Student Loans

Paying for college or a graduate degree is expensive. Whether you are sending your child to college or financing your own education, there are a number of options you should consider. Start with research to identify scholarships, grants, and other sources that will pay a portion of the tuition for you. Then, research the financing options available, and be sure to understand the repayment options before you borrow.

When choosing a college, an important consideration is the cost of tuition, room and board, and fees.

  • Schools provide the total expected cost to attend so you can compare. The information is generally provided on the school’s website.
  • Consider a state school or community college for the first two years, as they are generally less expensive than private colleges. Many private colleges accept transfers from state or community colleges, saving you tuition and allowing you to earn a diploma from the private school.

A number of good resources, including government resources, are listed below.

Financing Options

Having a financing plan before enrolling is essential.

Repayment Options

The first thing you should know is your student loans are not likely to be canceled or discharged! You must repay a student loan even if finances are difficult. If you don’t make your monthly loan payments, you will risk becoming delinquent and risk going into default. The good news is that there are a number of repayment options.

Resources

We've done some of the research for you, here is a list of websites to help you along the way.

Tips & Resources - Student Loans
Check the financial aid options available from your state. Many states offer lower-cost loans, grants, or scholarships to students.
Using retirement savings to pay for education should be your very last option. More resources are available for funding an education than a retirement, and you are giving up valuable earnings on any savings you withdraw.
Know your grace period. Most student loans have a six-month grace period, which means you won’t have to make payments until six months after you graduate, drop out, or drop below half-time status. 
Depending on your income, there may be tax deductions and credits available. Please make sure you discuss the American Opportunity Credit and The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit as well as the Tuition and Fee Tax Deduction with your tax preparer.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended as investment, tax, financial, legal or other advice. Your personal decisions should be based on the recommendations of your own professional advisors. 

Unless otherwise noted, websites referenced herein that are outside the www.cpg.org domain are not associated with The Church Pension Fund and its affiliates (collectively, the Church Pension Group) and the Church Pension Group is not responsible for the content of any such websites.