Hundreds of colleges operate emergency loan programs to help students at their school. The money is available to pay for a wide range of living expenses that the student may be faced with, ranging from their rent to textbooks, school supplies, and other critical bills. Many of the loans available have very low interest rates, or they may even be interest free.
The assistance is available from both universities of all sizes. Smaller colleges, such as Howard University offer loan programs. But many of the nation's largest school's also provide this form of financing to assist students, such as the University of Texas and many others. One key objective is to keep students away from pricier forms of borrowing, namely payday lenders or relying on a credit card to pay their bills. More examples of the universities are below, however it is always a good idea to call a financial aid office to make an inquiry.
Since there are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of schools that provide short term, emergency loans, the criteria vary widely. Some of the general conditions set by a college may be as follows. Also, the student will always need to be enrolled into a minimum of classes or credit hours to apply.
Amount to borrow – There will usually be a minimum as well as maximum dollar amount issued. It can range from $50 to up to $2000. Many colleges will set dollar limits based on whether there is a co-signor or if the student has a job or not. There was also usually be a general fund created by the university each year, and once the money has been exhausted no further loans will be issued for that particular academic year.
Processing time frame – The goal is to get the cash to the borrower in as little time as possible. Provided the college approved the application on the first go around, money may be issued in as little as 3 business days. Colleges want the student to get the cash in as short a time-frame as possible, as this will therefore help the crisis be resolved.
Loan repayment terms – Any type of funds issued are for a short term emergencies. The money will need to generally be repaid in 30 to 90 days. There will be a coupon book given out, or the payments can be made using an online system.
The terms will be set in the promissory note that is signed by the borrower. Students can usually make payments using cashier’s check, cash, electronic payment systems such as PayPal, money orders, or dozens of other methods. The goal is to provide as many options as possible to make payments on the short term loan.
Uses of funds – The loans can cover many different expenses, other than tuition. Universities will usually allow money to go to housing costs, such as rent or utility bills. Often times a student needs short term cash to buy a textbook or to pay for a lab work while they are waiting on a paycheck from a job, and money can be used for that. Other uses of an emergency loan may be for car repairs, a medical bill, and much more.
Budgeting and counseling – Any loan issued by a university will usually come with mandatory counseling. Colleges will have staff on site to meet with the student to stress the important of budgeting. They will also review various alternatives to payday loans, stress employment, the dangers of credit cards, and other financial matters.
Collection policies for these temporary loans – The money does need to be repaid within guidelines. Any student borrower needs to understand this. They do not get a break because of their age, income or the fact they are going to college. If payments are not made, then there may be a denial of future financial aid and the delinquent loan may also be given to a collection agency for pursuit.
A large percentage of colleges have these types of programs. Students should always make an inquiry. Some of the schools include the list below.
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