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College Loans: How Much Do You Really Need?

Written by: Jill Dow

Many students are leaving high school to begin the long endeavor of college. But before YOU go to college, you may find yourself wondering how you're going to pay for it. The answer is with a college loan. Most college students obtain student loans, but how do you figure out how much you really need for your college expenses? There are many aspects to consider.

The first part of determining how much you need for a student loan is to figure out how much the cost of your schooling will be each year. First, figure out the cost of your tuition. Next, figure the cost of books, lab supplies, and school supplies. Finally, figure out the cost of your room and board. Once you have each expense tallied, add the cost of up for 1 year.

The second thing you should determine is personal needs. This includes: food, transportation, unexpected expenses, car insurance, medical insurance, etc. Be sure that you always figure in a little extra because unexpected things can arise, and prices always tend to go up. Then add all of this together for the amount it would cost for 1 year.

You've now figured the cost for a year, but it's best to get the college loan for the entire time you are to be at school. Most college loans are offered this way. Your credit score and your debt to income ratio determine college loan amounts. Loans will not be given for high amounts if the lender doesn't think you'll make enough to pay the monthly loan payment.

Now that you know how much it's going to cost you to go to school and survive, you need to see if you will have any other type of income coming in. If you are working a part time job, you may not need the loan for the total amount. Do remember, that each month you will have to make a payment for the loan. Make sure that whatever your income is, that it is enough to make your monthly loan payment and any interest incurred. Pay attention to your debt to income ratio. If you don't make enough money to pay the monthly payment, you will have to take out a smaller student loan.

You can go online to get help determining what you really need to pay for college. Check out our college loan calculator resources at http://www.collegeloanresource.com/collegeloancalculator/ or, you can sit down with a piece of paper and figure it with some help from family or loved ones. Take your time and don't forget to include everything. College can be very expensive. It is best to calculate the expenses right the first time.
About the Author

For extensive information on college loans, the various loan types available, college loan calculators and more visit http://www.collegeloanresource.com

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