4 Great Uses for a Private Student Loan | 04.08.10

Posted in Private Student Loans By Student Loan Network Staff

When it comes to private student loans, many potential borrowers believe they only can be used on tuition. Thankfully, this assumption is false. In reality, a private student loan is a very flexible lending option that allows you to take out as much money as you need (based on creditworthiness) to cover expenses that federal products or scholarships may leave behind. Let’s take a look at some uses for a private student loan:

1) Books

Textbooks are extremely expensive, to put it mildly. On an average semester, I paid anywhere between $300-450 on textbooks for a five class load. I graduated this past year, so those numbers are current… in case you were wondering. This number can sometimes be reduced if you purchase used books online or rent them, but not all titles are available consistently.

2) Apartment Rent

If you live off-campus, finding the money to pay the rent, utilities, food costs etc. can be a struggle while you are in school. During my time at college, my average rent was in the $550/month region (in Boston, MA), utilities averaged about $60/month, and I spent $60-80/week on food/groceries. That rent figure is based off living with multiple roommates; if I lived by myself, it would be more like $1100-1300/month.

Obviously, these numbers are a little overwhelming if you are trying to work during the school year and pay down at least some of your school costs. A private student loan can be useful in this situation by taking care of a large part of the costs, or all of them, depending on how much money you elect to borrow. I generally took out a $5,000 private student loan per year to cut down what I had to pay out of pocket on my rent to a much more manageable number.

3) Study Abroad

If you haven’t had a chance to read my blog on study abroad financing, I definitely would recommend it. It gives a couple little tips that make planning for the trip much easier and takes the stress off.

4) Clothing / Shopping Necessities

This may sound like a throw-away point, but it really isn’t. If you go to school in a climate that is dissimilar from what you are used to, buying clothes is inevitable. A few of my friends in various classes came to Boston to study from a variety of places such as California, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. A month after arriving and settling in, they all had to work overtime at their jobs to save up money or beg their parents to send them some funds to buy Fall / Winter clothes due to Boston’s rather frigid climate.

There are other necessities you may not think of too. If you wear contact lenses, those are not cheap to buy when you need extra boxes. If you get sick, prescription medication and/or doctors fees may be more than you can afford to pay out of pocket. These are the types of unexpected expenses that pop up when you are in school, and having the extra cash available to you is extremely valuable and a frustration saver.

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70 Responses to “4 Great Uses for a Private Student Loan”

  1. Chris Arespacochaga says on February 28, 2012 at 1:47 am:

    Where can I go to apply for a loan if you have fied a chapter 7 bankruptcy? I need 2 more years of money. Help!!

    Reply To This Comment
  2. Samantha says on February 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm:

    I agree. They are stressful but you can get them postponed and lowered, at least to give you enough time to find work. Once you got a good job then paying your loan is a great way to build credit.

    Reply To This Comment
  3. BROG says on August 31, 2010 at 9:02 am:

    Cutting back on all the unnecessary expenses so I don't have to take out alot of student loans that I spend the rest of my life paying back

    Reply To This Comment
  4. rt101a says on July 25, 2010 at 3:57 pm:

    Are there any private loans available to an independent college student? The school I attend does not disburse any funding to students, so ideas of Sallie Mae Smart loans are out of the question. Basically i have to bypass the school for any help in funding to help with cost of living while attending this school….SUCKS
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

    Reply To This Comment
    • just wanna finish says on September 24, 2010 at 11:41 am:

      I am having the same problem.. UGH.. super frustrating..

      Reply To This Comment
  5. Jess says on July 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm:

    I need a loan but I don't know where to look

    Reply To This Comment
  6. cel says on July 7, 2010 at 4:04 pm:

    I went to community college for two years and got my GenEds out of the way. Best idea ever because now for my last two years at university I will have a loan and wont have much to pay back after! This loan im getting is going to pay for so much over the next two years

    Reply To This Comment
  7. Anonymous says on July 6, 2010 at 7:00 pm:

    Interesting I never knew loans could be used for so much though personally I would rather avoid the accumulative debt.

    Reply To This Comment
  8. Justin says on July 5, 2010 at 11:39 am:

    I'm surprised they didn't mention building up your credit score :D

    Reply To This Comment
  9. nathalie says on July 3, 2010 at 9:15 pm:

    really helpfull.!

    Reply To This Comment
  10. Cindy says on July 2, 2010 at 7:38 pm:

    As this is my second time around this is good info to remind 1st timers and we don't want to talk about loans…. groan. If I get mine paid off before I retire I will be happy.

    Reply To This Comment
  11. flor says on July 2, 2010 at 4:12 pm:

    this was so helpfull to me because i start college this fall thanks….

    Reply To This Comment
  12. nicole says on July 1, 2010 at 2:06 pm:

    This gave me some ideas on things to do and look for.

    Reply To This Comment
  13. anonymous says on June 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm:

    No loans

    Reply To This Comment
  14. kamesha says on June 30, 2010 at 3:55 pm:

    i dnt want to take out loans but its like the way finacial aid is set up its forcing you to

    Reply To This Comment

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