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College Planning Center - Financing College

The REAL Cost of College

Attendance Includes all of the Following:

  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Books
  • Supplies
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Personal
  • Computer

Making Plans NOW, Which Includes ALL of These Expenses, Can Avoid Interrupting a Child’s College Education After Enrollment.

College Financing Options Available  

NCFS’ lender will provide the student and/or parent with the college options that meet their borrowing needs. These include:

  • The Federal Stafford and
  • Plus Government-Sponsored Loans

These popular low-interest government loans provide an affordable way for students and/or parents to handle expenses of education tuition, room and board. These loan packages will provide the student with available loan amounts up to the cost of education as defined by the school, less any aid received.

  • These loans are available to ALL regardless of family income or assets.

Our lenders interest rates, repayment terms, credit offers, and interest rate reductions help save students and parents thousands of dollars over the standard offered Stafford Loans. We at  NCFS are pleased that we are able to provide students and parents with the services and financial products that can make that college dream a reality.


The Federal Stafford Loan Program  

The Federal Stafford Loan Program, formerly called the Guaranteed Student Loan Program permits students with demonstrated need to borrow money for educational expenses.  Unlike many lenders, NCFS’s lender offers a program to help students reduce the cost of "their" loan.

The Federal Stafford Loan

Loan Cost Reduction Program*

Now borrowers can get cash back - 3.3% based on the original loan amount - when they get a Stafford Loan with a Sallie Mae lender partner. Here’s all a borrower has to do:

  • Enroll in Sallie Mae’s Internet Self-Service Program available at
  • Agree to receive account information from Sallie Mae at a valid e-mail address; and
  • Make his or her initial 33 scheduled payments on time.

Borrowers can choose to receive the 3.3% Sallie Mae Cash Back savings as either a check or credit.

More borrowers qualify, earn benefits sooner

With Sallie Mae’s Cash Back program, students qualify and earn their benefit sooner than many other benefit plans. And once borrowers have earned the benefit, they will keep it.

Internet Self-Service Program Offers time savings, convenience

By signing up for Sallie Mae’s Internet Self-Service Program, borrowers have 24 x 7 secure, online access to their account information. In just seconds, they can see their loan information, obtains a complete payment history, and update their e-mail address and other personal information.

Available on all Stafford loan repayment plans

The Sallie Mae Cash Back benefit is available on standard, graduated, our exclusive Flex Repay, income-sensitive, and also on extended repayment accounts.

*All Terms are Subject to change based on amendments to the Higher Education Act Requirements:

Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans  

Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans have lower interest rates than most commercially available loans except Perkins Loans. The government pays the interest while the student is enrolled. For new borrowers, the interest rate is variable, based on the 91-day Treasury-bill (T-bill) rate plus 3.1 percent, capped at 8.25 percent. Repayment on both interest and principal is deferred until six months after a student graduates or leaves school. In most states, a state government guaranty agency (or a private organization authorized by the state government) insures the loans. In those states where there is no guaranty agency, the federal government insures them, in which case they are called Federal Insured Student Loans.

Most states require Federal Stafford Loan borrowers to be full-time students. First year students may borrow up to $2,625 a year, and upper class students may borrow larger amounts annually, to a maximum of $23,000 for dependent undergraduates ($46,000 for independent graduates).

If you borrow money under the Stafford Loan Program, you're charged an origination fee or service charge of 3 percent. Your guaranty agency may also charge you an insurance premium of up to 1 percent. This amount is subtracted from the amount of your loan money before you receive payment.

Under certain circumstances (such as full-time study or service in the military or Peace Corps), repayment can be deferred temporarily. The schedule for repayment is worked out between the student and the lender; the borrowers usually has between five and 10 years to repay, with the amount of monthly payments and the length of the repayment period depending on the total amount borrowed.

Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans  

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are intended for use by students who do not qualify for a Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan and/or who need additional funds. The amounts, interest rates, and terms are generally the same as for subsidized Federal Stafford Students Loans, with a couple of important differences. The government does not pay the interest while the student is enrolled. Repayment begins when the loan is disbursed instead of when the student graduates or leaves school; the borrowers may opt to postpone payments until leaving school, but interest begins to accrue immediately. 

Federal Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) Loans   

If you find that the financial aid awarded to your college-bound student won’t cover all the costs associated with his or her education, don’t despair! The Plus Loan is a Federal low interest loan that you can make on behalf of your student; rather than taking out a costly personal or home equity loan.

The Advantages of a PLUS Loan:

  • Plus loans are not based on your income or assets.
  • You do not need collateral to take out a PLUS loan.
  • Interest rates are variable, but cannot exceed nine percent annually.
  • You may be able to deduct interest paid on a PLUS loan on your Federal income tax return.
  • You may take up to 10 years to repay the loan.
  • There is no early prepayment penalty.
  • Flexible repayment options, including interest-only payments for up to four years.
  • Covers all cost, including books, fees, supplies, transportation and living expenses.


  • U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Parent of a full time or part time undergraduate student.
  • No adverse credit. However, parents with adverse credit may be eligible with a credit-worthy co-borrower or by proving extenuating circumstances which are acceptable to the lender.

Loan Cost Reduction

Get 1/4% interest rate reduction by using Direct Repay a Check-less and Automatic Program.

Loan Payments automatically are deducted from your checking or savings account to cover your monthly PLUS Loan payment.

* All Terms are Subject to change based on amendments to the Higher Education Act Requirements:

5-Minute Loan Approval

by phone:  1-800-891-1410
online:  Online Parent Loan Approval
lender Independence Federal Savings Bank
lender number # 531036

Additional Help for Parents

Parent Answer® Service

Parent Answer counselors are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in all continental time zones to answer questions about PLUS and other borrowing options and to assist with a PLUS pre-approval. The toll-free number is 800-891-1410.

Parent Answer counselors help parents with adverse credit issues to become credit approved.

Click Here for
Parent Answer Service

A Student Must

  • have a high school diploma or a GED, receive a passing score on an independently administered examination approved by the
    Department of Education, or meet other standards established by your state and approved by the department;
  • enroll as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
  • be a US citizen or eligible non citizen;
  • have a valid Social Security Number;
  • make satisfactory academic progress; and be enrolled in an educational institution participating in The Federal Student Loan
    Program and approved by the US Department of Education
  • sign statements on the FAFSA regarding educational purpose and over payments and defaults

* Also note that a student must enroll at least half the time to be eligible for Direct or FFELP loans.

Loan Default Consequences

  • Defaults are reported to national credit bureaus and can remain on your report for seven years
  • A default can mean not being able to obtain a credit card, a car loan or mortgage
  • Your loan may be turned over to a collection agency. They often charge collection fees a swell as attorney cost.
  • The loan guarantor can take you to court resulting in court cost and attorney fees.
  • Federal tax refunds may be taken and applied toward your outstanding balance.
  • Up to 10% of your net wages can be garnished and applied toward the balance of your loans.
  • Many city, county or state government agencies can deny you employment. And if you’re already employed, you may be terminated.
  • You will be ineligible to receive additional financial aid or future deferments.
  • Holds may be placed on your college records.
  • If you need a license to practice in your profession, it may be revoked, canceled or not renewed.
  • Delinquencies will be reported to national credit bureaus. After 150 days, the entire loan, including interest becomes due immediately and in full. Default occurs when you’re at least 270 days late.

Remember, you made a commitment to yourself and your future.

Borrowing for your education is a major responsibility. In most cases, you must start repaying your education loan within six months after you graduate or leave school. Usually your lender will send you a reminder of the exact date when your repayment begins. But even if you don't get a notice, you are still responsible for making your payments on time as you agreed to in your loan documents.

Promptly paying your education loan each month helps you establish a good credit record. This is very important because good credit is key when applying for other credit such as a car loan or home mortgage. Even late payments are noted by credit reporting agencies and may harm your credit rating. 

Here are some tips to remember when the time comes to repay your loan:   

  • Start a student loan file. Keep all you loan documents and information in one place. Be sure to keep copies of all letters, payments and other records.
  • Stay organized. Start a record of your loan amounts, lenders and guarantors.
  • Keep track of how much you borrow each year to help you avoid taking on more debt than you can handle. 
  • Send the payment due each month, even if you haven't received a bill. 
  • If you can pay a little extra on your loan each month. Contact your lender for specific information about prepayment.
  • Let your lender know immediately if you have a change in name, address, telephone number, enrollment status or date you're leaving school. Contact your lender if you are having trouble making payments on time. Your lender may be able to offer some options or special payment arrangement that will help.
  • Never ignore correspondence. If there is a problem, take care of it immediately.
  • Student loans are a serious commitment. When you sign your loan promissory note, you are promising to repay the amount you borrow, even if you do not finish school, can not find a job or are dissatisfied with the education you have received.