Last updated: July 17. 2013 1:25PM - 333 Views

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Rachel Dove-Baldwin

Staff Writer

CHARLESTON - The Office of West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw has released information concerning an educational tool titled “Know Before You Owe”, that was formulated to help students and teachers apply for financial aid and avoid debt.

Many students who desire a college education feel the only way to achieve such a goal is to take on loans that result in large amounts of debt after college. Sometimes, students and parents are not provided the proper information to be knowledgeable on the types of aid available.

McGraw stated that this is the reason his office feels it necessary to create a resource that will provide all the adequate information and tips needed to attend and pay for college. School loans accumulate rapidly and can become a heavy burden to a recent college graduate.

“Know Before You Owe” is a website that is designed as a roadmap for clear understanding to those seeking guidance when preparing for college expenses. This website arms students with the tools and knowledge to ask the right questions when deciding which route to take.

The website explains to the students how to get the most free money through scholarships and grants, while also explaining that Federal Direct loans are the safest loans available with consumer protections in place.

By providing such information, students and parents will learn that some students have a vested interest in loading students up with private lenders. These private loans often have variable rates, which can make for an unpleasant surprise when the bill comes due.

Users will also find tips and warnings on the website that will help students avoid scams. With the amount of money involved in attending college, there is an overwhelming presence of scam artists who seek your personal information. There is also a section dedicated to paying back student loans and how to do so without having to pay too much interest. With many resources made available, users will find details on different payment options in the hopes of choosing the appropriate path to ease this final stage.

“We hope that all students and parents find our website to be helpful and beneficial during the college selection process,” stated McGraw.

The “Know Before You Owe” link is located on the Attorney General’s website and can also be found at www.projectstudentaid.com. If there are any questions concerning this initiative or further consumer issues, you may call 1-800-368-8808.

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