Before and After Paying for College Part I: Finding Financing

September 23, 2020 by Chevron Federal Credit Union

Student loan debt is at an all-time high. According to US News, the average tuition and fees per year for an in-state public college was $10,116, out-of-state public college was $22,577, and private college was $36,801. If you graduate in four years, that’s $40,464, $90,308, and $147,204 respectively. Some students can afford this, whether through savings, grants, or scholarships. The rest of us need loans.

There are two daunting phases to working through student loans – starting them and paying them off. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. The Before and After Paying for College series is a guide to locating financing and paying it off.

The first part in our three-part series covers how to go about finding the money you need to pay for the education you want. Even though paying for school may seem intimidating, there are several steps you can take to find financing:

Talk to your school’s financial aid office

Employees at financial aid offices are trained to help people find financing for school and have dealt with many others in the same situation as you. Ask them what options are available for your financial circumstances.

Look for scholarships and grants

Why borrow when you do not need to? High school guidance counselors and college financial aid offices usually have information on available scholarships and grants. Chevron Federal Credit Union even has one for graduating high school senior members: David P. Smay Scholarship.

Consider a home equity line of credit or loan

For parents with a significant amount of equity in their homes this may be a good way to help finance college. Interest rates are usually fairly low, and the interest is tax deductible as well. You can check out our updated daily rates here: Home Equity Lines of Credit.

Stay informed

It seems that the laws surrounding student loans change every few years. Watching or reading relevant stories in the media will help you to be better aware of what your options are and what new opportunities are created.

College tuition is high, and paying for college is often not an easy task. However, there are several options for funding available, and being well informed can help you prepare for and manage this cost. We also provide student loans through our partner, Student Choice. If you have tapped all your available funds and need a smart private loan solution, please check us out.

Next, we will be covering three very important questions you need to ask when it comes to paying off your loans: who, what, and when. And finally, part three is all about creating the best repayment plan for you.


From everyday finance to life’s big money moments, it’s better when you belong.