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Nitro Knowledge. Your Guide to Paying for College.


For the 2020-21 school year, PLUS loans will come with a lower interest rate than usual, making them a pretty good deal compared to prior years. However ... they are far from the best deal available.

With any major financial decision, doing some comparison shopping can save you a lot of money — especially with the historically low interest rates we're experiencing ahead of the fall semester. Here, we'll look at Parent PLUS Loans, private parent loans, and private student loans. 

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A Pell Grant is an extremely valuable component of federal financial aid. Because it's a grant, you don't have to pay it back. Free money? Yes, please.

If you qualify, a Federal Pell Grant could add as much as $6,345 to your college coffers. 

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The Stafford Loan is a federal student loan offered by the U.S. Department of Education to help eligible students pay for college. 

You may see this loan referred to as a Federal Stafford Loan, a Direct Student Loan, or a Direct Stafford Loan. The good news: they all mean the same thing. However, there are two types of Stafford Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Let's talk about each.

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Did you know your college ID or email address could be worth money in your pocket? It’s true.

Flashing your student ID or ponying up an email address with .edu at the end could land you some pretty amazing discounts, online or in-person.

Taking advantage of those savings could mean that you’ll have more money to put toward your education, so you can avoid borrowing more than you really need.

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The countdown to college is ticking down, and fast. Soon, you’ll be waving goodbye to your child as they head off to begin the long-awaited college experience.

At the same time your new college freshman is embarking on a new phase of their life, you’ll be doing the same. Even if you won’t be an empty nester come the fall, you’ll have one less person in your home. There will be a period of adjustment. Some of it will be welcome. (One less glass left on the counter every night!) And yes, some of it might be hard.

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When it comes to interest rates and student loans, most people know one thing: a lower interest rate is better than a higher interest rate. For the 2020-21 school year, the good news is that student loans are being offered at historically low interest rates, so there are many good deals to be had.

However, it’s probably no surprise that there’s more to an interest rate than meets the eye. Digging into the fine print can reveal ways to pay off your loan faster — and it can also expose the landmines that could end up costing you additional money.

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