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April 19, 1988 - Image 34

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

WHO

Wants to Know?
My parents want me to
e phone home while I'm
away at school. What's the best
way to keep telephone costs
down?
A Check with your long-dis-
* tance company. Chances are
there is a special plan that lets you call ,
home and pay one predetermined /?
hourly rate.
If you call on weekends and at
night, many long-distance companies
offer a flat hourly rate, no matter
where you call. So you can call your
girlfriend in New York, and your par-
ents in New Jersey, and know that
both calls cost only a set price.
It may also pay to comparison-
shop. Look at your phone bills for the
past several months to get an idea of
your average bill. Then call the long-
distance phone companies to compare
rates. Most of them have toll-free 800
numbers.
If you make calls from a pay phone,
you can save as much as $1.05 a call by
charging calls to a personal telephone
card number rather than calling col-
lect. You can use any long-distance
company's phone card to charge calls
made over its network or over its com-
petitors' networks.
A few new long-distance companies
are offering a flat monthly rate to peo-
ple who make a lot of long-distance
calls. Beware of offers that allow you
to make as many calls as you like for a
set fee each month. These companies
typically work on a pay-now-dial-later
basis. You pay your bill at the begin-
ning of each month for future service,
and these companies may not deliver
the service you paid for. Flat-rate
companies buy phone lines from the
larger phone companies, then resell
the phone service to individuals. They
don't want to buy more phone lines
than they may need, so if they under-
estimate customer usage, you're with-
out phone service.

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QU

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*z L
*

I may need a loan to
* help meet my tuition
bills. Where do I look for the
money?
Make an appointment with
* a lender-a bank, savings
and loan, or credit union-to talk
about Guaranteed Student Loans. If
you meet certain eligibility require-
ments, you may borrow up to $2,625
per academic year for the first two
years and $4,000 annually for the re-
maining years, for a maximum loan of
$17,250.
Graduate students are eligible for
loans up to $7,500 annually, to a maxi-
mum loan of $54,750. Repayment
generally begins six months after
graduation. The minimum annual
payment is $600.
Because these education loans are
guaranteed by the federal govern-
ment, lenders' qualifying standards
are usually less stringent than for other
education loans. The federal govern-
ment, however, guarantees loans for
needy students only. Prior to the pass-
age of the 1986 legislation on higher
education, students with annual family
incomes of $30,000 or less could bor-

row through the Guaranteed Student
Loan Program with no questions
asked. Now all students have to prove
financial need by filling out a form
supplied by their school.
If you're interested in a loan, you
have plenty of company. The College
Board reports that one-third to one-
half of all students do some
borrowing.
Another option is the Student Loan
Marketing Association, a govern-
ment-chartered, publicly owned cor-
poration, that offers loans called Sal-
lie Maes. The Association buys guar-
anteed loans from lenders, pools
them, and issues its own securities.
Thus, lenders are able to clear old
loans off their books and offer new
ones.
PLUS (Parent Loans for Under-
graduate Students) loans are federally
funded and you do not have to prove
financial need to receive one. The
maximum PLUS loan is $4,000 a year
and parents can get these loans
through participating financial insti-
tutions. Repayment begins within 60
days after you take out a PLUS loan.

a

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SUSAN J. FRIEDMAN

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