Loan for one semester only?

<p>I have somewhat of a difficult situation. I may need to take out loans for the next spring semester (spring 2011), but I will not know until the end of the fall semester whether or not I will have to. I know that it is possible to take out a Stafford loan and private loans for only one semester, but in the case of the Stafford loan, I would only be eligible for half of the annual amount.</p>

<p>Would it make more sense to take out both a federal and a private loan for the entirety of the year to maximize my borrowing power? I do not want to end up in a situation where, come December, I will have to scramble to complete the paperwork and somehow try to expedite the confirmation process before the due date of my first spring semester bill.</p>

<p>If you think that you'll need more than the "half Stafford" for spring semester, then borrow in the fall, set the money aside, and then borrow the rest in Spring.</p>

<p>However much you borrow in Stafford loans for the year it will be disbursed equally between the two semesters. For instance if you think you need $1500 for fall and borrow $1500 then only $750 will be disbursed in the fall and the remaining $750 in the spring. So the best thing is to borrow what you think you may need for the whole year then if you find you will not need it in the spring have them not disburse it (or pay back what you do not need).</p>

<p>Actually, it is possible to borrow only in the second semester & have more than half the year's eligibility at that time, but it depends on several factors. You are going to have to discuss your situation with your school in order to figure out what is best for you. The best thing to do is talk to a financial aid counselor about it midway through the fall term. That would be the optimal time to discuss it.</p>

<p>oops - I was not paying enough attention. I was thinking the OP wanted to borrow for the first semester and was not sure they wanted it for the second semester. Not what they were asking at all. I started school in the spring last year and was, as kelsmom said, allowed more than half the year's eligibility for the semester.</p>

<p>My DD had a 3x a year disbursement, took 100% the first term, 50% the 2nd term and 0% the 3rd term which allowed her to see how she could conserve on expenses without risking losing the money. Yes, she did accrue interest sooner, but that was better than not having the money available at all.</p>

<p>Perhaps she could have done what kels & SCM suggested, but finaid was a bit sketchy at her school so she went with the safe & simple way to avoid hassles come spring.</p>

<p>try applying for some grants</p>

<p>Our son was successful in getting his school to get his entire year's staffords applied to the first semester. It took a bit of emailing and calling.
Then we had money from his 529 too pay entire second semester.
Worked for us.</p>