How to Apply for a Living Expense Student Loan

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College and graduate school are expensive, not only because of tuition, but also because you are rarely able to work enough hours to pay your bills. Many students turn to living expense loans to help cover the cost of their rent and living expenses. Here is how to apply.

  • Choose your provider. Generally, the government backed federal PLUS loan is your best bet. The government allows you to take out a certain amount of money each semester that you will pay back at a lower interest rate than many private loans. Your college's financial aid office should have links to their preferred providers, but you can also find a provider yourself. Www.studentloan.com is Citi Bank's website to apply for these loans.

  • Fill out the online application. This process normally takes about 10 minutes and you select how much money you need. When you are selected your requested amount, remember that there is a 3% origination fee, so take out slightly more than you think you will need.

  • Wait for approval and disbursement. Pre-approval can take as little as thirty seconds and it normally takes at least 2 weeks for the money to get disbursed to your school.

  • Request a refund from the student accounts office. What happens at most universities is that the PLUS loan is applied to your balance. Any money that is left over after tuition and fees is your balance that they will refund to you for living expenses. Depending from the school, this process can take between 5 minutes to two weeks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plan ahead-- it can take up to a month to get the money in your hands, so be sure to apply for loans early
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