If you are thinking about applying for a direct loan for the upcoming school year, now is the time to prepare your documents for the application process. Funding through the U.S. Department of Education is awarded after the successful completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is a lengthy application that requires a lot of information about you and your parents (if you are considered a dependent).
Applying for a direct student loan online is the fastest and least painful way to go about filling a FAFSA. Before you begin, however, you will need a PIN (which you can request on the U.S. Department of Education Web site). You will also need some documentation to answer specific questions on the application.
According to the Department of Education, you require the following financial information when applying for Direct Student Loans :
Your Social Security Number (from your Social Security card)
Your driver license (if applicable)
Your W-2 Forms and other records of money earned during the previous year
Your (and your spouse's, if applicable) Federal Income Tax Return - IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ
Your parent's Federal Income Tax Return (again from the previous year and only if you are a dependent student)
Your untaxed income records - Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veterans benefits records (from the previous year)
Any recent bank statements
Any recent business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment records (if applicable)
An alien registration number or permanent residence card (if you are not a U.S. citizen)