See Your College Dreams to Reality
Obtaining Student Loans from the State of Oklahoma
Few college-bound students can afford to pay their education costs out of pocket. Most will need some form of financial aid, be it scholarships, grants or student loans. When the time comes to begin thinking about college, and how you are going to pay your tuition costs, student loans are likely going to be part of the equation. For residents of the state of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma College Assistance Program can provide some much needed guidance and financial advice.
OCAP, formerly the Oklahoma Guaranteed Student Loan Program, is a state sponsored organization dedicated to helping students find the financial resources needed to realize their goal of a college education. The Oklahoma College Assistance Program makes it possible to extend the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) to Oklahoma residents in a timely and affordable manner. The otherwise named "Cash for College” plan, aims to educate students and parents about college finance while offering direct access to the number one student loan strategy in the country - Federal student loans.
If You’re an Oklahoma Student or Parent…
Searching for a college loan can be confusing, and there are a large number of loans and lenders to be considered. But not all loans are created equal, and when it comes to finding cash for college you want to locate the best loan with the most attractive terms. This is where the Oklahoma College Assistance Program can be of real benefit to resident students looking for financial aid. OCAP can help match you to the loan program most suited to your financial need and educational goals. The most common types of student loans include:
- Federal Direct Student Loans and the FFELP
- Alternative student loans, often made available via state agencies
- Private, proprietary student loans from commercial lenders
When it comes time to design your financial aid strategy, begin with Federal student loan programs. These offer the most attractive terms for borrowers, including low fixed interest rates and payment deferments. Consider private lenders a last resort, and explore all other avenues of funding first. The most common Federal student loans include:
- The Federal Direct Stafford Loan, which is available in both subsidized and unsubsidized forms. These loans are decided according to financial need, not credit history, and are available to both undergraduate and graduate students.
- Direct PLUS Loans for Graduates Students are designed to offer assistance to graduate and professional degree seeking students whose Stafford Loan borrowing limits have been met. This is a credit-based loan, but students with little or no credit history cand borrow with the help of a cosigner.
- The Direct PLUS Loan for Parents is specifically designed to offer financial assistance to parents with dependent undergraduate children. This Federal program allows parents or take pout Federal loans to help pay for their children's education. Like other Federal loan programs, the PLUS loan for Parents offers low fixed interest rates, but offers no payment deferment options.
The Oklahoma College Assistance Program exists to help resident students find, and apply for, these lucrative Federal loans. If you are considering a loan for college, and are an Oklahoma resident, contact OCAP for assistance in obtaining the loan that is right for you.
A Word About Alternative Loans
The state of Oklahoma does not back any specific alternative loan programs. If, after securing any Federal loans for which you are qualified, you find you still have a substantial unmet financial need you will need to consider a private lender. Shop carefully when considering a private loan. Terms and benefits vary from lender to lender, and you should never accept any loan that you have not fully researched and compared with it's competitors. If you must secure a private loan, borrow only what you absolutely need, and be aware of any risky interest rates or hidden fees. Most students will need to consider a student loan at some point in their college career. When you need to borrow money for college, be certain you are in control of your loan, and your loan is not in control of you.
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