Off campus housing can be expensive, particularly when you are living on a student budget. Fortunately, after fully paying your tuition you are able to use any remaining student loan funds however you choose, including your rent. Using your student loans to pay for rent is not difficult but does require planning.
The Funds You Can Use
The good news is that regardless of whether they are government or private loans any funds in addition to tuition or other school payments can be for anything. School loans are typically sent directly to your university, who then deducts tuition and other school-based costs. Any balance is remitted to you, either in the form of a check or a direct deposit to your bank account.
Receipt of these funds can take time, however. It is not uncommon for a bank to be late in making the loan transfer because you will still be able to start classes prior to the school receiving payment. If the bank is late with the original loan, receiving excess funds will also take longer.
Include Your Rent in Your Loans
While you may hesitate to take out loans for anything other than tuition and books, you should include your monthly rent in the amount of loans you request. If you have not chosen your off-campus residence and do not yet know the exact amount of your rent, research the average apartment cost for the area and include that in your loan request.
Consider Taking the Full Amount
Student loans often have a very low interest rate and look good on your credit. If you will be unable to work during the school year you may need all the funds offered by the bank to pay for your bills. Often, student loans are viewed positively by other lending institutions, making it easier for you to be approved for future loans. Because of this, for your peace of mind and future financial security, it may be beneficial for you to take out the full amount of loans available.
Share Your Plans with Your Landlord
Because it may take awhile for you to receive the excess funds from your loans, it is extremely smart for you to notify your landlord in advance that you plan on paying rent using student loans. This does not mean that you should pay multiple months of rent at once as you never know if you will need to move or if other issues will preclude you paying rent.
Informing your landlord that you are going to use student loans to pay for your rent may make him more reasonable should your first payment need to be late because the bank is late in releasing the funds. At the very least, being open and honest with your plans will show your landlord that you are concerned about being a good tenant and paying your rent on time.
After paying for tuition, you can use your student loan payments for any of your bills. Remember that your loan payments may not always be made timely, which can make you late in your other obligations. Factor your rent into the amount of loans you request.