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How much loans to accept?

bannana_girlbannana_girl Registered User Posts: 1,093 Member
So for anyone who's instate and lived in a hall the first year. Approximately how much would you say you spent your freshman year?

My situation: I live about 15 minutes from campus, but im dorming in a hall triple. So im just wondering how much loans should i accept?
Post edited by bannana_girl on
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Replies to: How much loans to accept?

  • aurora borealisaurora borealis - Posts: 124 Junior Member
    Look at tuition costs. Look at your financial aid package. Consider your personal expenses and make some slight overestimates - can you reduce these cost? Look at how much room&board costs. Consider various personal outings and give rough estimates. subtract this from your financial aid offer. FAO overestimates costs. Consider the idea of getting a job during the school-year to reduce your loan count. Someone else's acceptance of XYZ for loans is different from yours - and it can vary drastically. Talk to your parents about this too in case you're taking out private loans with a co-signer or PLUS loans under their name. You're going to need to consider what types of loans you're accepting as well - there are differences in when you make the payments for the loans/deferment, grace periods, interest rates, incentives for making monthly payments, and so forth.
  • bannana_girlbannana_girl Registered User Posts: 1,093 Member
    ya but approximately what is the average budget of a freshie?
  • infearandfaithinfearandfaith Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    average..? that seems like a weird question, just take what you need to fit your situation. that kind of financial information is highly specific to any given person. like aurora said, account for what you believe fits your needs, they have estimations everywhere as to what UCLA factors in to their estimation. I'm certain you know how to budget yourself better than I do, an average would seem sort of worthless.
  • DrasticDrastic Registered User Posts: 87 Junior Member
    On my eFAN there's the amount that ucla estimates as to the cost. So my financial aid covers a lot of it, but it says that I still need to take out loans. So, if I take out the amount of loans that it suggests and I end up with extra at the end of everything, I can use that money to repay the loan, right? Is it better to take out a little more (the suggested amount) than take out less?
  • KalasinKalasin Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    Personally, I think it's best to take out a little more. If you have extra, you can keep it and just take out less the following year.
  • AltemaAltema Registered User Posts: 1,082 Senior Member
    If the loans you have are interest accruing, you probably don't want to take out more than what you need because even if you will take out less the following year, you will have had to pay a year of interest on the "extra money" you barrow.

    Drastic, I think you should be able to specify the amount of loans you need or totally deny the loans.

    Banana_girl, personally, I think I figured to spend about 19000 a year with dorm and stuff, but it probably came out to 20000 with various unplanned expenses. This is with a super tight budget where I don't go out or spend much money.
  • aurora borealisaurora borealis - Posts: 124 Junior Member
    On my eFAN there's the amount that ucla estimates as to the cost. So my financial aid covers a lot of it, but it says that I still need to take out loans. So, if I take out the amount of loans that it suggests and I end up with extra at the end of everything, I can use that money to repay the loan, right? Is it better to take out a little more (the suggested amount) than take out less?
    UCLA overestimates your costs. For instance, have you heard of the kids who have their entire tuition covered by grants etc.? They get refunds into their accounts after their financial aid or whatever is disbursed - that is, they get extra $$$. Look at the cost of your tuition and see if there are any miscellaneous fees associated with it that the university sneaks into on your BAR (e.g. Instructional Enhancement Fees or whatever they're called). If you end up with extra money from the loan, you need to talk to your loan-provider about the extra (i.e. return it and have no interest accrued). Do you know what types of loans you're getting yourself into? There are different types with different policies and it varies significantly with private lenders.
    Personally, I think it's best to take out a little more. If you have extra, you can keep it and just take out less the following year.
    I agree with Altema - definitely not a good idea especially if you're taking out PLUS loans where the payments begin 6 months after you take out the loan.
  • DrasticDrastic Registered User Posts: 87 Junior Member
    Ok good.. I'll do a little more research on the loans and the interest from each lender this weekend.. Also find out the costs of what i need.. is there a site that shows like housing costs (for specific types like triple shared bath) and tuition costs? I know there is but i don't know if those ones are accurate.. if you can post a site that has pretty accurate info that would be great. thanks everyone.. I'll post more after I research it some more this weekend!
  • aurora borealisaurora borealis - Posts: 124 Junior Member
    Hey Drastic, definitely check out CollegeBoard on loans. I saw a beautifully written guide about the different types of loans. Assuming you've accepted any loans and have heard of Sallie Mae OpenNet - consult that as well. Also, don't be intimidated by terminology! It was really annoying for me when I decided what to accept and how much I could NOT borrow by working.

    http://www.admissions.ucla.edu/prospect/budget.htm
    http://www.housing.ucla.edu

    Also, you can look up calculators to figure out how much you'll eventually have to pay back. Hope this helps!
  • DrasticDrastic Registered User Posts: 87 Junior Member
    Oh cool. Thanks, aurora! So I looked at the first link and here's the estimate of what I'll need for sure:

    Registration - $7,038
    Books and Supplies - 1,515
    Room and Board - 11,912 (Living in hedrick summit, triple shared bath)
    Personal - 1,469

    Transportation - is this for parking? Because I don't have a car so I won't be using the parking.
    Health Insurance - this is for the SHIP right? I have insurance so I'm not sure if I'm going to get this. Would it be a good idea to just get it anyways? It says 675, I thought the insurance was more expensive than this?

    So without insurance the total comes to $21,934 which is about $2000 less than the estimate.. That just about takes away one of my loans. If I factor in the 625 for the health insurance (if it is SHIP) than I'll loan a bit more but still less than the amount needed. Thanks for helping!
  • AltemaAltema Registered User Posts: 1,082 Senior Member
    If you don't buy a lot of things or go out alone, you can totally take out personal. Books and supplies won't reach 1515 unless you love to purchase all your books from the UCLA store.
  • aurora borealisaurora borealis - Posts: 124 Junior Member
    Books and Supplies - 1,515
    Yeah definitely... you can reduce it drastically by purchasing it online, from your peers, or from Textbooks Plus on-campus. Not only that, but for some classes, like in the math sequences, you'll use the same $100 textbook for a few quarters possibly. That, and there are course readers use for some classes that don't cost as much as textbooks usually.
  • DrasticDrastic Registered User Posts: 87 Junior Member
    Ok, so I can reduce the textbook amount by 500, maybe? Question, if we bought the books online, can we still resell to the bookstore?

    Again, I don't need to include the transportation cost if I'm not parking on campus right?

    And should I get the SHIP insurance? Is it only 675? Because that may be worth the investment..
  • aurora borealisaurora borealis - Posts: 124 Junior Member
    No, you need the receipt to return it.

    Transportation is in regards to flying to UCLA I think.

    SHIP insurance sucks. It'll keep you alive though.
  • AltemaAltema Registered User Posts: 1,082 Senior Member
    Drastic - read this http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=365391&highlight=SHIP to figure out if you want to waive ship. There are pros and cons int hat thread.

    Transportation could mean driving, but I wouldn't know how they arrive at that amount. Nevertheless, you probably can exclude that since you don't have a car

    And with regards to books, reducing it by 500 is a fair estimate. It depends on what classes you take. Like Aurora said, sometimes you may have a class that uses the book for several semesters. I spent about 700$ on books for last year. The bulk of that cost came from last semester where I had to buy two expensive course readers. So I would venture to say that you could most likely reduce the book cost by 500. You may just end up with some bad luck and have to buy new editions and when that is the case, you won't be able to get much of a discount.

    I recommend that if you buy books online or even from UCLA store, you sell them back online via half.com or whatever place you prefer. I never have bothered to look at UCLA's book rates, but if they are anything like my CC, it's not worth my time. I remember I bought a 129$ book and they were buying it back for like 40$. I later sold it for about 80$. This was at my CC, not UCLA. I have bought some books online for like 120$ and sold them back for $ 100ish (later $90 after commissions and shipping). Online ftw :).
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