Helpful Links

Best all-around site www.finaid.org Excellent information by category
General Information www.ed.gov/finaid/landing.jhtml U.S. Department of Education
FAFSA on the web www.fafsa.gov  
FAFSA PIN online www.pin.ed.gov  
Higher One https://mybigfootcard.higheroneaccount.com
Student Guide studentaid.ed.gov/guide  
NAFSAA www.nasfaa.org General information and links to other sites
IRS Tax Transcript www.irs.treas.gov Hope tax credit and general tax info
Loan Information www.studentloans.gov Personal loan account information
  pin.ed.gov For PIN number
Washington State sites www.wfaa.org Washington Financial Aid Association
Scholarships www.fastweb.com  

Spokane Falls Community College encourages students to apply for grant, Workstudy, and Federal Direct Loan assistance prior to alternative loans because the rates and repayment options are normally better. Although alternative/private loans can provide an additional source of funding for students, they can have much higher interest rates than Direct Loans. Please carefully consider exhausting all Federal loan options before borrowing an alternative/private loan. Be sure to compare your options before applying, as you will be working with that lender for the duration of the loan. Contact your lender for more information.

Important information to consider before making an application for an Alternative Loan:

  • All students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  • The maximum amount you can borrow will be determined by the Financial Aid department, in accordance with federal and state regulations. Your costs will be determined by adding up your college related expenses (tuition, fees, cost of living, books, etc.) then subtracting any financial aid (grants, scholarships, veteran’s benefits, federal and state Workstudy, agency funds, Direct loan funds, and any other assistance not previously mentioned) you have to help pay for college. The difference is the amount you can borrow in an alternative/private loan.
  • Alternative/private loans are considered a resource for your education, and therefore cannot exceed your cost of attendance.
  • The borrower/student chooses the lender for this type of loan, and alternative/private loans are not guaranteed funds. Going through a lender who sends the money directly to the student is best.
  • A co-signer is often required, and borrower and/or co-signer credit checks may be required.
  • Loan periods should match our regular academic terms of enrollment (summer, fall, winter, and spring).
  • Contact your lender directly for all status updates and information regarding your alternative/private loans.
  • Borrowing maximums and minimums, interest rates, and fees vary with each lender and change often. Your credit rating, academic level, employment status, and status of co-signer can affect these as well.
  • Research all applicable fees, as some lenders do not have up-front fees, but add fees once the loan is disbursed or goes into repayment.
  • Understand the terms of your alternative/private loan, how the interest rate is calculated, repayment timelines, and deferment options prior to taking out an alternative/private loan.
  • Spokane Falls Community College does not recommend lenders or use preferred lender lists. Choose your lender and complete their application process.

SFCC Title IV Code of Conduct

  • The financial aid office at SFCC will process loans in a timely manner. SFCC will not refuse to certify or delay certification based on choice of lender.
  • The financial aid office does not contract with any lender and does not receive any staffing assistance from lenders.
  • Students are advised to borrow loans through the federal student loan programs. Private loans will not be packaged or offered from any specific lender.
  • Employees in the financial aid office are prohibited from receiving gifts from lenders, guaranty agencies or loan servicers.
  • Spokane Falls Community College does not have revenue sharing arrangements with any lender. Advisory boards will not receive compensation from any lender. SFCC prohibits the offer of funds for private loans.
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