Parent PLUS Loans: Know the Facts Before You Borrow


Your child has been accepted into college! Congratulations, but here comes the hard part – how do you pay for it? A common option is the federal Parent PLUS loan, but how do you determine if it is right for your family?


What is the Parent PLUS Loan?

The federal Parent PLUS loan is a loan option offered by the Department of Education for parents, step-parents, and adoptive parents of dependent undergraduates. The Direct Parent PLUS loan designed as a “request for supplemental information in connection with the Federal Direct Plus Loan through the William D. Ford Federal Loan (Direct Loan) Program.”

In […] Read more

The Truth About Private Loans: Top Myths Debunked


Just like ghost stories are inevitably told over a campfire, private student loan myths are shared between borrowers and soon-to-be borrowers. Instead of perpetuating this bad habit, let’s bust the top private loan myths right now.


Myth 1: Private Loans Are Always the Worst Option

Federal student loans are regulated more stringently than private loans and typically have more flexible benefits for repayment and forgiveness, but that doesn’t mean they’re always the best option.

Private lenders can base interest rates on more factors than federal loan rates, which were designed to be set annually by Congress. This means that if you have stellar […] Read more

3 Things the College Financial Aid Office Might Not Be Telling You



When considering your college options, a school’s financial aid office should be at the top of your “people to make friends with” list. They offer invaluable aid and financing information to you and your student, but there are some things they may not always be so forthcoming with.


1. You Can Ask For More Money

Much like that new car’s sticker price, a financial aid package may be negotiable. Colleges don’t hold money back from students deliberately, but colleges may have discretionary funds.

Though, just asking for more money isn’t a recipe for success. You’ll need a thoughtful request to have a shot. […] Read more

More Than Just a Student Loan: What Else to Look for When Choosing a Lender


When it comes to choosing a student loan lender, who you work with can really make a difference. Loan factors like interest rates, fees, customer service and other benefits all have to be taken into consideration in order to make the right pick. You’ll also want to make sure that the lender’s values and commitment to students are in line with your visions and goals. This means working with a lender that you can trust and build a relationship with is an important factor to your educational success.


As we learned in Student Loans 101, there are several financial aid avenues […] Read more

Do You Need a Job as a Full-Time College Student?


Between homework, finals and extracurricular activities, college can demand a lot of your time. On top of these tasks, many students choose to hold a job in order to help cover some of their expenses. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Education, 78% of part-time students and 43% of full-time students hold a job while in college. While it may seem overwhelming, many students make it work. But is it right for you? As part of our Ascent Tips & Advice series, we’ll look at some of the factors that drive students to take on work and a […] Read more

Private Student Loans 101

Education is a big investment, and many students like you may need help paying for it. The price of tuition alone may seem like a barrier between where you’re at now and where you want to be. Even then, tuition isn’t the only expense you might face—the cost of textbooks, housing, transportation, food and supplies all add up. This is why most students utilize some form of financial aid, including private student loans, to help them fund their future goals. Let’s take a look at the main sources of financial aid to gain a better understanding of your options as […] Read more