How to Get Emergency Student Loans Quickly
Unexpected school related expenses can come up. This article breaks down some options you may have.
For planned expenses, traditional student loans and other sources of financial aid and income can provide for your needs. But in the event of unexpected expenses, a job loss, a death in the family or some other emergency, the traditional options may not always be available.
The good news is that emergency student loans are available to help you cover your immediate financial needs. If you need quick student loans, here's what you need to know.
Where to Find Emergency Student Loans
There are a handful of places you can find instant loans for students in the event of an emergency. Here are some options to consider.
Your College or University
Most colleges and universities offer emergency student loans with no cosigner required. Before you sign the dotted line, though, it's important to read the fine print.
For starters, these loans are typically much smaller than traditional student loans, and the amounts can vary from school to school. For example, Georgia Tech offers up to $1,500, while the University of Oregon maxes out at $300.
Many of these loans are interest-free, but that's not always the case. Also, interest or not, many of these loans come with a small processing fee, which can be a flat rate of a percentage of the loan amount, so check the terms before you sign the dotted line.
Finally, getting student loan advance cash this way usually requires quick repayment, typically within two or three months, so make sure you have the means to pay off the debt.
When you apply for an institutional emergency loan, your college will consider your application and determine if you qualify. Eligibility requirements can vary by school, but to give you an idea of what to expect, the University of Houston requires the following:
- Enrolled in at least six hours
- Have no past-due short-term loans currently or on your record
- Have no returned checks currently or on your record
- Have no financial stops on your student account
- Have no delinquent university debts
Federal Student Loans
If you received an offer for federal student loans and didn't accept the full amount, you can change your mind and request to receive unused student loan funds. You can typically do this by logging in to your student account with your college or university and visiting the financial aid section.
Alternatively, you could call or visit your school's financial aid office and request help directly.
This option can be convenient because you've already been approved for the loans, so it's simply a matter of transferring the funds to your bank account. While it may not be a same-day student loan, the process can go quickly.
Depending on how much you've already borrowed and the limit, though, you may be limited on how much you can receive. If you're an undergraduate, you can get up to $7,500 per year as a dependent student or $12,500 per year as an independent student, depending on your year in school.
If you're a graduate student, though, you can get up to $20,500 per year with Direct Unsubsidized Loans and up to the cost of attendance with Direct PLUS Loans.
Getting an emergency student loan can be trickier with a private lender than through your school or the federal student loan program. But if you need more money than what those options can provide, the private student loan can be just what you need.
The catch is that some private lenders recommend you submit your application a month or even longer before you need the money. With Juno, students and parents have been able to get loans in as little time as two weeks.
Another potential issue with private student loans is that it can be challenging to find a low interest rate, especially if you're an undergraduate student without a cosigner. While approval isn't guaranteed, Juno negotiates interest rates with lenders on your behalf, so they're competing for your business and not the other way around. Juno offers its negotiated lowest private student loan rates year-round, including during the school year.
Before you apply for a private student loan, consider asking a parent or even someone else to cosign your application to improve your odds of getting the money you need with favorable terms.
Other Ways to Get Emergency Money Fast
Depending on your situation, you may have other options available to you to get the money you need. Here are some alternatives to student loans to consider:
- Credit cards: If you have good credit, you may be able to get a credit card with an introductory 0% APR promotion. In many cases, these promotions can last a year or longer. Be wary of using credit cards with such a promotion, however. The average credit card interest rate is 16.30%, according to the Federal Reserve.
- Personal loans: There are personal loans available for borrowers across the credit spectrum, so you don't have to worry about having a stellar credit history to get approved. However, personal loans for bad and fair credit come with interest rates upwards of 20% or even 30%.
- Friends and family: If possible, consider asking friends and family members for financial assistance. This may not always be possible, but it can be a cost-effective way to get the funds you need. Just be sure to draw up an agreement for repayment so the loan doesn't damage your relationship.
- Nonprofit organizations: There may be local community organizations where you live that can offer assistance with rent, utilities, food and other necessities in your time of need.
Regardless of where you go to get emergency assistance, it's best to avoid payday loans, auto title loans and other predatory lending options that charge exorbitant interest and fees.
The Bottom Line
If you're looking for emergency financial assistance, there are plenty of options available. Whether it's emergency student loans or some other alternative, take your time to consider your options to determine the best fit for you and your needs.
Juno can help you to find a student loan or refinance a loan at the most competitive possible rate. We get groups of buyers together and negotiate on their behalf with lenders to save them money on private student loans and private student loan refinance loans.
Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer based in Salt Lake City, UT. He loves helping people better understand their finances. When he's not traveling, Ben enjoys spending time with his kids, hiking, and watching films. His work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, MarketWatch, Fox Business, and many other publications.
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