I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.See all posts Frank Gogol
Student Loans for Apartments
If you are an immigrant in the U.S. and are exploring cost-effective accommodation options, this article is for you. Here, we will have a closer look at the benefits of living off-campus, along with the various ways through which you can get accommodations on rent.
Why Living Off-Campus is a Better Option?
Staying in the dorm is usually seen as a part of the whole experience of being a college student. However, a very small percentage of students actually do this. International students or those who are immigrants in the US prefer to secure lodgings off-campus.
The biggest reason is that college dorms are very expensive and quite difficult for immigrant students to afford. If you are able to arrange a place off-campus, you will actually be able to cut down on many unnecessary costs as well. For example, you will not need to pay for the college meal plan as you can cook, avoiding extra expenses and wastage.
Can Student Loans be Used to Pay Rent?
Since the costs of a dorm in colleges are quite high and it might include other avoidable costs, students can use their loans to rent an apartment off-campus. However, before you do so, you should consider the overall expenses and exactly how your loans will be able to cover them.
How to Use Student Loans to Rent an Apartment?
Depending upon the type of loan, the loan amount will either be disbursed to you directly or it will go to your college from where you will receive the funds after the tuition costs have been subtracted.
The steps to secure a student loan and use it to lease an apartment, especially for an immigrant student, are given below.
Apply for a loan that will benefit you the most. If you decide on a federal loan, then fill out a Free Application form which will be available with your college’s financial aid office. You can opt for a private student loan but that might have higher interest rates.
Review the loan award letter carefully after receiving it. Decide which loans will pay for the living and tuition costs and select them. Make sure that the loan covers all your apartment rent and other associated costs completely.
Search for an appropriate apartment once the loan is disbursed. Fill out a rental application form at the leasing office and provide all the details about your student loan.
Sign the agreement to secure the lease and make all the necessary payments. Make sure you pay the rent on time so that you do not have to deal with any fines. You can put your loan money in a separate account so that you do not accidentally use it for other expenses.
Best Student Loans for Apartments
International students or immigrants studying in US colleges are often confused about which loans to apply for. If you are one such student who is having difficulty in choosing a loan, take a look at the following options.
Stilt offers student loans to immigrant or international students at very low-interest rates, all you need to have is a valid visa. Stilt will take your current employment status, education, financial stability, defaults or bankruptcies, and credit score into consideration when you apply.
If you need to secure small, accidentally, then Lending Point is a good option. They will make sure that the payments are within your budget and there will be no prepayment penalty involved.
If you have a good credit score, Avant could prove to be an ideal option to secure loans. All you need to do is choose the suitable loan option, sign the agreement, and the money will be transferred to your account the very next business day!
Ways to Improve Your Chances of Renting without Much Income
Most apartments or residential complexes have certain prerequisites regarding the financial status of the tenants but there are places that you can rent on your student loans.
Five such places which are affordable and much better than your cramped on-campus living spaces are:
Opt for a private home rather than a complex
If you rent a private home, you can avoid dealing with any processes involved with the property management companies. These companies have numerous strict policies regarding their tenants. Therefore, going to someone owning a private home will allow you to explain your situation and they will probably agree to negotiations about the rent.
Ask someone to cosign with you
Sometimes you might find an apartment that you cannot rent on your own. If such an issue arises, then you can ask a friend or a family member to sign the lease with you. They will have to simply sign the lease and do not have to necessarily move with you. However, if you fail to pay the rent, then the co-signer will have to make the payment.
Make a larger rental deposit
Most homeowners will be willing to rent their place if you are able to pay more upfront. This ensures a large rental/security deposit. If you decide to do this, then consider your other expenses to figure out if you can really afford to make this commitment.
Get a roommate
The best way to reduce costs is to find yourself a roommate. You can rent the apartment in your name and then ask someone to move in. If you have a roommate with whom you can share the overall living costs, then the whole amount will be significantly less.
Sublet your apartment
Here, the apartment is leased to one person in their name and then the tenant rents it out to someone else. When you sublet a person’s apartment, instead of paying the landlord or the landlady, you will be paying the lessee. Subletting is actually a good option for students as there are no strict policies that can disqualify them as a potential tenant. Also, the apartments are usually sublet for less than a year which goes very well with the college terms.
Most international students or immigrants living in the US and attending colleges choose to go with student loans. While these loans pay for tuition, they will also cover living costs (as discussed above). It is highly recommended to use the loans properly by creating and sticking to a budget to stay on top of their expenditure.