program is based on merit rather than need. Applicants are judged on the following criteria: grade point average (GPA), academic achievements, extracurricular school activities, community involvement and a written essay. Three letters of recommendation are also required.
The competition is open to high school seniors who have been Arsenal members for at least one year. The application will be available in October and will be due on Thursday, February 14. Winners are announced and presented with their scholarships at our annual meeting in late April.
Here are some other helpful tools to use when applying for loans and other types of financial aid:
- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) provides grants, loans and work-study funds for college or career schools.
- According to Nerdwallet, the percent of all high school graduates from the class of 2017 who did not fill out the FAFSA was 36%. The average amount each Pell Grant-eligible graduate left by not completing the FAFSA was $3,583. In total, the class of 2017 left $2.3 billion on the table by not completing this!
- Learn about the different types of student loans the federal government offers.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explains the differences between federal and private student loans.
- USA.gov answers some of the most common questions about student loans.
- Before applying for financial aid, learn how to keep your personal information safe and how to prevent fraud from student loan scams.
Free financial calculators to help plan for education
Quick facts about student loans
- Americans owe $1.48 trillion in student loan debt.
- This is about $620 billion more than total credit card debt in the United States.
- 44.2 million Americans have student loan debt.
- For borrowers ages 20 through 30:
- The average monthly student loan payment: $351
- Median monthly student loan payment: $203
Facts current as of May 1, 2018, according to Student Loan Hero.
- Percentage of recent graduates with student debt: 45%
- Percentage of recent graduates with debt who believe they’ll be able to pay it off in 10 years: 39%
- Age at which graduates of the class of 2018 can expect to retire: 72
- Age at which the class of 2018 can expect to purchase their first home with a 20% down payment: 36
Facts current as of Aug. 3, 2018, according to Nerdwallet.