Many financial institutions offer a student line of credit or bank loans. A student line of credit is designed to give you access to a maximum amount of money (e.g. $5,000), and you would be allowed to withdraw money as you need it. You pay interest only on the money you withdraw. There are a couple of drawbacks with these types of loans:
- You have to start paying interest right away. This is unlike the government student loans, where the interest is paid for you until you are done school.
- You often have to have a co-signer before you can take out these loans. This could be your parents or another guardian. This person is responsible for paying back the loan if you cannot.
Shop around at different banks. Find the one that offers the best package for you.
Ask for a detailed explanation of the loan terms—make sure you understand everything.
Always negotiate the terms of your loan and try to get the interest rate lower than what the institution originally offers.