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when the school budget is not enough...

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lemoncurry

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So, even after submitting a budget increase request to my school, I was not approved for the whole amount that I requested, which is not going to be enough to support my family and myself.

My understanding is that gradPLUS loans can only go as high as your budgeted amount. right?

If that is the case, and I need more than the budgeted amount, should I just forego the gradPLUS loan altogether and just go for a private loan to cover the amount I need?

Or would it be better for me to get the gradPLUS loan for as much as I can because the terms are better, and then get the private loan for the rest?

I'm thinking SallieMae...
 

TMP-SMX

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In general most private loans are also only up to the cost of attendance. So unless you can increase your CoA there isn't much you can do for student loans.
 

loved

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I thought that GradPlus loans covered up to CoA, and that private loans go above and beyond that, which agrees with what lemoncurry said.

lemoncurry, I think that you should max out your GradPlus loans before dipping into private mainly because the interest on private loans is variable. also, GradPlus loans are backed by the federal government and may have different terms (e.g. death/disability, deferment options, capitalization frequency, loan repayment options).

if you are worried about the hassle of possibly dealing with 3 different loan types, I don't think it would be a problem, especially if you keep the same lender for all 3 (or even just 2) or if you are meticulous in keeping everything in order.

good luck!
 
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TMP-SMX

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In most cases it is Private loan amount=CoA-other aid. That other aid could be grad plus, stafford, perkins grants, or scholarships. So like I said before most people will be hard pressed if they can't get their CoA increased and in many cases private loans should be avoided entirely in lieu of grad plus.
 

lemoncurry

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dang, you're right. At least SallieMae's loans are all limited by the CoA. This sucks.

I've been operating under false assumptions all this time. Are there any sort of private loans that operate like student loans but go above the CoA?
 

rgerwin

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There are several lenders for direct to consumer loans. But, your school needs to partcipate, and you'll need a credit score above 650, at this point. That's actually becoming more true even for regular private loans. Above 675 would be even better. If you go with this option, and you forsee needing extra money in the future, you might want to consider taking the full amount now for later. Take the gradplus. It'll be easier to consolidate later. It may seem that the interest rate is higher, but that's just for now, and most people don't qualify for the really low-rate private loans anyway. They end up being teasers. The last thing you want is sitting on thousands of dollars at 14%.
 
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