Some colleges and universities offer students some type of temporary loan assistance. To find out about these loans, visit either an Emergency Loan Department or an Office of Student Accounts. The school acts as a direct lender to students in need. Emergency loans are typically either interest-free or come with low interest rates. These loans are granted to half-time or full-time students who are unable to meet education-related expenses.
Funds are available to students for:
- Books and supplies
- Miscellaneous costs
These loans are also granted to students who have applied for, but have not yet received, financial aid. It is important to remember that you are responsible for tuition payment and other school-related expenses even if your financial aid has not been disbursed.
Undergraduates who are first-time federal loan borrowers must wait thirty days following the beginning of classes to receive their money. In these cases, your school will loan you the funds to cover these costs until your aid arrives. Once your aid is disbursed, most schools will deduct the amount of your emergency loan from your principal financial aid balance.
Applying for an emergency loan is a simple process at almost every institution. Generally, each application takes only about five to ten minutes to complete. Usually, the only information required for these forms is your name, address, student identification number, two or three references, and a general explanation of your need.
Most schools charge a processing fee that is added to the principal balance and due when the loan is repaid.
TIP…When applying for an emergency loan, make sure you allow enough time for the form to be processed so that you will receive the money in time to pay your bills. Check with the financial aid office at your school for the length of the processing period.
Emergency loans, when available, are not granted if the student has an unpaid balance or has previously defaulted on an emergency loan. The amount of money each student is eligible to receive depends on the student’s expenses.
Most schools have a set amount for tuition and other expenses (typical amounts range from $50 to $500), but students are eligible to borrow more than this amount with a co-signer. The co-signer can be a parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult who signs a promissory note agreeing to fully repay the amount borrowed should the student be unable to do so.
Students usually have between 30 and 90 days to repay the loan, depending on the institution. If you can’t meet the deadline, most schools will grant extensions, depending on your financial situation.
Emergency loans are not as common at colleges and universities as they once were, so it’s best to explore other options before looking into this type of loan. Remember, your college or university is willing to help you in any way possible.
If you are having or anticipate having difficulty meeting your tuition, living, or other expenses, contact the financial aid office at your school for information on all your options.