Borrow Only What You Need - Iowa College Access Network - ICAN

Borrow Only What You Need

Just because your award letter gives you a certain loan amount, that doesn't mean you have to go out and get a loan for that much. Instead, consider:

  • An in-school budget.
    • What are your actual expenses and income? Use a calculator to find out.
    • Can you cut back on expenses? How about sharing expenses with roommates?
    • Is there a way to increase your income?
  • Your actual expenses.
    • Can your work earnings pay for some of the expenses calculated in the cost of attendance?
    • Will your parents give you money to pay for part of your expenses?
    • Are supplies, books and materials available more cheaply online or at secondhand shops?
  • Life after college.
    • Estimate the total amount you'll borrow before you graduate and what the monthly payments will be once you start repayment.
    • Will you be able to afford the monthly loan payments?
  • Starting salaries in your career field.


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