Student loans, they can feel like a helpful friend when paying for school and a burdensome enemy when paying them back.
The Arkansas Student Loan Authority (ASLA) exists to make college more affordable and accessible. ASLA’s goal is to provide a friendly and efficient experience in receiving your loans while also making your financial situation manageable after you leave school. ASLA is a state government agency that provides college planning services and loan counseling along with several other college financial aid related services. “We encourage students and families to search for free money first. Search and apply for scholarships and grants and Federal Direct Student Loans before coming to us”, stated Tony Williams, director of the Arkansas Student Loan Authority, “and never borrow more than you absolutely need”.
ASLA is known for its low interest rates on private student loans compared to national lenders such as Sallie Mae, Discover and College Avenue. As a non-profit state government agency located in Arkansas, ASLA can focus on providing the lowest rates possible to any student in Arkansas, even if the student is from outside of the state.
When investigating private student loans, it is very important to compare maximum interest rates and not only the minimum rates. ASLA currently has a maximum fixed interest rate of 6.64% while most national lenders have maximum rates around 12%. This difference can equate to a very significant savings in interest over the life of the loan. It is important to understand that any type of loan is a serious responsibility. Private student loans typically require minimum credit score and income requirements, as a result a consigner is usually required since most students do not have the credit history and income to meet the requirements.
Always do your homework when accepting any type of financial aid and use your school financial aid office as a resource to answer any questions or to determine the best aid options for your personal situation. Borrow wisely and don’t let student loans become a burdensome enemy!