I’m starting a post-bac program at Mills this fall, and just found out that the Stafford loans will only cover slightly more than half of my tuition. When it comes to borrowing money I’m a total neophyte. Does anyone have any tips on taking out loans? Any banks or loaners (e.g. Sally Mae) that anyone’s been especially happy with.
Any help would be appreciated.
- Jake

Whoever you use, the alternative loans are credit-based, so first make sure your credit is squeaky clean.

Congrats on getting started! It’s nice to be in the position of just having to learn the loan process–I wish I was so lucky! In addition to the Stafford Loans I am using a loan through Nellie Mae. They have been really good. The only thing I haven’t been happy with is my university. They determine the disburssement dates and tell Nellie Mae when to disburse the money–the problem is they don’t set the date early enough so my account comes due before the money is sent. On top of that, it takes them over 10 days from receipt of the check from Nellie Mae before they have the remainder of the loan check ready for me to pick up for the non-tuition/fees portion of the loan. So this means I’m paying interest on the money and the school is collecting interest during the period. I haven’t been able to get them to see how asinine this is–they don’t believe there is any problem with the way they do things. But I’ll keep being a thorn–maybe someone will eventually listen. The point of all that rambling is to be sure that you know what the exact policies are regarding loans and disbursements are–sometimes what would be logical to the students isn’t so for the financial aid office.