What It Means To “Borrow Only What You Need” For Student Loans

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.

A student holding twenty dollar bills.

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:

  • Tuition
  • Other school-related expenses depending on the program you are attending
  • Textbooks
  • 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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Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Sallie Mae logo.
1.13% to 11.23%1 Variable
3.50% to 12.60%1 Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
1.04% to 13.19% Variable
3.00% to 14.14% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
1.49% to 7.64% Variable >800 FICO
3.99% to 7.64% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
1.82% to 11.32% Variable
3.27% to 12.46% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Ave company logo.
0.99% to 11.98% Variable
2.99% to 12.99% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
3.47% to 6.11% Variable
4.60% to 7.40% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
1.04% to 11.44% Variable
3.34% to 12.78% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
1.20% to 11.59% Variable
3.31% to 11.99% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
1Variable interest rates start from 4.12% APR to 10.98% APR. We also offer fixed interest rates from 5.74% APR to 11.85% APR. Click here for important information. Terms, conditions, and limitations apply.
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.

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