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Some required reading before you borrow

Written by
VSAC Staff

April 22, 2022


VSAC loan guide

Thinking about taking out a loan to pay for your studies? You’re not alone: Nearly seven out of 10 Vermont students will take some loans to finance their education expenses. Knowing how to compare loans and costs is essential to making college more affordable. 

Get some loan smarts with VSAC’s “My Education Loans guide,” a concise, no-nonsense handbook that walks you through the whole process, from decoding financial aid offers to understanding types of loans (they are NOT created equal) and what to consider as you choose a loan (and plan for repayment down the road).

Our goal: to help you know more so you can borrow only what you need and minimize your costs of borrowing. We call it Know More. Borrow Less.

Download the handbook (PDF)  download icon

The guide helps you:

  • Find out how to get financial aid
  • Understand financial aid offers (and how to interpret the differences in each school's offer) 
  • Learn how to apply for grants & scholarships (maximizing this "gift aid" can help reduce the amount you may need to borrow)
  • Navigate the complex variety of education loans (from federal to non-federal or "alternative" or "private" loans)
  • Understand how interest works and how to choose a repayment plan
  • Know what to look for as you compare, then choose, the right loan for your situation
  • Learn about “loan forgiveness” and what it means for you
  • and more!

For most families, loans are an important part of their investment in education and training. The more you know before you borrow, the better positioned you'll be to confidently choose a loan that fits your needs now and for the 10 or 15 years you'll be paying it back. 

Need more help? VSAC is here to help you, whatever your education goals.

Questions? Talk with one of our financial aid experts at 800-226-1029, Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-4:30 pm, or email