Sometimes the amount of your student loan exceeds the cost of tuition. This is because lenders allow you to borrow up to the cost of attendance, which includes your housing, food, books, transportation and school supplies. Especially if you live off campus, you will likely have money left in your student loan account after your tuition bill has been paid. When you receive this money, you can use it to pay for your other education-related expenses.
Call or visit your school's financial aid office after the tuition bill for the semester has been paid.
Ask the financial aid administrator if the amount of the student loan was in excess of your tuition bill. If so, ask how to get a refund.
Follow the instructions to receive a check for the leftover money. Depending on how your school handles it, the financial aid office might be able to write you a check on the spot, or you might have to submit a form or you might have to visit the school's business office to get your leftover loan money.
Deposit the check into your bank account and write the amount of the deposit in a checking register separate from your main register. This is so you can track your balance of student loan money as you use it for education-related expenses throughout the academic term.
Repeat the process each academic term. Your student loan is usually disbursed in equal amounts spread across the academic terms, so if you got leftover money one term, you should get it other terms as well.
Tips & Warnings
- If you have more leftover money than you need for education expenses, you could put it toward repaying the student loan. This will lower the amount you owe and reduce the cost of repaying the loan later.
- Federal student loan agreements contain a clause in which you certify that you will use the student loan only for education-related expenses. If you receive leftover money and use it for something unrelated to education, you are breaking your agreement.
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