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Stafford loans BEFORE starting school?

romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 22,602Registered User Senior Member
I was wondering if it is possible to get a stafford loan before one starts school and if you get a Stafford loan does it have to go directly to school costs?

My boyfriend is starting CC in early July. His financial aid covers all of his costs school-wise, including books and everything, but right now he doesn't have a car to get to and from school. Would it be possible to get the loan before school starts so that he could get a cheap car? He is currently unemployed (we're from Detroit so jobs are VERY hard to find) so there is no way for him to save up for a car. He also lives on his own raising his sister (abusive parents) so he is considered Independent by FAFSA, so there is absolutely no family help for him.

Thanks everyone!
Post edited by romanigypsyeyes on

Replies to: Stafford loans BEFORE starting school?

  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 22,602Registered User Senior Member
    Oh, and he is already registered for his classes (6 credits). Right now they are just online courses in case he doesn't get a car, but he would like to start as early as possible taking a full course load at the school.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,942Registered User Senior Member
    As far as I know Stafford loans are always disbursed to the school and not until the semester starts. In fact my daughter is doing some summer classes - 5 hours in June then 3 in July - and her summer Stafford loan will not be disbursed until she has passed the add/drop period for the classes that will take her to 6 hours summer enrollment (which means they will not be disbursed till she starts the July classes). That is just from our experience (have never seen an option to have the loan paid direct to the student) but hopefully one of our financial aid officers will chime in with their expert knowledge. In our experience any excess is not paid to the student until after the add/drop period for classes for the semester has passed.

    Stafford loans are student loans for college related expenses and are not supposed to be used for other expenses, such as purchasing a car.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 22,602Registered User Senior Member
    Well, he will be enrolled half time. I found this on the site:
    If your tuition is already paid for and you want to borrow the Stafford loan for other expenses you should check with the school to see if this is possible. Most schools will still let you borrow the loan if you can show you need it to help with other school related expenses. Depending on the college/university the check can be sent to you by mail, or it will be deposited in your school account.

    So he is going to check with the school tomorrow. He needs the car to get to and from school because there is no living on campus option, so it is indirectly a college-related expense. He wouldn't need it otherwise.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 22,602Registered User Senior Member
    Oops, I misread your post a little. Thanks for the advice, but did the 5 hours put your daughter at the halfway mark for credits that the Stafford loans require?

    Does anyone know any alternative loan programs that he may be eligible for? He has virtually no credit history and no cosigner. I know Michigan is coming out with all sorts of help for students, so anyone with expertise in this area would be greatly appreciated.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,942Registered User Senior Member
    No she has to get to the 6 hour mark before they will disburse any of the loan - they will not disburse it even to pay the June bill for the 5 credit hours until she has started the next 3 hours (not sure how that works as far as getting the bill payed - hopefully they will wait until July and not consider it late).

    I don't think purchasing a car is in any way considered a college expense. Though transportation costs are included in the COA. The best thing is to check with the school.

    I don't know much about alternative loans other than that it is hard to get a loan without a job and credit history, or someone with a good credit history willing to cosign.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,506Super Moderator Senior Member
    We disburse funds a week before school begins. If students have aid in excess of billed costs, they get a refund check. Each school is different. One private school in our area waits 30 days, from what students tell me. The only way to know is to ask.

    Does he get a Pell grant? If so, did he graduate after 2005? What year is he? Maybe he'll qualify for ACG or SMART grant. How about Michigan Merit or Michigan Promise? Or Michigan Competitive Scholarship? Check mi.gov. The website is kind of messed up right now, so I can't find the link to the scholarship page (I'm getting an error). Try it tomorrow - or just search around the website.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 22,602Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, he is receiving 5100 I believe in pell plus 400 from something else. He is not eligible for michigan promise or acg. He didn't graduate, only got his GED.

    Thank you. Were going up to the community college tomorrow, so hope we get good news.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 22,602Registered User Senior Member
    So I just got word that the car does count since there is no residential option available at the CC. He is eligible for 1900 in the summer and 7600 in the fall/winter. Obviously he won't take it all, but we're exicted that he can start full time very soon :).
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,506Super Moderator Senior Member
    That is such great news! I am sure he will have a wonderful year.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 22,602Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks :). I am just proud of him for pulling himself up and getting his GED and starting college.
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