5 Myths About Student Loans That Can Cost You Money

Don’t believe everything you hear about student loans. With tuition costs outpacing income, the fact is that 70% of college graduates need student loans to help pay for college. But bad information can make borrowers feel like they might have made the wrong decision.

Relax. Here are 5 myths about student loans that are pure fiction.

5 Myths About Student Loans

Have you been taken in by any of these student loan fictions and fallacies? A lot of students and parents are, which is why they’re still floating around.

Myth #1: Interest Rates Are Super High

It’s true that federal student loan interest rates can be higher than auto loan rates. But that doesn’t make student loans a bad deal. Here’s why.

Auto loans and mortgages are “secured” loans. The borrower’s car or home serves as collateral and can be repossessed by the bank if they default on the loan. Secured loans have lower interest rates because they’re less risky for the lender.

Student loans, meanwhile, are “unsecured.” If a borrower defaults on student loans, the bank doesn’t have anything to repossess. And so the interest rate is set a bit higher. But the interest rates on federal student loans are still much lower than what you’d qualify for at a bank.

Myth #2: Saving Money Is Impossible With Student Loans

For most people, student loan payments aren’t sky high. The key is choosing the right repayment plan. Take income-based repayment plans, which set monthly payments at just 10% of “disposable income” — or what’s left after your other bills are paid.

Let’s run some numbers. The average new graduate from a 4-year public college has $32K in student loan debt. And the average salary for 20- to 24-year-olds is $37K.

With income-based repayment, a single grad might pay about $138 per month. If they start a family, they pay much less: just $20 a month until their income grows. Which still leaves room for saving.

See how different terms and rates affect your monthly payment with our student loan refinance calculator.

Myth #3: Student Loans Kill Your Credit

Like any loan, student loans could help or hurt your credit depending on how you manage them. As long as you make your payments on time, student loans may build your credit history and boost your score over the long run.

If you’re struggling financially, consider switching your payment plan, or applying for student loan deferment or forbearance. Neither of these options will hurt your credit.

Myth #4: Student Loans Are All the Same

Nope. In fact, federal student loans are typically a better deal for borrowers than private loans. With subsidized loans, the government pays your interest while you’re in school and for 6 months after. And all federal loans offer special protections to borrowers in case of financial hardship.

In short, subsidized federal loans are pretty much the gold standard.

Myth #5: You Can Get Student Loans Forgiven, for a Fee

It sure seems plausible that a law firm or financial advisor might be able to cut through the red tape and reduce your payments or get them forgiven entirely. For a fee, of course.

Alas, this is a scam. If anyone reaches out to you by phone, text, email, or social media promising to help you with your student loans, it’s utter bull. You may catch on when the caller asks for your financial info, but your parent or grandparent may not, so you might want to warn them.

To make sure you hear about the latest student loan forgiveness news straight from the source, sign up for alerts from the DOE .

ReFi With SoFi

SoFi refinances student loans — both federal and private. (Just be aware that refinancing federal loans makes them ineligible for federal forgiveness and protections.) You can choose to lower your monthly payment by extending your term or pay off your debt faster and save money on interest. SoFi offers flexible terms and low fixed or variable interest rates. And there are no fees: no origination fees or late fees.

Refi with SoFi today to get flexible terms and a competitive low rate before interest rates rise even higher!


Photo credit: iStock/Khosrork

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are looking to refinance federal student loans, please be aware that the White House has announced up to $20,000 of student loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for qualifying borrowers whose student loans are federally held. Additionally, the federal student loan payment pause and interest holiday has been extended beyond December 31, 2022. Please carefully consider these changes before refinancing federally held loans with SoFi, since the amount or portion of your federal student debt that you refinance will no longer qualify for the federal loan payment suspension, interest waiver, or any other current or future benefits applicable to federal loans. If you qualify for federal student loan forgiveness and still wish to refinance, leave unrefinanced the amount you expect to be forgiven to receive your federal benefit.

CLICK HERE for more information.


Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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How Much Electrician School Costs and How to Pay for It

Paying for Electrician School and How Much It Costs

Becoming an electrician can lead to a fulfilling, rewarding, and high-paying career. However, electrician school costs up to $20,000, depending on the program.

Paying tuition costs up front may not be possible. To help manage this hefty electrician trade school price tag, there are a few different program and financing options to consider.

How Much Does Electrician School Typically Cost?

A profession as an electrician is among the list of high-paying, no-degree jobs that can be a lucrative career. If you decide to enroll in electrician trade school to help you along your path to becoming an electrician, it can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 to complete the program. This might depend on the program you enroll in and the school you attend.

How Long Does Electrician School Take?

Community college electrician school programs prepare students for apprenticeship and a future career as an electrician. Typically, it takes one to two years to complete electrician trade school.

What Are Classes Like at Electrician School?

Although each program is different, generally, electrical school guides you through relevant mathematics, standardized electrical code, electrical theory, and fundamental techniques regarding wiring, safety, conduit bending, and other skills.

In addition to in-class knowledge, electrician school often includes hands-on practical application.

Can You Make Money As an Electrician While In School?

It might be challenging to secure paid electrician work, if you’re in the middle of electrician school. However, if you’ve been accepted into an electrical apprenticeship program, and are attending electrical school on the side, the apprenticeship often involves paid, hands-on learning opportunities and possibly health benefits.

Pros and Cons of Electrician School

If you’re unsure whether enrolling in electrician school is worth it, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of going this route.

Pros

Cons

Might be a fast way to get in the door toward an electrical career State might still require an apprenticeship program
Sets you apart when applying for apprenticeship Potentially high-cost and might incur student debt
Might count toward required apprenticeship hours Not an “earn as you learn” option

Financing Electrician School

Although you can choose to pay entirely out of pocket for electrician trade school costs, it’s not always feasible. Fortunately, there are a handful of ways to get your trade education financed — some of which must be repaid while others don’t need to be paid back.

Financial Aid

Future electricians attending an eligible trade school may be able to qualify for federal student aid including grants, scholarships, work-study, or federal student loans. Not all trade or vocational schools qualify for federal aid.

To find out if the program you are considering is eligible, take a look at the Federal School Code Search administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Another option is to check in with the financial aid office at the school.

To apply for federal financial aid, students will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

Grants

Federal grants, like the Pell Grant, are available to students who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree and demonstrate financial need. Pell Grants typically don’t need to be paid back, and offer awards up to $6,895 for the 2022-23 academic year.

Recommended: FAFSA vs. Pell Grants

Scholarships

Scholarships are another type of gift aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. They can be found through your state, local government, school, and nonprofit institutions. For example, the American Public Power Association offers lineworker and technical education scholarship awards of $2,000 to chosen recipients.

Employer Sponsoring

If you’re already employed, and want to enroll in an electrician school to enhance your job-related skills, ask your employer if it’s willing to sponsor your electrician school cost. Some companies offer this benefit as long as you successfully complete the program and agree to apply your training within the company for a certain number of years.

Federal Student Loans

Through the FAFSA, you can see if you’re eligible for subsidized or unsubsidized student loans. This type of aid must be paid back, plus interest at a fixed rate.

Private Student Loans

If the above financing sources aren’t an option and you need funds, private student loans may help pay for electrician trade school costs. Private student loans are offered by banks, credit unions, trade schools, and other financial institutions. Be aware that they typically don’t offer the same level of protections as federal student loans, such as extended forbearance or deferment options if you face financial hardship.

Recommended: Guide to Private Student Loans

How to Select an Electrician Training Program

Deciding how you want to pursue an electrician training program highly depends on the amount of time you’re willing to commit, and your preferred learning style. Below is an overview of the program options available.

Apprenticeship

Learning the electrical trade is commonly done through apprenticeship. This option is typically a four-year commitment with a mix of classroom and field training. This option lets you learn the hands-on skills and knowledge needed to become an electrician while earning a wage.

Certificate

Certification can take about 1 to 2 years to complete. You can enroll in an electrician certification program through a local community college or trade school. In some states, like California, an electrical certification might be required to perform work for contractors with a certain license class.

Associate Degree

An associates degree can offer more comprehensive education, though it’s not typically a requirement to be an electrician. Associate degrees might be offered through a trade school or community college, and can help boost applications for apprenticeship programs.

Bachelor’s Degree

If you’d like to pursue a bachelor’s degree as an electrician in a highly academic setting, a four-year program might make sense for you. Students typically enroll in programs, like electrical technology and learn about regulation, electrical theory, and more.

This option provides the greatest flexibility in terms of transferable courses for related industries, like electrical and/or systems engineering.

Military Training

Another way to obtain electrical school training is through the U.S. Armed Forces. By enlisting as a service member, you’ll first receive basic military training, and afterward, can receive electrical job training if you meet program requirements.

For example, the U.S. Army offers interior electrician job training for soldiers who complete 10 weeks of basic training, and seven weeks of Advanced Individual Training, and earn an ASVAB score of 93 in Electronics.

Electrician Job and Income Prospects

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for electricians from 2021-2031 is expected to grow at an average pace at 7% growth.

PayScale.com estimates that an electrician journeyman earns an average base salary of $61,886 per year, while a master electrician earns a higher salary at $73,334 per year. Salaries, however, depend on a variety of factors, such as skill certifications, years of experience, and location.

Alternatives to Becoming an Electrician

If after learning how much electrician trade school costs you feel it’s not the right profession for you, pursuing another trade or performing a hands-on field job might be of interest. Some alternative jobs include being a:

•   Construction laborer

•   Automotive service technician

•   Equipment operator

•   HVAC installer

•   Home inspector

•   Project manager

The Takeaway

Electrician school costs can range widely, from $1,000 to $20,000, depending on factors like the program, location, and more. Paying for electrician school costs can be an incredible investment for your career advancement and to enhance your technical knowledge, but it’s also a financial commitment.

If you’ve exhausted your financing options, and find that you need additional aid, a private student loan from SoFi might help (though SoFi’s student loans aren’t available for those attending trade school or community college). Undergraduate student loans may be available for those pursuing a four-year electrician degree.

Qualifying borrowers can secure competitive private student loan rates and SoFi loans have zero fees, and up to the total cost of your school’s certified cost of attendance. Plus, it only takes three minutes to check your rate online.

Cover up to 100% of school-certified costs including tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation with a private student loan from SoFi.

FAQ

How long does electrician school take?

An electrician school program can take about four years to complete for an apprentice to acquire the training necessary to become a state-licensed Journeyman electrician who’s able to work unsupervised. However, this time frame varies, depending on the training path you decide to take and the licensing requirements of your state.

How much do the highest paid electricians make?

Master electricians are the highest level in the field and command an average base salary of $82,000 per year, according to PayScale data. Where you’re located and your years of experience impacts your earning potential.

What are the highest paid trade jobs in the U.S.?

A profession as an electrician makes up the top five highest-paid trade jobs in the U.S., along with licensed practical nurses, HVAC technicians, home inspectors, and plumbers.


Photo credit: iStock/Davizro

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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All About Signature Student Loans

All About Signature Student Loans

When you’re looking for funds to pay for your college education, you’re likely to go after federal funds and all of their benefits first — and, if that isn’t enough, then you’ll seek private loan funding. But, what is a signature student loan, exactly? Does it make sense to take out this type of funding? This post will share insights into a student signature loan.

What Are Student Signature Loans?

Known as a “sig student loan” for short, it’s a type of loan that people use to pay expenses for college. They can also be known as “good faith loans” because they’re granted to a borrower on the basis of a signature only with no collateral. The borrower takes on a certain amount of private (non-federal government) debt in the form of a loan at a predetermined interest rate, agreeing to pay it back in a series of installments, and then uses the funds to pay expenses.

What Type of Loan is a Signature Student Loan?

As you explore options, you’ll come across different types of student loans. In general, there are two broad types: federal and private student loans. Federal loans require the filling out of a FAFSA to see if a student qualifies for any type of aid from the federal government; some colleges and universities require a FAFSA even for scholarships and grants. A student signature loan, however, is a form of private funding, one where collateral is not needed, making it an unsecured private loan for college expenses.

Common Uses of a Signature Student Loan

Common uses of a signature student loan include for tuition/attendance, books, and housing. Here’s more about each.

Tuition/Attendance

Tuition costs can vary but a typical student could pay $10,000 a year for in-state tuition at a public four year institution and up to $40,000 to $50,000 in tuition at a private university each year. So, a student may decide to use a sig student loan to cover costs of tuition/attendance that aren’t covered by grants, scholarships, and federal student loans.

Books

The average college student spends between $600 and $1,500 each year to pay for their books and supplies. One single hardback textbook can now cost as much as $400 although the average is between $80 and $150. So, just about 30% of students use some form of loan funding to pay for their college books.

Housing

Although some students continue to live at home during college, many pay for room and board. At a public, four year institution, this could cost $9,000 to $13,000 a year. At a private, non-profit institution, it could cost a similar amount, depending on whether the student lives on or off campus.

Should You Get a Signature Student Loan?

It depends on your unique situation because signature student loans come with pros and cons that we’ll explore soon in this post. As general guidance, students who don’t receive enough funding through grants, scholarships, and federal student loans often look towards private funding to make up the difference. Private loans, sometimes called signature student loans, are offered by banks, credit unions, and online lenders.

Pros and Cons of Signature Student Loans

Pros of Signature Student Loans

Pros of signature student loans include the following:

•   Extra Source of Funds

•   Variety of Repayment Terms

•   Flexibility of Usage

•   Here’s more about each

Extra Source of Funds

Private student loans, also called a student signature loan, can provide a source of funding for college after grants, scholarships, and federal options have been exhausted. Federal financial aid can include grants and scholarships typically being awarded without repayment requirements. Federal loans are also considered financial aid. Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for a subsidized loan, meaning that the government covers the interest while the student attends school. Student signature loans can help fill in funding gaps.

Variety of Repayment Terms

With a private student loan, funds are obtained from a private lender. Some offer better rates and terms than others with some of them deferring payments while the student is attending college classes. Compare rates and terms to choose which route is best for you.

Flexibility of Usage

In general, a private loan can offer flexibility with the funds used; for example, this funding can be used as one of the undergraduate student loan options or one of the graduate student loan options: for tuition, books and supplies, and/or housing expenses.

Cons of Signature Student Loans

Unlike a federal student loan, private lenders of student signature loans don’t rely upon information found in a FAFSA. Instead, a student interested in receiving private funding would fill out an application with the lender of interest. In other words, the student must qualify for the loan.

Qualifying for a Sig Student Loan

Loan terms can vary by lending institution. This includes the interest rates offered, borrowing limits allowed, and the length of the loan.Some require payments while the student is in school while others will defer payments until the student is out of school. Choose parameters that fit your needs with the understanding that you’ll need to qualify for the loan program.

Credit Score

The private lender may require you to have a certain credit score to obtain the loan or to get the best rates and terms. The three main credit bureaus that issue scores are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. A private lender will likely have a certain credit bureau that they use to get an applicant’s credit scores, and yours will need to fit within their lending guidelines to get loan approval.

Income

The lender will also want to see proof of a steady income, one that’s sufficient to pay back the loan. If you don’t have enough on your own, perhaps a parent would cosign the loan for you, reassuring the private lender that the loan will be appropriately paid back.

Other Ways to Pay for College

Ways to pay for college include:

•   Financial aid

•   Federal loans for students

•   Federal PLUS loans for parents

•   Work study jobs

•   Part time jobs

•   Private student loans

•   Here’s more about each

Financial Aid

In general, student financial aid can be a combination of grants and scholarships, federal student loans, private student loans, and funds from jobs (work study or part time jobs).

Federal Loans for Students

Federal Direct loans, also known as Stafford loans, can be either subsidized or unsubsidized. With the first, the government covers the interest while the student is in school; with the latter, the interest accrues while the student is in school. In either case, finding out what you qualify for in federal funding can be a logical first step.

Federal PLUS Loans for Parents

Parents can take out a Parent PLUS loan for an undergraduate with fixed interest rates and flexible repayment methods. These loans do require a credit check and can also be taken out by graduate/professional students. The maximum amount that can be borrowed is the full cost of tuition minus other financial assistance the student receives.

Work-Study Jobs

There is a federal work-study program that allows students with financial need to earn income to pay their education-related expenses. Ideally, the work will be connected to community service and/or the student’s academic study courses. This program is managed by the colleges themselves, so check with yours to see if they participate and if you qualify.

Part Time Jobs

If you don’t qualify for work study, you can still seek part time employment in the general location of your university, perhaps at a restaurant or coffee shop or by babysitting or dog walking. This allows the student to earn income, hopefully on a schedule that is flexible enough to work around college commitments.

Private Student Loans

This can be a source of funding for college expenses when grants, scholarships, and federal funding options have been exhausted. Private lenders can have different loan programs, so compare carefully before making a decision.

The Takeaway

In short, a signature student loan is a type of unsecure (no collateral) form private funding to help with educational expenses. It’s a private form of lending. There are pros and cons to this type of lending as this post demonstrates.

If you’re exploring private student loan options, SoFi can help. SoFi offers a low-interest rate, no fee form of private lending — a student signature loan — that covers costs that are school certified: tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation.

Cover up to 100% of school-certified costs including tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation with a private student loan from SoFi.

FAQ

Is a signature student loan a good idea?

It depends on your unique situation, and whether you’ve explored all of the options for grants, scholarships, and federal loans. This article lists pros and cons of signature student loans.

Is it easy to get a signature student loan?

A signature student loan is a form of private funding, so the lender will likely check your credit scores and ability to pay back the loan. You may or may not need a cosigner.

When do you have to start paying a sig student loan back?

It depends on the private lender. Some have you start paying it back right away while others allow you to wait until you’ve finished school. Be clear about what you’re agreeing to, including when the loan must be paid back.


Photo credit: iStock/FatCamera

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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How Much a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Costs and How to Pay for It

How Much a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Costs and How to Pay for It

If the lure of the open road intrigues you and the idea of spending years in classrooms doesn’t, then becoming a commercial driver may be ideal for you. Before hitting the highway, you’ll need to secure a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which could cost between $3,000 to $10,000 depending on state fees.

This post shares ten ways on how to pay for CDL school, hopefully ones that are just right for you.

Typical Cost of Obtaining a CDL

CDL school costs can vary in part because of the school chosen — which can be private or public — and there may be other costs than what the school charges: application fees, road test fees, CDL skills test fees, and so forth. In general, figure $3,000 to $10,000 and check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to see what fees your particular state charges.

The CDL school price will likely account for most of the costs with the DMV able to fill in gaps in information for you. Note that publicly attended CDL schools will likely be cheaper but with potentially longer wait times.

Do You Have to Go to a School to Obtain Your CDL?

If you’re starting after February 7, 2022, then the answer is “yes,” you’ll need to pass minimum training standards to get your CDL license at a registered school or a place that provides the appropriate training. The Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) is not retroactive, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA but holds true for those obtaining their CDL license for the first time. The FMCSA has created an online registry for schools and other training providers to list themselves and state that they meet training requirements, both federal and state.

How to Pay for CDL School

Fortunately, plenty of options exist, similar to paying for beauty school and other types of vocational training. To help, we’ve listed ten ways to pay for your CDL school costs and associated expenses.

1. Workforce Training Funding

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) became law on July 22, 2014, and is designed to help job seekers get the education, training, support, and employment they need.The WIOA requires states to ensure that their workforce development programs are strategically aligned to meet the needs of workers. The WIOA is managed through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in collaboration with numerous partners to get the necessary resources to states and local areas.

Plus, the FMCSA CDL Program Implementation Grant provides financial resources to states.

2. State CDL Training Grants

Each of the states in the United States and the District of Columbia can apply to the federal CDL implementation grant to get funding for relevant programs that assist in their CDL program. Contact the field office of your state or your specific state (links are included in the field office chart) to get information about what’s currently available to cover your CDL school price. Explain that you need financial assistance to get quality CDL training.

3. Local CDL Training Grants

You may find it easier to start your search by contacting a community college, library, or governmental agency in your city or county. You may get directed to state-level or other resources; what’s important is to start your search on how to pay for CDL school.

4. Scholarships

You may be able to find scholarships and grants to cover CDL school costs. As an industry site notes, the past few years have highlighted the importance of commercial truck drivers in our supply chain for food, medicines, and so forth. This adds to the demand for quality truck drivers that already existed before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The result: perhaps more grants and scholarships are available to pay for CDL school costs.

5. Funding for Veterans

If you’re a veteran, you can use your GI benefits to pay the CDL school price. However, there are tax consequences that you’ll likely want to explore before making this move.

Plus, in a 2022 announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ), the agency announced an award of $3.1 million to community colleges and training institutes. Funds are to be used to help current and former military personnel to get their CDLs. You can find a list of places that received funding and an associated dollar amount here .

6. Federal Student Loans

To qualify for federal loan funding, you must first fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). If a CDL school meets requirements, federal student loan aid may be available. Going this route will also let you know if you qualify for a Pell Grant based on your income; again, make sure that the CDL school is eligible to receive federal funding.

7. Private Student Loans

If grants, scholarships, and federal student loans don’t cover the CDL school costs, then explore private student loans. These loans are offered by banks, credit unions, and online lenders to pay for educational expenses. You’ll fill out an application and what you’ll receive typically depends on your credit score and income. Here’s more about what to know about private student loans. You may also find valuable information in our resource about private student loans for undergrads.

8. Trucking Company Tuition Reimbursement

This is when a trucking carrier pays part to all of your CDL school costs. They may do this if, for example, you’re a current employee in another capacity. Or trucking companies may take this route to encourage someone to join their company.

9. Savings

You may discover that you have enough money in your savings account to pay the CDL. Or you may create or continue a savings plan to accrue enough funds to pay for your training. That way, there’s no loans to pay back.

10. Company Sponsored CDL Training

A company in need of drivers may be offering a training program. Just ensure that the program, which is run by the trucking company itself, instead of a training school, is quality. Typically, you’ll need to work for the company offering the training for a certain amount of time; this can be good if you’re looking for a job, eliminating the stress of the job hunt that may follow the completion of a CDL program.

The Takeaway

You may decide that becoming a commercial truck driver is a good way to earn income. If so, you’re probably wondering how to pay for CDL school — and this post shares ten potential ways. If you decide that private student loans are a useful part of the mixture, here’s more information about applying for student loans online.

Community college and other certificate programs aren’t eligible for SoFi’s private student loans. If you’re heading back to school after getting your CDL and are interested in private student loans, consider SoFi’s no fee private student loans. These loans can be used to cover your costs of tuition, books, supplies, and more so you can get on the road as a fully licensed commercial truck driver.

Cover up to 100% of school-certified costs including tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation with a private student loan from SoFi.

FAQ

Can you get your CDL without going to school?

As of February 7, 2022, new trainees in a CDL program must attend classes to meet minimum requirements. This post focuses on finding ways to help you pay for CDL school.

Do some trucking companies pay for your CDL training?

Yes, some are willing to help! Reach out to trucking carriers for specifics.

How much does getting your CDL cost?

In general, it costs anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000 to get your CDL. Check your school of interest to make sure it’s a quality program and ask what it costs. Also check with your state’s DMV to see what other fees may be involved.


Photo credit: iStock/FG Trade

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

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What Kind of Emergency Funding Is Available for College Students?

What Kind of Emergency Funding Is Available for College Students?

Regardless of your age and life stage, unexpected bills can derail someone’s finances. Unforeseen events can be particularly challenging for college students who don’t have a lot of wiggle room in their budgets.

If you’re a student who’s experiencing financial hardship — or you’re just worried about how to prepare for a rainy day — be assured that help is available to students in need. Emergency financial aid grants are designed to keep students in college through financial setbacks.

We’ll review your options, and the pros and cons of each, so you can feel ready to take on any situation.

Why You Might Urgently Need More Money as a Student

Students are pretty familiar with seeking financial aid to help pay for tuition, school supplies, and other educational costs. However, some expenses aren’t covered by scholarships and student loans.

Emergency financial aid for college students can help cover the cost of:

•   Medical treatments

•   Job loss

•   Rent increases

•   Financial hardship due to COVID-19

•   Replacement technology, such as a laptop or phone

•   Car repairs

•   Loss of athletic scholarship due to injury

•   Loss of child care services

Some of these costs are fairly common, while others affect only a small percentage of students. The common thread: They’re all unpredictable and financially challenging. (By the way, we have a great guide to money management for college students.)

Recommended: What Is a TEACH Grant?

HEERF Emergency Grants

Students around the world experienced a sudden shift during the pandemic. Some students also felt a direct financial impact from COVID-19. If your schooling was disrupted by the pandemic, you might be able to receive a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grant. The program was created in March 2020 under the CARES Act and continues through the American Rescue Plan of 2021.

What Are They?

A HEERF grant is a type of emergency grant for students whose lives were upended by the pandemic. In July 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration released the final funds: $198 million.

How Do They Work?

The Department of Education disbursed the emergency financial aid grants for HEERF directly to 244 participating schools. The institutions that received funding are required to allocate a certain percentage as emergency grants for college students. Schools are tasked with identifying students in need, especially those who demonstrate financial hardship. Students who have received a Pell Grant likely meet this requirement.

HEERF emergency financial aid grants can be awarded to online students, DACA recipients, asylum seekers, and other eligible student groups.

Students can use the funds for any expense resulting from the pandemic. That includes the cost of attendance, housing, food, healthcare, or child care.

Pros and Cons of HEERF Emergency Grants

Although emergency college grants can offer financial relief, there are limitations. Below are the pros and cons of HEERF emergency grants for college students.

Pros

Cons

Awards don’t count toward your Expected Family Contribution School has discretion about who receives funds and how much
Don’t count toward your annual gross income (AGI) for taxes Each school has their own application process
Don’t count as part of your financial aid package.
Can be used toward your cost of attendance or any expense that came up due to COVID-19.

Financial Support From Your College

Other emergency college grants and support programs can be discovered through your school:

Emergency Tuition Assistance

Emergency tuition assistance is designed to help students stay enrolled in school when they’re suddenly unable to cover the cost of attendance. Assistance might be in the form of a grant, scholarship, voucher, or other relief.

If you’re at risk of dropping out of school because an emergency is making it hard to pay your school bills, ask your financial aid office about emergency tuition assistance.

Emergency Food Options

Inflation is making it harder for everyone to pay for groceries. If you’re experiencing food insecurity, ask your Student Affairs office about campus food pantries.

This resource can offer non-perishable goods, like dry pasta, legumes, and canned foods, as well as fresh produce and even basic toiletries (don’t get us started on the “pink tax” for period supplies).

Emergency Housing

Although not many schools have dedicated emergency housing options for their students, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Reach out to your school’s Student Affairs department to inquire about short-term emergency housing programs that might be available.

If your school doesn’t offer emergency housing, they might point you to external resources, such as local nonprofits and community groups.

Private Student Loans

If you’ve already maximized the federal undergraduate loans or graduate loans you’re eligible for, a private student loan is an alternative financing option. Private student loans are offered by private lenders, like banks, credit unions, and online financial institutions.

This type of student loan can cover an amount up to the certified cost of attendance, minus the financial aid you’ve already received. Private loans can have fixed or variable interest rates, with rates and terms varying by lender. Additionally, private student loans don’t have the same borrower benefits as federal student loans, like loan forgiveness and income-driven repayment, so tread carefully.

Learn more in our private student loans guide.

The Takeaway

If you’re a student who’s struggling financially due to an unexpected expense or event, help is available. Reach out to your School Affairs or Financial Aid office, explain your situation, and learn about emergency financial aid grants. The federal HEERF program can cover any expense related to Covid-19, from tuition to hospital bills. Other emergency programs can help you cover housing, food, and other basic needs. If you’re ineligible or have exhausted your grant options, private student loans are an alternative to consider.

With SoFi private student loans, you can borrow up to your school’s certified cost of attendance with zero fees. And getting prequalified online takes only minutes, so you can get financing for school fast during an emergency.

Cover up to 100% of school-certified costs including tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation with a private student loan from SoFi.

FAQ

What did the CARES Act do for college students?

The CARES Act, which was passed in March 2020 as a response to COVID-19, offered student loan repayment relief and emergency grants for college students. Federal student loan borrowers were provided automatic administrative loan forbearance and a pause on interest. Eligible students can also receive emergency aid through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).

Will there be another CARES Act for college students?

In July 2022, the Department of Education announced that it allotted the final funds toward the HEERF. The amount of $198 million was provided to 244 colleges to help their students recover from the pandemic.

Are there grants for students due to Covid-19?

Yes, the federal government created a college emergency grant, called the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). The program was created under the CARES Act in March 2022 and continues under the American Rescue Plan.


Photo credit: iStock/photo

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

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Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.
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