The job market of today is challenging, and having specialized skills is your only ticket to success. If you want to get a promotion, switch careers, or join the competitive industry, you should start applying for a certificate program. However, paying for a program isn’t always easy, and you might find it hard to track and getting student loans for a certificate program.
Whatever approach you take, we’ve got your back! Here are the top six tips that can help you pay for your education program without using all your savings and ending up with a credit card debt.
- Before borrowing student loans for your certificate program, check for employer fundsSend an application for federal financial aid
- Look for private certificate program student loans
- Inquire about payment plan options
- Apply for a personal loan
- Apply for scholarships
1. Before borrowing student loans for your certificate program, check for employer funds
One of the best ways of getting financial assistance for a certificate program that you are about to pursue is through your employer. Some companies offer tuition or education reimbursements to their employees to fund their education. You are even better positioned to get the funds if the program you are pursuing can help you expand your skills for your current role.
For instance, if you are a programmer and intend to learn Ruby on Rails to build web apps, your boss will be impressed. Even if they don’t have a reimbursement program ready, the boss will be willing to cover their pocket costs.
Prepare a proposal that states what you intend to learn and send it to your manager. Don’t forget to include the cost and how it will benefit your career and the company.
2. Send an application for federal financial aid
The government usually offers student loans as well as grants for specific continuing education programs. If you want a student loan with lower interest rates and better repayment terms, Federal student loans are a perfect choice. Since they are better than private student loans, they are an excellent choice for certificate programs.
To apply, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Whether you graduated from college years ago or recently, the FAFSA is crucial in giving you access to financial aid to help you pursue a certificate program of your choice.
Once you fill it out, search for federal financial aid eligible programs. The National Center for Education Statistics’Statistics’ College Navigator is one excellent resource. You can find the certification programs within your field and get the ones that qualify for student loans or grants. Pick one or several from the list.
3. Look for private certificate program student loans
Although they are not as flexible as the federal ones, private student loans can be a beneficial option for funding your certificate programs. The best lenders offer not only some flexible repayment plans but also the most competitive rates.
Some also offer extra perks, for instance, interest rate reductions or deferment in case of financial hardship. Before picking a lender, shop around and find the best option.
Comparison shopping will not only help you find the best offer, but it will also help you find a lender who is willing to give you a loan to pay for your certificate program.
4. Inquire about payment plan options
You can also finance your certificate program by finding a payment plan provided via your program’s school. Most certificate camps and boot camps offer flexible payment options.
For instance, Bloc is among the leading and most respected boot camps for computer and design coding. It offers good payment plans for your needs. You have to contact the camp, talk to the student advisor, and share your budget to qualify. They will create a unique plan for you.
Even though you will still have to raise the money yourself, payment plans can come in handy when managing your budget. Rather than paying all the money at a go, you can finance your tuition by paying in installments so that you don’t clear your savings account.
5. Apply for a personal loan
If you cannot access student loans and your employer is not willing to cover the certificate programs’ costs, a personal loan could be a lifesaver. Compared to credit cards, personal loans have lower interest rates. They also have set repayment terms that help you save money in interest charges.
Even though applying a personal loan is one of the best solutions, some personal loans come with high-interest rates, which may be expensive and difficult to service. Before taking a loan, ensure that you can manage to service the principal amount, the interest, and other related fees.
6. Apply for scholarships
Scholarships are not meant to be repaid, and they’re a valuable option if you want to pay for school and remain debtless. Some schools, such as Flatrlron School and Bloc, offer these scholarships to help students afford their tuition. But there are thousands of other scholarships worldwide that you could be eligible for. You only have to find them and apply as many as you can, and you might get one that can help pay for your education.
Two of the most useful resources are Scholarships.com and FastWeb. These platforms can connect adult learners with scholarship opportunities in the US. You can find many scholarships to apply. There’sThere’s no limit to how many you can receive.
7. Financing your Certificate Education and Proceeding with Education Programs
Certificate programs are an excellent way of advancing your career if you can manage to pay for those programs. Paying for continuing programs and finding the loans for a certificate program can be a pain in the head and the stumbling block to your career aspirations. All is not lost, though, as there are options that can take the financial load off your back.
For more information about the certificate programs, check out our website for the best programs to change your career.