Federal Loans Before Attending West Point

jkim123

Member
I have attended college for a year but will be joining the c/o 2021 at West Point. However while I attended my college, I was given federal loans to pay for my tuition and board. As I enter West Point, would I have to repay the loans while I attend West Point or after I graduate?
 

LongAgoPlebe

5-Year Member
Federal loans can be deferred during your college years of full-time (12 credits+/semester) enrollment, and USMA certainly qualifies as that. Generally, you will certify full-time enrollment with your loan servicer every semester or every year (depending on who is servicing your loan right now). That generally means you submit a paper or electronic form with your status, your college, and your expected graduation date. Deferment means that while you are enrolled full-time, Uncle Sam pays the interest on your loans. Note that you CAN (are allowed to) make payments on your loans while you attend USMA, and that any payments you make while in deferment will therefore apply entirely to the borrowed principal - thus reducing your total and monthly payments after you graduate. If you can afford to do this, do it!
 

CL123

Member
This may be a silly question, but does the same apply for a auto loan? I've had the car for about a year and I'm pretty sure I can save enough to pay it off while I'm at the prep school. But if not, I'll need to know what my options are.
 

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
Generally speaking, only Federal Student loans (e.g. Stafford subsidized and Stafford un-subsidized) can be deferred while a full time student.

Your auto loan is most likely a secured private installment loan that will give you no slack while you are attending school.

I recommend the following while you are at prep and the academy:
  • Sell the car and eliminate the loan. (you certainly won't be allowed to have a car in your first two years at the academy).
  • Leave the car at home and lease it to someone to make the payments while you are at the academy.
  • Save enough to make the payments but leave the car off campus.
 

parentalunit2

5-Year Member
Isn't there a condition of acceptance to not have any family or financial obligation?
True, but no one would be kept out because of prior attendance at a civilian institution that required financing. The federal loans are placed in deferment while a cadet, to be paid back after graduation. So the financial obligation is not current or a hindrance while a cadet.

(As to having a car before you are supposed to, if you think cadet cars aren't stashed all over Highland Falls, you are kidding yourself. And if you think there won't be a proud Papa or two graduating this week, again, kidding yourself!)
 
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CL123

Member
I don't know about all of that, lol. I drove a 1991 BMW 3 series during high school. Told dad I wouldn't buy something until the wheels literally fell off of it. And it was time to get a new car after the odometer stuck on 259,000 miles. So I bought a newer car because I had to have something. I'll get paid my same rank while at the prep school, and won't have to worry about things like food expenses or bills because I'll be busy wit other things too much to worry about playing Xbox all day or watching tv. So I SHOULD be able to save enough money while at prep to pay the car off throughout my time at USMA until I get my cow loan. (Yes, I've looked that far ahead, don't judge too hard for doing so). At that time I can take the remainder of my cow loan and pay off the car if I have any amount of debt owed.

I also plan to apply for scholarships at prep to soften the punch my bank account will take from the cadet account withdrawals. Would've done that this year but I got accepted a little late to apply and be competitive for scholarships I think.

So what I'm saying is that I have a solid ish plan in place. I was just wondering if there were something better, like a special loan deferment system for incoming cadets in my situation, as I'm sure it happens every year with a few.
 
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