STEVENS POINT (WAOW) — Paying for college can be stressful, and with more banks bowing out of offering student loans, it can be difficult to decide how to finance.

Wells Fargo is one of the biggest lenders in the country, currently holding 10.8 billion dollars in student debt.

Now it’s joining other private lenders, by stepping aside from offering student loans.

But for students looking for help, there are other options.

The biggest one is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA.

“Students need to file the FAFSA, and by filing the FAFSA they are considered for four kinds of financial aid,” Associate Director of UW Stevens Point Office of Financial Aid Melissa Vogler said.

That aid includes grants, scholarships, work-study, and loan options for students.

For those filling out the FAFSA, it’s best to do so sooner rather than later.

“It’s available October 1st for the following academic year, and I encourage students to apply as soon as they’re able,” Vogler said.

But if you still need financial help after FAFSA, it’s best to have a conversation with your family about your options.

First, decide what students or parents can contribute.

Then, look for scholarships or private lenders.

“They can turn to private education loans,” Scott Buchanan, Executive Director of Student Loan Servicing Alliance said. “They’re like any other consumer loan, and there are lots of banks and lenders out there.”

When looking at private loan vendors, he says to make sure to look for a reputable company, while keeping in mind the interest rates.

However, it’s best to think about financing way in advance.

Affordability should be at the forefront when deciding where to go to school.

“You want to make sure you’re going to a school you can afford,” Buchanan said. “And afford doesn’t mean pay for it out of pocket today, that means that you can afford it through a reasonable amount of loans and grants.”

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