Where is the money?

where is the money?My daughter is a junior at a state university and decided to live off campus this year. We sat down and wrote out what living on the campus costs versus living off campus and saw that there was a substantial savings. Sharing the rent with three other girls, they signed a yearly lease that began last June 2008 and will continue to this June 2009.

When I received the tuition bill this year, I was quite surprised to see grants that were never given in previous years. But then as my husband’s business is competing against companies who continue to use cheap labor to lower their bids and are causing a downturn in the industry, his salary has been affected. He has not been able to raise his pricing for the past five years and last year was no exception. Not to mention my yearly salary that has been flat for the past three years. So grants are good, and this year my daughter was given subsidized loans through her school and this just about covered the tuition except for $298. That amount I was overjoyed to write a check for.

All that is left is rent and living expenses. And, I learned quickly, that federal government loans (PLUS loans) were not available to us for this expense. Suddenly I felt a cringe in my gut…where will we get the money for these expenses? As luck would have it, my credit union began offering Line of Credit Education loans that would be available to my daughter (although I would repay). The good part is, too, these loans do not mature (repayment does not start until six months after graduation. The bad news is, this type of loan will only pay for her rent and books – not utilities, food and other incidental expenses. To make the credit union pay the rent, we needed to supply the lease she signed and provide receipts of all the books she has purchased. The total amount of the loan is not allocated to us in one lump sum but given out as the expenses occur.

I could not find any federal college lending institution that would loan me the funds I needed to pay for all the rest of the expenses. In the end, I applied for a personal loan to pay for these additional costs. This loan was given in a lump sum, and I am hoping that this loan will cover not only this year but next year as well. And, hopefully graduation…


Tuition and Bills