What are some good student loan companies or other options for paying the costs of tuition?
January 13, 2010 5:02 PM   Subscribe

What are some good student loan companies or other options for paying the costs of tuition for a student who is scrambling last minute to pay education bills?

I just found out that my usual student loan company (Citi) will only cover a fraction of this semester's tuition due to my maxing out the amount that they will usually give to any one borrower over the past 4 years. The loan appeared to be routine up until now, so my dire financial situation is very last minute (tuition is due this week), and I'm scrambling to cover the costs of my last semester of college. I graduate (if I can scrape up the funds) this May, so my goal is tantalizingly close.

Do any of you have any experience with good student loan companies that have relatively short application processes and, to your knowledge, no cap on student loan debt for their borrowers? I'm starting to despair a little here, so any other suggestions besides another loan company would also be immensely welcome. I'm going to throw myself at the mercy of the financial aid office tomorrow morning and, unfortunately, do not have any swells among my ranks of friends and relatives who can help me out.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
posted by DeusExMegana to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you filled out the fasfa? I typically feel just about as clueless as you when something goes awry with financial aid, so I feel your pain.

Even if you don't qualify for grants, you will almost always qualify for federal loans. I have terrible credit, and make too much money to qualify for grants, so federal loans are pretty much my only option.

Once you fill it out, I think there is a two-week processing period, but they're pretty quick to get the funds through after that. I think I filled it out very-last-minute one year and managed to not have to drop my classes. Find out if your school has any late-payment deadlines. I know my school lets you pay up to a few weeks after classes have started, you just have to pay some late fees. Also, even if you don't have your tax forms yet, you can fill it out and estimate your annual income based on what it was last year.

Do that tonight! It's relatively quick and painless, and you don't have to accept the funds (or you can repay them) if you find another option.
posted by a.steele at 5:23 PM on January 13, 2010

Have you called your financial aid office yet or checked their website? They might offer a payment plan.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:31 PM on January 13, 2010

Totally call your Financial Aid office -- even if they don't offer a payment plan, they will have options for you -- it's their job. Most schools won't let you not finish because you don't have the cash.
posted by SoftRain at 5:39 PM on January 13, 2010

Call financial aid. Also try sallie mae or access group. As far as I know they don't have a limit - between the two I've borrowed over $150K for undergrad and law school.
posted by melissasaurus at 5:48 PM on January 13, 2010

Best answer: I ran into a funds situation my final semester of college. I took out a SELF loan and had excellent luck with that. Had the funds very fast and it's been pretty simple to pay off. When you call your school's financial aid office see if they can point you towards a SELF loan program.
posted by geekchic at 6:00 PM on January 13, 2010

Why are you getting a private loan instead of a Stafford Direct federal loan?

Anyhow, nthing calling or visiting your school's financial aid office. This is a very busy week for them, so you'll have the best luck reaching someone by showing up EARLY and waiting in line for a drop-in appointment.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:20 PM on January 13, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! Your answers are all very helpful.

Unfortunately, I've already filled out FAFSA and taken out a Stafford loan. The bill I'm dealing with is after scholarships/ grants/ federal loans. I exhausted all possible aid options before taking out loans, but I'm going to talk to the financial aid office this morning anyway to see if there's anything I missed.
posted by DeusExMegana at 4:55 AM on January 14, 2010

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