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Vendors Can Aid the Loan Process

Microsoft offers financing through its Microsoft/IT Skills Loan Program. Backed by Servus Financial Corp., this program is designed to allow you to repay a loan in small monthly increments rather than with one single balloon payment. Loans may be applied to training, computer equipment, and even living expenses. In addition, certain loans may be used to refinance existing training or educational debt while offering funds for continuing education.

Pre-approval for the program may be obtained by phone at (888) 895-5626. Approval usually occurs within 24 hours, there are no application or annual fees, and disbursements are released immediately (unless otherwise specified). Loans are intended primarily to cover tuition at Microsoft Certified Technical Education Centers (Microsoft CTEC) or Authorized Academic Training Providers (AATP). Loan amounts, interest rates and payoff schedules vary. For more about this program, visit http://www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/default.asp?PageID=training&SubSite=itcr&PageCall=finaid.

On Microsoft's Financial Aid Web page, you will also find links to scholarship and federal student aid programs:

  • FastWeb (http://www.fastweb.com/)—A clearinghouse for more than 275,000 scholarship programs for a wide variety of educational areas. Programs include grants, loans, work-study, and others. This tool can search for programs based on your needs, interests, and other factors.

  • FinAid (http://www.finaid.org/)—A directory of financial aid programs including loans, grants, and military aid. Also includes free information about locating, applying for, managing, and using financial aid.

  • FAFSA (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/)—This is the U.S. Department of Education's Web site, where you can complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. This site may be used to search through all federal money and aid programs. Information from this site is also available by calling (800) 4-FED-AID.

  • EMBARK (http://www.embark.com)—This site offers career planning and management information as well as guidance on locating financial aid for education.

Novell's Career Builder Loan Program is designed to provide financing options for NetWare education. The monies available through this program may be used at any participating Novell Authorized Education Center (NAEC) or Novell Education Academic Partner (NEAP). There is no application fee, 24-hour approvals are typical, and loans are offered at low interest rates, with low monthly payments (may be interest only or $25, whichever is greater), with no pre-payment penalties. An application for this kind of aid may be completed online.

A maximum of $15,000 per individual is available, and it can be used for any course and related books, plus any associated educational fees. Once approved, a line of credit is created that the student may draw upon for up to 24 months up to and including the maximum approved loan amount. Applicants need reasonably good credit to be granted loan approval. For more information on the Career Builder program, please visit http://www.novell.com/education/loan.

Other vendors may also offer similar programs and support for certification students. Be sure to inquire with training or certification departments to find out what options they may support.

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