Your application for a student loan starts with you filling up the FAFSA. The information that you submit through the FAFSA is then used to put together a customized loan package for you. Sometimes, your loan package includes a much higher amount than you actually need.
Take Only What You Need
While you can take the entire amount that is offered to you, you must remember that you will have to return whatever you borrow with interest. Instead, it is advisable to borrow only what you need so that you graduate with the minimum debt possible. It is important however to take time and make sure that you calculate all possible expenses so that you do not end up short.
These are some of the costs you must include:
- Other school-related expenses depending on the program you are attending
- Text books
- Accommodation, whether on or off campus
- Food and groceries
- Everyday travel as well as traveling during the break
- Membership to sorority or fraternity
- Health insurance if not included in the family plan
- Personal supplies
- Miscellaneous – phone, laundry, entertainment, athletic equipment
Add up all of the scholarships you’ve won and use that amount to cover as much of your expenses. That will give you a pretty good idea of how much you need to borrow by way of student loans. Try not to borrow too much over that amount.
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