College is expensive. Period. But the long-term payoff makes it worth it. The important part is to get through college with as few loans as possible, and then pay them off as quickly as possible once you are finished.

How do I pay for college?

You'll have a lot of expenses during college – including tuition, housing, food and books. You have a lot of options for how to pay for them. Your guidance counselor and college financial aid office can help you figure out what scholarship and loan options are available.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

File for FAFSA to see if you qualify for student aid from the federal government, state government, the college you are choosing and even some scholarship funds. The FAFSA form will ask about your income, your parents' income, and savings and investments for you and your parents. This will help determine how much aid you will receive.

Federal financial aid

After filling out FAFSA, you will find out which types of aid you qualify for. The federal government offers four types of grants, or money that doesn't need to be repaid. And two types of loans, which do need to be repaid, and a work-study program.

Grants and scholarships

Apply for grants and scholarships that offer college money that you don't have to pay back. States, colleges, religious organizations and others offer scholarships and grants. Check in with your guidance counselor, financial aid and online to see which scholarships you can apply for.


To cover the rest of college costs, you'll likely need to take out some student loans. There are different types of loans, so it is important to read carefully about what you're signing up for. Generally, you should stick to the minimum amount of loan you'll need to cover your expenses.


Federal loans can be subsidized or unsubsidized, depending on your financial need. They tend to have flexible repayment, several forgiveness and income-based repayment options and fixed interest rates.


Take out a private loan to help supplement your other sources of financial aid. Make sure to read the loan terms carefully, because there are lots of differences in private loans. For example, some loans require you to start paying as soon as you take them out, while others let you defer until after you graduate.


How Everence can help

You can apply for a $1,000 college scholarship from Everence, with a chance for an additional grant of up to $3,000. Check out the application requirements.

We also offer private student loans, through Everence Federal Credit Union. Get started with our simple online application process. 

What expenses should I use loans for?

It's normal to take out loans to help pay for college, but you should try to use a loan only for the amount of money you really need after scholarships, grants and other assistance. Get a part-time job to cover expenses such as food, personal expenses and going out. The more costs you can cover without getting a loan, the better – that way, you're not paying back those expenses with interest. (Plus, a part-time job in your field of study will help build up your resume!)

How Everence can help

Download our free budgeting guide and our digital cash flow plan template to get started with your budget. The guide will walk you how to make a budget, and you can use the template to personalize it with your numbers. Each month, fill in your expenses to check if you're on track.

How do I start paying off the loans after college?

Each loan is different, so make sure you know exactly what the requirements are for each of your loans. Some require you to start paying while you're in college, while others you can defer until after you graduate. Determine how long you will need to take to pay off your loans and how much you'll need to pay each month. Then, you'll want to include this in your monthly budget, or cash flow plan. Planning for your loan payments in your budget means you don't have to scrape up the money each month.


How Everence can help

In case you didn't create a budget during college, download our free budgeting guide and our digital cash flow plan template to get started. The guide will walk you through the details of making a cash flow plan, and you can use the template to personalize it with your numbers. Each month, fill in your expenses to check if you're on track.

You may also want to take advantage of a free, confidential budget and debt counseling service through our partners at LSS Financial Counseling. They can help you with basic financial counsel about your student loans, mortgages, credit reports and even help you develop a household budget.

Ask Everence

Do you have questions about student loans from Everence or need more information?

Learn more about student loans

Or leave us a message and have us contact you.

For more information

Call (800) 348-7468 or visit any of our offices to talk to an Everence representative.

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