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I need to borrow more in parent plus loans but how much should I borrow?

mel159mel159 Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
I'm studying abroad in Spain for a full academic year. My student handbook has estimated spending costs for a semester but no estimated yearly costs. So the combined cost for each semester is $13,380 which in my mind is a high estimate. For example, that includes two round trip flights at a cost of $2,400. I paid $430 for my one way ticket to Spain and I expect to find a similar ticket on my flight home. I have $3,035. The programs estimate is based on flight, theatre/concerts, going out/personal expenses, books, bus transportation from host family to classes and around the city, weekend trips. I know I will need $2,570 for my return home, books, bus transportation, contact lenses, and health insurance. Since I have a year to see Europe I won't need to travel as much as the semester students. But I will need $1,100 for a month to either pay to live with my host family or stay in hostels/travel. I understand that this is not free money though. Luckily I will be graduating with less debt than others because I'm only taking out federal loans. This is the first and only year I need a parent plus. Initially I borrowed $4,500 to cover fees. Now I think I need to increase the amount but I'm not sure how much. I was surprised I was even approved for parent plus. I live with my disabled grandmother. I hate to take out loans just as "spending money" but I know we don't have the type of financial situation where I can just call and ask for more money if I need it. She lives month to month. She pays car insurance and my phone bill which I'm very lucky to have even that.

Replies to: I need to borrow more in parent plus loans but how much should I borrow?

  • tigerman333tigerman333 Registered User Posts: 1,212 Senior Member
    Is it possible to get a job while you study abroad so you can cut down on costs?
  • mel159mel159 Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    edited July 2016
    I looked into that. I'm not eligible to work on a student visa. @tigerman333
  • raulhumber2raulhumber2 Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    This is a great question, now are you a sophomore, junior, senior? What i did my brother did his junior year was take the fiest 4500 stafford loans, then have my mom whom didnt have great credit apply and hoped for her to get denied, this allowed him to be eligble for another $6500, that would not go under our parents names, there is a chart online where it shows how much your eligible if your parents are denied it doesnt go on their credit, and its easier for you az a student knowing its your responsibility and not a burden. He ended up taking I think 11k of stafford loans, it depends on your undegrad year.
  • PrimeMeridianPrimeMeridian Registered User Posts: 1,224 Senior Member
    Are the 2 roundtrip flights ($2400) for flights back to the US? If you are only away for one academic year (9 months), why do you need to return to the US twice in that period?

  • mel159mel159 Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    @raulhumber2 I will be a sophomore but you only get $4k in stafford loans if you're rejected for parent plus. It wasn't rejected and I don't have anyone else that would apply for it for me. My thing was prior to this I was going to have a debt of about $19,000 for four years. I borrowed only $5,500 freshman year. I borrow $6,500 in federal loans sophomore year currently plus the $4,500 I currently have with plus loan. Freshman year I needed to borrow $5,500 because of the expensive dorm costs. But upperclassmen live in off-campus apartments that are literally half the price. Junior year, I need a small amount, around $2,500 to cover tuition.
    Senior year, because I came into college with credits, I only need to take 9 credits each semester, reducing my tuition fees and hopefully allowing me to work a few days a week to pay down my debt.
  • mel159mel159 Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    edited July 2016
    @PrimeMeridian I don't need two round trip flights. That's my point. It's the totals from two separate semesters. My costs will be different in some ways because I'm going a year. And plus there are high estimates they said because they want you to be prepared. Their estimate was round trip would be $1200. I paid one way ticket so far for $430. It should be half the cost but it's about a third because I searched for a good deal.
  • raulhumber2raulhumber2 Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    Does your school do exchange RA programs, mine did and many opted to become RA and then switch with a student abroad who would want to study where they were, its tough to say if you need 13k, -5500,- 4000? 13k -9500= 3500 or I may be missing something from your posr clarify as if its 3500 that gap can be shortened.
  • mel159mel159 Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    @raulhumber2 This is frustrating. I'm doing an external program and living with a host family so I can't be an RA. I tried to give myself a real estimate. I used the total I've given before for things like transportation and books: $2,570, $1,100 for living costs during winter break not included in fee, $2500 for personal expenses. That leaves me needing to borrow $3,135 more in parent plus for a total of $7,635 in parent plus loan for 2016-2017. I came to this number because I spent $1400 freshman year but lived very conservatively and missed out on some things so I figured I'd amp it up a little to $2,000 and then made it $2,500 to reflect value lost in USD to euro exchange. I just want college confidential thoughts on $7,635 in parent plus for a once in a lifetime opportunity?
  • raulhumber2raulhumber2 Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    Ummm I would say go for it, honestly I will be doing the same my junior year and most likely spain or london for abroad, ik the whole thing about loans, but I will be graduating with around 30k of loans after 4 years at a university whos tuition alone is 46k a year so its not too bad, I would do it, but the thing is my loans were all parent plus denials as I hoped for this and are under my name, I never wanted my parents to have issue of loans specially since there are 3 of us going to college. My personal advice is if you are allowed to do it, take it, and make sure to take the amount youll need, if you need to take an extra 200$ to enjoy the trip do it, because your already applying the loan itself. Ik people here will tell you otherwise blah blah blab loans, 30k is what a brand new car cost yet ppl buy those all the time... so I hate hearing the whole loans spealll.
  • raulhumber2raulhumber2 Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    P.s people take out lole 15-20k on parent plus loans a year, id never take that much a year, but 8k isnt bad. Use the repayment calculator on student loans .gov to figure out how much itll cost you in the long run, maybe work and pay of the interest first?
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