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Application and Class Costs: Loan or Credit Card?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by mrmandrake, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. mrmandrake

    mrmandrake 7+ Year Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Hey guys,

    I need some quick advice. Some research opportunities have come up and I decided to quit my part time job to take it. I need about 10k for applications, possible interviews, and living expenses. I could put it on my credit card or possibly take a private loan out. Which one is a better option?

    I am thinking in about 9 months when classes end I can start working again to pay off these debts, but how should I pay for everything now? Thanks guys.

    I know nothing about private loans so any help is appreciated!
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  3. crazydiamond

    crazydiamond Non-trad with 2 kids 2+ Year Member

    May 29, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    As a general rule, the private loans will be better than the credit cards. What you need to do is talk to a lending institution. They will pull your credit report, tell you how much they'll lend you and under what terms (interest rate being the most important). Then compare that to the CCs. . .which undoubtedly have higher interest rates.

    Keep in mind, though, that credit cards and private loans (in most cases, unless you get some specifically for education) will require regular payments. You can't just charge 10 grand and wait 9 mos before paying on it. The credit companies, at least, are going to expect a couple hundred dollars a month. Also remember that even if you don't have to make payments for a while, your interest will be accruing. That 10K will easily be much more once you get a job and start paying on it.

    Is there no way to keep a part-time job during this? Even waiting tables or tending bar on the weekends will go a long way to minimize the amount you need to borrow.
  4. gman33

    gman33 Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    A loan may or may not be better than a CC. It depends on the terms you can get. You may also be able to get a CC with a 0% interest on balance transfers for a limited time. This may help out. Make sure you have some funds to make payments. The teaser rate will go away if you are late even once.

    Why are you quitting your job? Maybe you can just cut back your hours and continue to bring in some $$$.

    Also, I checked out your mdapps. I'd think about not applying to most if not all of the "group 3" schools. Your overall GPA is too low to be competitive. Add in some more less competitive schools.

  5. mrmandrake

    mrmandrake 7+ Year Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Thanks for the advice guys. I would need to leave my job if I took this research because they only need me on weekends and the research happens to be on weekends too.

    I am thinking of ways I can continue working through all of this though since you guys seem to agree that bringing in some $$ is important.

    The group 1, 2, and 3 schools were just schools I was thinking about. The list of schools under "awaiting secondary" are the schools that I am actually applying to. I am probably going to end up staying away from the group 3 schools since I already have 25 schools on my list.

    Thanks guys!
  6. pdlaw2000

    pdlaw2000 P.P.P.P.P.P 2+ Year Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Ok, so your choice is credit card or student loan? I am just giving my opinion, which is what I currently do for a living, but it is a point of view that is often given after it is too late.

    Remember, student loans are often treated very differently than credit cards in the law:

    Student loans often do not have a statute of limitations.
    Student loans are generally not dischargeable in Bankruptcy.
    If it is a federal student loan, they can take your tax returns (federal) Holders of student loans generally do not negotiated with interest or balance later on if there are financial troubles.

    Most of the above does not apply to credit cards, and of course these are only points of concern if you experience financial trouble, which can be caused by a lot of things like unexpected doubling of the price of gas, a natural disaster like hurricane, flood, fire, tornado, etc... or an illness suffered by you or a family member. There are more, but we all know what types of things can happen.

    I only am offering my opinion because like I said, most of the time, I am giving it after the fact, after a person experiences financial trouble and find themselves in hot water with their creditors, and by then it is too late.

    Remember, hope for the best but plan for the worst. No one foresees the events that most affect their lives and if they do, they usually turn a blind eye to it.

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