These days, attaining a college degree can be a valuable tool in launching a career. But paying for that education can be very costly. 

The Smart Option Student Loan® available through ALEC and its educational partner, Sallie Mae, offers financing that can bridge the gap when extra money is needed to pay for college expenses. 

Features of the Smart Option Student Loan:

  • Financing flexibility — including a choice between competitive fixed or variable interest rates 
  • Borrow up to 100% of school-certified education costs 
  • Multiple repayment options – no minimum payment required while in school
  • Possible lower rates and easier qualification for applicants with a creditworthy cosigner 
  • Fast online application takes just 15 minutes 
  • 24/7 online account management 
  • No prepayment penalty 

Smart college financing — in 3 common sense steps.

We want college students to land on their feet when they graduate, not find themselves deluged in debt. That’s why many financial experts recommend Sally Mae’s 1-2-3 Approach to Paying for College. Following these three steps in order can help minimize loan debt after graduating by taking advantage of the most affordable and available funds first. 

# 1 — Use “free” money first. 

Every student should fill out the FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Aid) forms to access need-based grants, as well as research and apply for scholarships. Students and/or parents should consider supplementing any grants and scholarships received with their current income and college savings they’ve accumulated.

# 2 — Explore your options for federal loans. 

Available to both students and parents regardless of need, various federal loans offer low, fixed interest rates along with flexible repayment options.

# 3 — Fill any gap with private student loans. 

After all opportunities for scholarships, grant and federal loans have been carefully explored, private student loans may be an attractive option to cover the remainder of a student’s educational costs. 

We recommend visiting the U.S. Department of Education, which offers valuable advice on preparing for college and learning about different ways to acquire student financial aid. 

Want to know more about college financing?

For more information about the ALEC Smart Option Student Loan or to apply, click here. You can also visit an ALEC Service Center. Or call 800.762.9988. 

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