Many students across campus take out loans to help pay for their time at Texas Tech. However, there are responsibilities that follow after clicking the “accept” button.
Kiana Vasquez, a junior business administration major from Crosbyton, said she took out student loans since her financial aid would not completely cover her tuition.
“It both scares and stresses me. I feel like most of my money goes towards my student loans and debt,” she said. “It has impacted my overall debt in a negative way. Although, paying it on time increases my credit score.”
This is just one example of an issue a student may face regarding loans.
Shannon Venezia, managing director of Financial Aid at Tech, said if alumni have questions regarding loans, they should contact the financial aid office. The office has staffers who are happy to help.
Before taking out loans, Venezia said students should apply for as many scholarships as possible.
“Millions of dollars of scholarships go unclaimed every year because students aren’t applying,” she said. “Not all scholarships are grades-based. There are so many scholarships out there; you just need to go out there and find them.”
Federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans are different, Venezia said. The subsidized loan is a need-based loan that does not have interest while a student is in school. However, the unsubsidized loan is the opposite of this.
Regardless, Venezia said ignoring loans and payments is not going to make debt go away.
“If the student is not making their payments, that’s literally the worst thing they can do to their credit,” Venezia said. “I know of personal cases where people couldn’t get a mortgage for 15 years.”
In some professions and even in some states, if an individual is not paying off his or her loans, it is possible the individual may not be able to reapply for professional certifications, Venezia said.
Irving Avalos, financial educator for Tech Red to Black, said he provides peer-to-peer financial coaching to students. People can set up a one-hour coaching session where they receive financial coaching and ask any money-related questions about loans and credit cards.
The program does not give legal advice, Avalos said, but coaches can recommend students to an official adviser or official banker in the area and help students create all the right questions to ask.
“We can’t specifically fill out credit card application, but there wouldn’t be an issue with us helping the student narrow their options,” he said regarding financial advice. “We can look at budgets with the student.”
Credit is important, as it stays with individuals forever, Avalos said. People start to worry about credit once they need it, he said, and then it is too late.
“Everything you do from now until the future will affect your credit,” he said.