Town and Country Credit Union partners with Sallie Mae to offer private education loansClick for more on how to apply for a student loan
Now you can pay for college the smart way with three great repayment options and competitive interest rates!
The Town & Country Credit Union Smart Option Student Loan® by Sallie Mae® is an ideal solution to help bridge that gap between federal loans and the cost of your education expenses.
The Smart Option Student Loan features and benefits:
- We now offer competitive fixed interest rates in addition to our low variable interest rates providing even more choice and flexibility.
- Borrow up to 100% of school certified education costs (minimum $1,000)
- Multiple in-school repayment options available
- Borrower benefits available – like rewards and interest rate reductions
- Rates that reward creditworthy borrowers
- Applying with a creditworthy cosigner may help you qualify and/or receive a lower rate
- Fast Online Application. Our easy-to-complete application takes about 15 minutes. It's quick and easy.
- 24/7 online account management
- No prepayment penalty
*We are compensated for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
ICAN College Planning Centers
ICAN College Planning Centers in Cedar Rapids and West Des Moines offer free services, including one-on-one assistance with college planning and financial aid applications.
The ICAN Web site, www.ICANsucceed.org, has information on financial aid, preparing for and choosing a college, admission applications, career planning and much more.
The Financial Aid Steps
Step 1: Know your Options
Financial aid includes grants, scholarships, work-study and loans. Some types are based on merit, talents or special abilities. Others are based on financial need.
Step 2: Search for Scholarships
Start searching for scholarships early in your junior year of high school and continue throughout your senior year of college. Avoid paying for scholarship search services, because they don’t have access to databases that you can’t access on your own.
You can find scholarship opportunities for free through your high school counseling office, college financial aid office, on www.ICANsuceed.org or at an ICAN College Planning Center.
Step 3: Get a PIN
Before you apply for federal financial aid, you and your parents should each request a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at www.pin.ed.gov.
Apply for a PIN well in advance of completing the FAFSA.
Step 4: Fill out the FAFSA
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You must complete this form to be considered for federal aid and many types of state and institutional aid.
The FAFSA can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
The ICAN College Planning Centers offer free assistance in completing the FAFSA. Call for an appointment.
Step 5: Receive the SAR
The SAR, or Student Aid Report, is generated by the U.S. Department of Education after the FAFSA has been processed and sent electronically to the schools you’ve listed on the form. This process takes about four weeks from the time of submission, and is intended to officially notify you that the process has been completed. If you provide an e-mail address on your FAFSA, a message will be sent prompting you to access the SAR online. If you don’t indicate an e-mail address, a SAR will be mailed to you.
Step 6: Review the Award Letters
The award letter is generated once the college receives your FAFSA results. The letter is part of the financial aid package, which also includes loan documents. Remember that the award letter is an estimate and is subject to change, especially if you’ve estimated figures on your FAFSA. Read the award letter thoroughly and make sure you understand each type of aid offered.
Read the instructions carefully and check to see if anything needs to be signed and returned to the school by a certain deadline. Some colleges will ask you to sign and return the letter. This doesn’t commit you to attend; it merely reserves the funds.
Step 7: Be a Wise Borrower
Loans are a form of financial aid that must be repaid. Loans can be a helpful – and sometimes necessary – source to help fund your education. Borrowing should be your last option but if you must take out a loan, borrow wisely.
Borrow only what you need. Just because your award letter includes a loan amount, you are not required to borrow the entire sum.
Step 8: Applying for and obtaining a Federal Student Loan
Your school financial aid office will notify you whether it participates in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and you need to choose a student loan lender or if the school participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loans) and the U.S. Department of Education will be the lender for your Federal loans.
Your school financial aid office will provide you with instructions on completing a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
Town and Country Credit Union lender code is 832458. This number will need to be placed on the Master Promissory Note (MPN)
More information can be found on www.icansucced.org, click on Students and Parents and make your selections from there.
If you have questions contact:
- The school’s financial aid office
- Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) at or visit www.icansucceed.org
- Town & Country Credit Union’s student loan servicer, Iowa Student Loan at or visit www.studentloan.org
Refinancing Student Loans During COVID-19 | Bankrate
It can be a challenge to figure out the best way to manage your student loan in the best of times. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are even more details to consider than usual. Learn about your refinance options.