Can Student Loans Be Used For Living Expenses?

Technically, yes, student loans can be used for living expenses

Flickr user zalgon

The easy answer is yes, you can use student loans for your living expenses. When your student loan application is approved, you are allowed to use parts of it for any necessities. This is intended to make it easier for students to get the basic necessities. Thus, having more time to study and focus on their school work.

What Can You Use Your Student Loans For?

Student loan terms don’t define exactly what you can and should use your loans for. However, allowable expenses typically include room and board, books, transportation, supplies and miscellaneous personal expenses. Students with disabilities may include expenses for special services such as assistance equipment, transportation aids, or other specialized supplies.

While student loans may sound like easy money, taking out more student loans for non-education related expenses is not the best solution. Don’t forget, these are loans. Someday, you will have to pay them back. Here are some things to think about if you are considering using your student loan towards living expenses.

 

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The Total Cost Of College

The amount that you spend on your rent and board will impact the total cost of college. Technically, no one’s telling you where to live, what kind of place to live, or to use your loans to pay for rent. However, that doesn’t mean you should live in the fanciest place or decide against roommates.

The more of your student loan you put towards rent, the less you will have to spend on other expenses. That includes books, transportation, and other school-related expenses. And even if you did have enough, you will eventually pay the price of spending extravagantly on living expenses after you graduate.

Tips For Spending Student Loans For Living Expenses

Now that you know that you can spend student loans for living expenses, it’s time to think strategically about how to use it.

When using your student loan to pay for rent, look for an apartment that is decent but not extravagant. Living well is vastly different from living luxuriously. The difference in cost can make a huge change in how much you pay back later.

Create a budget that takes into account your fundamental expenses—rent, board, textbooks, utilities, phone bills, school supplies, and transportation.

Organize all your bills and prioritize payments. Always pay off essentials and your credit card first. You don’t want to end up having to pay extra fines or late fees.

Resist buying spring break getaways, drinks at the bar, nights out at the movies, or cable television with your student loan. The lender won’t know how you’re spending the money. Sure, you may be able to get away with bending the rules, but you have to decide whether it is worth the price you will have to pay by way of student debt.

Always remember, if you need to use your student loan for living expenses, use it wisely. The less you borrow, the lower your debt will be when you finish college, and the less you’ll have to pay back.

 

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