Types Of USA Loans from FAFSA/ University costs advice

#1

Hello Crimson!
I have been offered admission into UC Berkeley and had applied with FAFSA financial aid having become a US citizen last year (I’m a dual NZ, US citizen). Unfortunately even with a citizenship, because Berkeley is a public school and I am out-of-state student, the amount of actual financial aid I get is quite minimal. The majority of the financial aid package was put in federal loans, a small amount in federal subsidised and unsubsidised loans and the majority on federal ‘parent PLUS’ loans. I’ve looked online and the interest rates seem outrageously high for the parent PLUS loan. Am I missing something here or are interest rates just very high in the USA? I’m not too sure who to ask about this topic, or in general the best way to approach managing the costs; I’m still living in New Zealand and not many people know about FAFSA or its types of loans. Any advice/help is appreciated!

#2

Hey Nicholas!

Congrats on your acceptance! What specific interest rate have you been offered? Also, what are you intending on studying? Interest rates are quite high on unsecured loans but I’m not sure what you define as high. The return on investment to a UCB degree is generally very high especially if you go into technology so it will likely be worth it. I would advise you guys to use a NZ bank equity line of credit on your home to get a cheaper interest rate against a collaterized asset rather than unsecured as that will be much more costly (as it is riskier for the lender)

We have many Crimson students at UC Berkeley you should meet when you get there so you have some Kiwi community!

Send me some info to j.beaton@crimsoneducation.org if anything is too personal to post here.