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Applying for a Student Loan 

Solicitar préstamo estudiantil

June 2016
Aprovechando que la sección Su dinero del número anterior de La Voz estaba dedicada a las diferentes formas de financiación de la educación post-secundaria, en el suplemento educativo de este mes ampliaremos una de las posibilidades de ayuda financiera: el préstamo estudiantil (federal o privado). Esta es una conversación que bien podría ser la que tú, como futuro prestatario o solicitante de préstamo (borrower), mantendrías con el representante de atención al cliente (customer service representative) de tu agencia de préstamo (loan servicer) al principio del trámite.
Sample dialogue
Borrower (Juan): Good morning. My name is Juan Martínez and I’m starting college in some months. I stopped by last week because I’d like to start planning ahead. You gave me a brochure to begin getting more familiar with the procedure to apply for a student loan.
Customer Service Representative (Mr. Thompson): Yes, I remember you, Mr. Martínez. Go ahead and ask me any questions you may have.
J: Thank you, sir. What exactly is the interest rate?
Mr. T.: The interest rate is the amount we, as lenders, charge the borrower for the use of assets. It can be either fixed or variable. Fixed rates provide an interest rate that doesn’t change during the course of repayment. However, variable rates can change monthly or annually, as defined in your loan agreement, until you pay it off.
J: Ok, I see. So the interest rate may change, right?
Mr. T.: If it is variable, yes. For example, a low rate is great, but if that low rate is variable, just keep in mind that it may not be low forever. You always have the right to cancel your loan after you apply if you aren’t happy with the rate you receive. Plus, remember that some loans have different rates while you are in school and after you graduate and start repaying your loan.
Juan: What about the fees? What do I need to know about them?
M. T.: There are several types of fees: repayment fees, origination fees, default fees, late payment fees, etc.
J: What is the loan term?
M. T.: It is how long you have to pay the loan pack. Please be aware that the longer the loan term, the more you will end up paying in finance charges. However, a longer term can sometimes mean a more affordable monthly payment.
J: When would my first payment be due?
M. T.: It depends on the loan, but you may need to start paying your loan while you are still in school.
J: Great! Thank you very much for your help, Mr. Thompson. I’ll keep going through all these matters again to start my application very soon.
Mr. T.: You’re very welcome, Mr. Martínez. Please do not hesitate to come back or email us for further information, we’re here to help.
Vocabulary review and pronounciation
affordable [afórdabol]: asequible
apply for [aplái for]: solicitar
assets [ásets]: valores, activos, acciones
borrower [bórrogüer]: prestatario (quien recibe o toma prestado —to borrow—)
brochure  [bróchiur]: folleto
default fee [ripáiment fí]: cargo por incumplimiento
fee []: comisió, gasto o cargo
finance charges [fáinanz cháryes]: interés crediticio
fixed rate [fíxt reit]: tipo o interés fijo
interest rate [ínterest réit]: interés, tasa o tipo de interés
late payment fee [ripáiment fí]: cargo por pago atrasado
lender [lénder]: prestamista (quien presta —to lend—)
loan [lóun]: préstamo
loan agreement [lóun agríment]: acuerdo del préstamo
loan term [lóun term]: plazo del préstamo (puede ser a corto —short-term loan—, mediano —medium-term loan— o largo plazo —long-term loan— )
low rate [lóu reit]: tipo interés bajo
origination fee [ripáiment fí]: cargo de gestión o emisión
pay off [péi of]: terminar de pagar, amortizar
payment [páiment]: pago
procedure [prosídiur]: procedimiento o pasos a seguir
rate [réit]: tasa, tipo
repayment fee [ripáiment fí]: cargo por amortización o devolución del préstamo
to plan ahead [tu plan ajéd]: planificar con tiempo
variable rate [váriabol reit]: tipo o interés variable
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