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    School loans for living expenses 
    #1
    Bluelighter Lysis's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    As I posted before, I was fired yesterday from my job. I'm bummed, but I'm also thinking this could be a chance to take the plunge. I hate the IT industry, hated every job I've had for the past 10 years, and I have been wanting to go to med school for a long time. I've been taking 1 or 2 classes and it's dragged out for so long. I'm an undergrad btw. I'm planning to attempt the MCAT in January.

    I know how to get a school loan for class expenses. The problem is that I don't know how living expense loans work. I have a lot of debt and a mortgage. Dorms aren't really an option since I'm almost 33 this year. LOL

    My lab partner from another class told me that with school loans you just take out what you need every day. I'm wondering how the loan system works for living expenses where, let's say, I need to pay my mortgage and car payment. I know you can't go to med school and have a job, so I know somewhere out there loans cover living expenses.

    Can anyone direct me to where I need to research? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Most of all, is what I am looking to do even feasible?
     

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    #2
    Bluelighter eon_blue's Avatar
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    The majority of students who go to school full-time are living off of loans (ie: using loan money for rent, groceries, gas, etc.) This is what I'm currently doing, only I'm also working a part-time minimum wage job at a yoga studio (real easy gig) to earn a little extra spending cash on the side.

    So yeah, it isn't abnormal in the least to live off of loans. I don't know how your credit is, but you will most likely need either a good credit history or a cosigner with good credit to even be considered for a loan these days.

    It varies from school to school and from one loan company to the next as far as loan distribution goes, but with my school I take out the loan (through Sallie Mae) and they send the check to the school. The school takes out what they need for my tuition that semester and whatever is remaining they mail out to me in the form of a check.

    Oh, and you'll need to have completed your FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov) before being able to apply for private aid in most schools. It's a good idea anyway because you may end up getting free money from the government Also be sure to look into federal grants and scholarships...they usually don't amount to much but every little bit helps.

    Overall, your best bet is to sit down with a financial aid advisor at whatever school it is you're looking at attending and talking with them about what will suit you best.

    Hope this helps!
     

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    #3
    Ex-Bluelighter Gaian Planes's Avatar
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    yep living off loans is common. I've accumulated ~20 grand of loans over 7 years (off and on) of schooling. Its normal. Consider that you're likely to get a very good paying job when you finally do go after one, and the loans seem inconsequential.

    You could not go to school then you could get a job framing houses for 14 bucks an hour. Or you could go and get a job teaching at a university for 65 grand a year.
     

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    #4
    Bluelight Crew Rogue Robot's Avatar
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    I've been taking out loans to live on for the past year and a half. I got really sick of eating really shitty food and not being able to enjoy life once in a while.

    Sallie Mae offers tution answer loans, but unfortunately, you have to have some sort of income, i believe, to take one out, unless you have a co-signer. you can take a certain percentage past the amount of the cost of living where you live. it might be difficult for you to get one since you JUST lost your job. it's a sticky situation once you've lost a job in the middle of the year and you want to return to school full-time. there are TONS of loans that you can get, though. i would try contacting your financial aid office at your university and see if you can set up a meeting or a walk-in to talk to them about your options. that really is your best bet as they are the ones that have several loan companies and types at their disposal.
     

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    #5
    Bluelighter lystra's Avatar
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    go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
    (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

    i take out a loan every academic year.
    i have HOPE Scholarship, in GA, which means that as long as I keep a 3.0 GPA, my tuition is paid for...
    so my loan money always goes into my checking account for my living expenses.
     

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    #6
    Bluelight Crew Rogue Robot's Avatar
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    Kuuyku, for me, Pell Grants are sent directly to the school. If there is any remainder, then I get the rest direct deposited to my bank account. I'm not sure if every school is like that, though.

    Grants are generally awarded after you've filled out your FAFSA, and scholarships are awarded as other monies from that institution which may or may not be used toward tuition. I would say that now is a bit late to apply for scholarships for the fall semester, but you could always check scholarship databases online to find out when applications are due and when awards are given.

    As a last resort, for you, you could always take out a small loan and pay it back with further scholarship or grant money.
     

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    #7
    You don't need good credit or any credit for federal loans. You do have to fill out the fasa to apply for federal loans through. But as long as your enrolled in at least 6 credit hours a semester and don't owe any monies to any schools you are entitled to around 5,000 dollars a semester in subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans to pay for school and living semester. You can't take out any more then that on the federal loans through. They cap it at 10,500 a year for undergrads. I doubt 10,000 a year will pay your tuition and morgage your going to have to take out private loans. 10,000 a year isn't a lot of money but I guess the goverment figures you can live off of it if you have to and want to go to school full time without working bad enough. I guess it can be enough if you get a roomate then your rent/elec will prob be about 4 to 500 a month and someone could always work at the college 10 - 15 hours a week for a little extra money. But if you own a house you should be able to take out the equity for a loan anyway, or you could always sell your house if your serious about school.

    Their is no way your going to be able to get any school loan that will give you enough for a morgage, car payment, money to live off ect. Loan places don't walk around handing out 50,000 a year to people just because they decided to go back to school. your going to have to get provate loans and if you don't have a credit score in the 700's your going to have to find someone who does to cosign for you unless you just do the 10,000 a year federal lon I told you about in the beginning.
     

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    #8
    Bluelight Crew Rogue Robot's Avatar
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    ^ there are loans that match and exceed the cost of living expense with a loan, so that's not entirely true.
     

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    #9
    Bluelighter Lysis's Avatar
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    Just an FYI to help complete this thread which has been greatly informative for me - I applied at 2 places for private loans (Sallie Mae and Suntrust) and was approved for both. They ask you to send a recent paycheck and since I have just recently been fired I was able to supply that. I also (last time I checked when I bought my house) only had a credit score of 650. I also got the federal loan unsubsidized since I worked all last year.

    I still need to go to my financial aid office, but the process is the same - they send the info to the school and the school tells them how much money I can use. I'm not sure why though since it's a private loan and it's frustrating. When I find out more I will update.
     

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    #10
    Bluelighter eon_blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lysis
    Just an FYI to help complete this thread which has been greatly informative for me - I applied at 2 places for private loans (Sallie Mae and Suntrust) and was approved for both. They ask you to send a recent paycheck and since I have just recently been fired I was able to supply that. I also (last time I checked when I bought my house) only had a credit score of 650. I also got the federal loan unsubsidized since I worked all last year.

    I still need to go to my financial aid office, but the process is the same - they send the info to the school and the school tells them how much money I can use. I'm not sure why though since it's a private loan and it's frustrating. When I find out more I will update.
    Congrats!

    Yeah the whole process can be pretty frustrating. I'm currently trying to get my school to issue me the remainder of my private loan that wasn't used for tuition (need it for supplies), but they want to keep it in my account for next semester's tuition It's my private loan, I should be able to use it for what I want!
     

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    #11
    650 is a decent score. I was exageratting when I said in the 700's I meant if your credit is anywhere in the 500's you're basically screwed without a cosigner.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Robot
    ^ there are loans that match and exceed the cost of living expense with a loan, so that's not entirely true.
    Student loans go by total COA cost of attendence. It varies because it depends on the school. Private loans allow you to borrow up to COA. A community college might have a COA which means tuition, books, living expenses, personal expenses, transportation. of say 11,000 a semester so you would be able to borrow to borrow whatever minus your pell grant if you have one up till 11,000 a semester. Other schools like university's might have a estimated COA of 50,000 a semester which would mean you could borrow a lot more. Either way the process is still very frustrating but worth it in the end.

    Federal loans do not allow you to go over 10,500 a year no matter what through. That is the capped limit for under grads. However with a low efc you would get a couple extra thousand a year from the pell grant which is free money that you do not have to pay back. If you have a 0 EFC your pell grant would be close to 5,000 a year and you would be eligible forn maximum loans, grants, everything.

    There is a big advantage if you can make it though one year hardly working and show less then 10,000 dollars on your tax return. All the free money you will be eligble for is termendous. However if you bust your ass working all year and make a decent income then the goverment will expect you to have money saved for school and you won't be eligible for a whold lot of aid. wheras if you hardly work for one year the following year you would be able eligible for a finacial aid package and scholarships and grants somwhere in the neighborhood of $35,000 and you would only have to pay back about 10,000 of that and that's just going to a community college.

    It's as if the goverment rewards you for not working. The less you work the more aid you get. I reliazed I liked going to school three classes a semester and not working. It's a great way to live. Two years ago I worked 2 jobs and hardly had time to focus on school. All the money I gete now for not working and just studying is almost the same as when I was working two jobs to live paycheck to paycheck and not having anytime to enjoy life at all. For the next 2 1/2 years i'm going to focus on school , work about 10 hours a week and enjoy life until I graduate. Sometimes it pays not to work.

    Thank goodness for pain management. I never could of made it year after year working from 8 am to midnight six days a week without opiates. I'm 26 by the way in case anybody was wondering.
     

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    #12
    Bluelight Crew Rogue Robot's Avatar
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    i won't deny it. i totally don't work because i get more aid. well, i work for myself to have some sort of income doing bullshit stuff like designing websites and sorting rhinestones for a friend. i went for years with only getting about $5000 a year (in fed loans), and i ended up paying out of pocket over $2000 a year for classes alone.

    but not everyone can do that. i got lucky, and my house is paid off. so i don't owe money toward rent or mortgage.
     

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