HBCU Writers's Project
For Immediate Release
December 09, 2009
Contact Information

Melvin Hitchens
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

(BPRW) Figuring Out Student Loans

(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – With the cost of education increasing, students and parents are relying heavily on student loans to fund their educational endeavors. “It is important for students to be informed about the student loan process,” said Jocelyn Jackson, a Sallie Mae Loan Specialist. Some students are not informed about the educational loan process and unaware of the repayment requirements and options, said Jackson. “People are there to help them and inform them about payment options. Students just have to be willing to take the time out and understand the whole process,” Jackson said.
Nyerere Davidson, a recent Florida A&M University graduate, said, “I know there is a lot to know about loans and the repayment process and I am definitely uninformed.” “Student loans are necessary evils with me because I am not in a financial position to pay college tuition outright,” said Juleon Barnes, a FAMU graduate student. “The value of an education is important so I am willing to finance it through student loans,” Barnes said. Barnes relies on income earned from summer internships to provide miscellaneous spending money. 

Frederick Anderson, a 23-year-old business administration student from Indianapolis, said, “You have to do what you have to do. But it is a shame that students have to rely on a loan to pay college cost.” He hopes to obtain a good job after college, so he can begin paying the money owed. Anderson said he relies heavily on loans to pay out-of-state tuition expenses. 

“It seems as if students are just borrowing money as if there are no strings attached, and it’s important for students with outstanding loans to get familiar with the student loan process,” Jackson said. It is crucial that students only borrow the amount needed to cover tuition and related expenses, she noted. “It’s insane that students use loan money to cover day-to-day expenses, not realizing they have to pay the borrowed money back with interest,” Jackson said. The best way to cover day-to-day spending is to obtain a part-time job and not borrow funds, commented Jackson. 

Jackson advises students and recent graduates to consolidate loans at a low interest rate. “When consolidating, it puts loans in one lump sum and provides a fixed interest rate. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about interest rates going up or down annually,” Jackson said. Another option for students with loans is to put your loans in one of the deferment payments if not in a financial situation to pay immediately, advised Jackson. “By deferring payments, it protects your credit and keeps your loans out of default.”
According to MSN Money, having bad credit can make obtaining tangible items in life harder, such as paying more for a mortgage or having to pay a higher interest rate on your credit card. Recent Florida A&M University graduate Dallas Fowler said, “The best thing I could have ever done while in school was consolidating my student loans last year at 4.7 percent interest rates. By consolidating at a low interest rate, it keeps me from accruing unneeded interest,” said Fowler. “Students should pay their educational debts on time and pay a little more on the monthly payments if possible,” Jackson said.