Can I take out more in Stafford loan than my college offers me?

<p>I was accepted to the University of Washington and they gave me a very generous financial aid package. (About $6k in loans per year.) However, I think I'm going to need a little more money than their COA accounts for . . . </p>

<p>They did not reach the "limit" of Stafford loans . . . so is it possible for me to take out more in Stafford loans? Or should I take out a private loan from a bank?</p>

<p>Also, maybe this is a silly question, but . . . do banks offer student loans all year long, and how long does it take to secure one once the ball is rolling? I was thinking of trying to make it through as much of the year as possible before taking out loans, in order to shorten the amount of time that interest is building up.</p>

<p>I'm an independent student and my credit score is excellent, so I'm not anticipating any problems from that end.</p>

<p>The financial aid office may increase the cost of attendance if you ask. This way you are eligible for a larger Stafford loan.</p>

<p>As far as I know (and I have been in your situation), you can take out the max loans for stafford as long as you are within the same academic year. What I mean is, say I didn't take out any loans this year but want 10,000 in loans next year, I can't touch what I could have had THIS year because I will be out of the calendar year. </p>

<p>So as long as you do it in time, the school can usually get it for you. You would just need to hit up your aid counselor. It happens! My friends computer broke and she needed a loan to purchase a new one, so she took from her Staffords.</p>

<p>Undergraduate</a> Loan Questions - How much can I borrow under a Stafford Loan</p>

<p>As for other loans, I would say don't take them until you max out your Stafford. Not sure how long those take, you'd have to talk to the lender.</p>

<p>Are you a transfer student?</p>

<p>Are you instate for Wash?</p>

<p>what did they say the COA was and breakdown?</p>

<p>You can always work part-time to earn more money. Less loans is always better.</p>

<p>Yes, I'm an in-state transfer student. Part of the FA award was work-study, so I'll already be working part-time. I'm not going to look for a second part-time job, I've gone down that route before (while in CC) and my grades took a nosedive.</p>

<p>The COA breakdown is:</p>

<p>Tuition and fees: $8973
Books and Supplies: $1035
Room and Board: $9399
Personal Expenses: $2265
Transportation: $642</p>

<p>The real killer is Room & Board . . . To give an idea of how out of whack that is, the only UW official residence I could be in (as I have pets) charges $950 per month for their smallest unit. Studio apartments in the city are cheaper, I think I can snag one for $800 a month . . . but then there's still utilities, phone, and in some cases water/sewer/garbage to pay for. And that isn't even factoring in food.</p>

<p>Personal expenses, too . . . UW's student insurance costs $2000 annually. I am pretty sure it isn't included in the "Tuition and Fees", but is separate/optional. (I'm going to check on this.) I've gone without insurance for three years to save money, but every day is a gamble, living like that.</p>

<p>The COA may be feasible for kids straight out of high school who have Mom and Dad paying for a lot of extras, who are still on Mom and Dad's health insurance, and who can have Mom and Dad pay for deposits if they decide to live off campus, but I'm funding everything myself. (A good portion of my meager savings are going to be eaten up by rental deposits, and part of them I'm going to hold aside for medical emergencies, unforeseen expenses, and such.)</p>

<p>I truly appreciate that UW was offered me so many grants and such, but I need to be able to afford a place to live, food for the table, and health insurance. If I can take out a couple thousand more per year--and it sounds like I can, thanks for the info on the Stafford loans, folks!--then I can make it.</p>

<p>Great, you have work-study. That's for during the school year. You can also earn money during the summer months.</p>

<p>Yes, you can borrow more as an independent. But, again, paying those loans back can be difficult, so try to minimize as much as you can.</p>

<p>@mom2collegekids Then I assume if that was the case, you would just ask for that in the financial office at the school?</p>

<p>Not that I plan to borrow a penny more then what I need, it's good to know these things, thanks to the OP.</p>