Financial aid questions - anyone knowledgeable?

<p>We just found out that a home equity loan is out of the question for us because I am not old enough to qualify. Do both parents have to be over 60 in the US? Maybe I missed this....</p>

<p>We just got a home equity and we are both 55 yrs old. i don't get what you mean. Please clarify.</p>

<p>What the...? Did I misunderstand your question? I have NEVER heard of an age limit for a home equity loan --- and I have had four houses and about that many loans!</p>

<p>Apparently it's different in the UK; I thought it would be possible as it was possible in the US.</p>

<p>My husband was told by brokers today that we both had to be 60 in the UK; they couldn't help us at all. A mortgage won't do because of his age and low income, but how do we explain this to schools in the US that D is applying to when we fill out the PROFILE?</p>

<p>I simply can't understand what the rationale for that could possibly be! Actually, you might think they'd prefer you UNDER a certain age like 60 or 65 to guarantee that you are young enough and healthy enough to pay it back!</p>

<p>Not sure why you would have to explain to a school why you don't have a home equity loan - is there a line on the form that asks if you have one? If so, just say no.</p>

<p>I thought that if you owned your home, but had low income and assets, many schools expected you to obtain an equity loan to pay a chunk of the costs.</p>

<p>As a thought, they probably don't want you to pay it back! Then they can keep tagging on all those interest fees!!! BETTER for them if you carry a large balance and then deduct from the sale of your home when you either die or leave the country...go figure.</p>

<p>I could imagine a minimum age if you were looking at a reverse mortgage. Is there any chance that's what they're talking about?</p>

<p>USMOMINUK - No, they don't care HOW you do it. The expected parent contribution is NOT based on whether you get the money from a mortgage, borrow it as a straight loan, or start selling magazines door to door! The government tells you the Expected Family Contribution based on a very, very rigid formula; then the school decides how much they will cover. I cannot stress this enough - it is irrelevant whether you pay your share out of current income, get a second job, or whatever.</p>

<p>If a person got a second job, as opposed to say, trading down to a less expensive car, wouldn't "they" care about that next year when it came time to apply again?</p>

<p>Of course, if you get a second job it increases your income, so it does factor into your NEXT YEAR'S EFC. My point was merely that HOW you choose to meet your missing need this year is not a factor -- if they expect you to pay (say) $10,000, they are not going to tell you to take a home equity loan!</p>

<p>nedad - if you couldn't make the EFC with reported income or assets, and you own your home, wouldn't it make a difference to the SCHOOL when deciding how much to give if they thought you could take out an equity loan?</p>

<p>I cannot speak for every school. I am on parents' executive committees for two top ten schools and was an interviewer for a third (an Ivy). In my experience, you can go to the school and try to negotiate your amount, but usually there must be some new circumstance (someone in the family got cancer or lost a job). Ineligibility for any certain kind of loan has never counted (again, in my experience) since other types of loans such as PLUS loans etc are available, or summer jobs for the student, or whatever. My kids have gotten outside scholarships (non-school) - one was for $10,000, two for $7,500.</p>

<p>Once again, there COULD be a school out there that WOULD take this into account. There are always exceptions! Is it the case that for next year, you have already figured your EFC and it is too high?</p>

<p>I have just begun to try to make our UK information fit the US forms. Nothing is filed yet, and I knew that the PROFILE considered home ownership, but I didn't realize we couldn't take out an equity loan. We are low income and I might not have let D apply to schools requiring PROFILE had I known. To make matters worse, our income will be converted to $$$ on the day we file, so any calculations we make now are just guesses. I'm praying that the election will make things more stable, but economists are predicting the opposite and I am beginning to fight off panic. What other kinds of loans are available for low income 63 year old?</p>

<p>If I were 63 I would worry far more about my own retirement - there were some good threads on this in the old forum, which is searchable. To put it gently, it seems a tad late in the game to be thinking about this. If you were unable to save for college, your D should (of course) not apply ED anywhere and then see what kinds of packages she gets offered. I would never suggest that anyone NOT apply to her dream school - sometimes the aid packages are BETTER than those offered by even a lower-cost state school - but she should, nonetheless, also apply to those lower-cost schools.</p>

<p>If she is an academic superstar she will have no problem, because lower tier schools often give full rides to great students in order to boost their (the school's) overall ranking. Or even if she is not a superstar, even applying to a school where he stats put her in the very top will increase her chances for a full or almost full ride.</p>

<p>While I believe anyone can get any amount of money from a PLUS loan (for parents), at 63 I would not want to be taking on more debt unless my retirement were fully funded. Your D can take out very low interest loans (my nephew has a Stafford loan that he is currently paying 2.17% on!)</p>

<p>Well, it is true that the Profile, unlike the FAFSAS, asks for home equity info. Though I doubt that not being able to get one kind of home equity loan will make much difference - they apparently want the info to figure net worth (the net worth tells them how much you have overall, which would figure into retirement, whether you sell the house later, etc. That is, two low-income families, one with no house and one with a net worth in their house of a million dollars, whether or not they could tap into it TODAY, are in entirely different places! Taxpayers would rightly feel put out about subsidizing the latter, as would alumni who conrtibute to the endowment fund!). You could always mention it to the individual school.</p>

<p>I would agree with nedad and think about retirement first, as most professionals advise. There are many ways for the student to get money, not least of which is to lower his/her sights in the hopes of a better financial aid package.</p>

<p>So a student can take the loan out for themselves, without the parents income or property being considered? We know she can't apply ED anywhere because of the finances. Why everything is so unplanned has a lot to do with changes made by the British government at a time when the recession was at its height, but still, excuses won't help now and retirement is frighteningly unfunded. Also, D just decided last year to go for college in the US. On another thread I tried to explain that here in Britain she is considered an academic superstar (it bothers me to say that, though), but her SAT scores from 2 years ago aren't stellar and she won't be retaking. Too bad she wants America! Know any lower tier engineering schools (chemical) with better weather than England's and women's swimming?</p>

<p>I hope someone else can answer your question about engineering schools, but I would think that as a female going into engineering she would have a better chance! A friend's daughter applied to Cornell's engineering program because they were more likely to take girls!</p>

<p>Maybe you should start a new thread and ask about engineering schools that give good aid.</p>

<p>Yes, students can get Stafford loans in their own names. Whether the interest starts accruing while they are still in school, or it starts accruing when they get out, may depend on their eligibility, but it is still a good deal. The PLUS loans for parents were for any parents, for any amount. Finally, most schools have a program whereby you divide your payment amount by ten and just pay that amoutn each month.</p>

<p>I am also confused by American financial aid. my children live in France but are American citizens. Their father makes a modest living in LA and has a hugh mortgage. I am a teacher and also make modest living. Now I think if I read right that my 2nd husband's money will be involved. He is not rich make makes a very lot of salary. He has already been paying for very expensive private schools for my 3 children and 2 of his own. Now my son is applying to college in US. Can anyone help explain?</p>