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What Are FAFSA Student Loans?

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and is the first step that any student applying for financial aid through a federal program. This program is managed through the Department of Education.There are four basic types of student aid available: scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study awards. With a scholarship, the money that is awarded does not have to be paid back. Scholarships are given to students based on academics, athletics, music, art or other fields. Grants do not have to be paid back either and are given based on financial need. Loans have to be paid back at specific interest rates. Work-study includes payments made to students who work on-campus to help pay for school costs.The first step to applying for most of these programs includes filling out the paper work for the FAFSA, and this can be intimidating. You will need the following information to complete the FAFSA.Student's Social Security Number Student's driver's license Student's W-2 Forms and other records of money earned (plus parent's/parents' W-2 forms if student is a dependent) Student's (and spouse's, if the student is married) Federal Income Tax Return for the previous year Parent's/Parents' Federal Income Tax Return for the previous year (if student is a dependent) Student's untaxed income records for the previous year - Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veterans benefits records Student's bank statements for the previous year Student's previous year's business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment records Student's alien registration card (if not a U.S. citizen)The Department of Education requires one to four weeks to process the FAFSA for student loans. The length of time to process depends on numerous factors and includes the size of the application backlog, rather the forms were filled out correctly, and also if the required documentation has been attached.Even thought the FAFSA can be intimidating, it is the vital first step to acquiring your student loan. If you don't fill it out, you will not be qualified and your loan will be denied.

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