How to Apply for Student Loans for Books and Supplies

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Student Loans for Books and Supplies

Pursuing higher education is an exciting new chapter, but it often comes with financial challenges. Besides paying tuition fees, you also need to cover the costs of textbooks and supplies for your classes. You could apply for a student loan to cover these expenses. Read on to find out more about how you can use student loans for books and supplies.

Can you get student loans for books and supplies?

You can get a student loan to pay for your books, course materials, and other school supplies. The loans can help you with all the costs of education, not just tuition. The main aim of student loans is to ease the financial burden of pursuing higher education. School materials you can purchase with student loans include:

  • Textbooks
  • Notebooks
  • Pens, pencils, and highlighters
  • Binders and folders
  • Calculators
  • Art supplies
  • Lab equipment
  • Laptops 
  • Backpack

Why should you consider getting student loans for books and supplies?

With a student loan for books and supplies, you can focus on your studies without stressing about education expenses. Student loans also give you a chance to build a positive credit history by making regular, on-time payments. Paying on time shows that you’re responsible with money and you could qualify for other affordable loans in the future. If you miss payments, you could negatively impact your credit score and end up paying more in interest rates and fees on the loan. 

MoneyLion is here to help you navigate choosing a loan for your education expenses.  MoneyLion offers a service to help you find personal loan offers based on the info you provide.  You can get matched with offers for up to $50,000 from our top providers. You can compare rates, terms, and fees from different lenders and choose the best offer for you. You can also use the loan funds to pay off other existing debts.

How to apply for student loans for books and supplies

The first step to getting a federal college loan is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Access the official Federal Student Aid (FSA) website and create an FSA ID, which serves as your electronic signature. Fill out the application form with accurate information about your finances and education plans. 

Once you submit it, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) in a few days, which summarizes the details you provided. Take time to review the SAR for accuracy and make necessary corrections if required. The colleges you listed on FAFSA will use this information to determine your eligibility for various forms of federal student aid. If approved, you’ll receive an award letter detailing the types and amounts of aid available to you. If you are eligible 10 days before the term begins and have leftover funds, you should have access to them in time to buy books and supplies.

You could also apply for private loans from private lenders. Financial institutions like banks or credit unions offer loans to pay for educational expenses like books and supplies. Each lender has a separate application process so doing your research, comparing lenders and choosing the right option for you is important. 

Other Alternatives to student loans for books and supplies

Undergraduate student loans are a convenient and affordable option to support your college expenses. But you may not qualify for a large enough loan. Here are financial alternatives to ensure you still have access to the necessary materials for your studies.

Apply for scholarships, grants or work-study programs

Scholarships and grants don’t require repayment. They are usually awarded based on academic performance, talent, community involvement, and other criteria set by the providers. With work-study programs, you will have the opportunity to earn money while gaining valuable work experience during your studies. These alternatives can help you avoid taking on unnecessary debt and make your college journey more financially manageable. You can apply for as many relevant opportunities as possible, but pay attention to the application requirements and deadlines.

Maximize library resources

Using the resources provided by your school library can help reduce the costs associated with school books and supplies. College libraries offer a wide range of academic materials, including textbooks and reference books that you can use for free. Many libraries also provide digital resources and e-books that provide convenient access to materials.

Find part-time jobs

Working while studying allows you to earn money to pay for essential educational materials. Check with your college’s job center or career services for on-campus job listings. On-campus opportunities like working at the library or bookstore provide flexible hours, making it easy to manage both work and studies. Many local businesses also hire students, so check out places like restaurants or stores near your school.

You may also consider looking for online jobs in areas that you are talented at or are passionate about. Virtual tutoring, virtual assistant, content creation, and other online jobs give you a chance to work from the comfort of your home or dorm. Part-time jobs aren’t just about the money; they also teach essential skills like time management and teamwork, which can be useful in your future opportunities. 

Borrow from family and friends

Borrowing money from family and friends can be a real lifesaver when you need help with books and supplies. The best part is, they might not charge you interest, which makes it a budget-friendly option. It’s also more flexible because they understand your situation and can offer a repayment plan that suits you. You should treat this borrowing seriously, just like any other loan. Be clear about the terms of repayment and stick to your agreement. Even though it’s from people close to you, honoring your commitment shows respect and helps maintain strong relationships.

Student loan refinancing

Refinancing involves taking out a new loan to pay off the existing student loan, often with a lower interest rate and better terms. By refinancing, you can potentially save money on your monthly payments, freeing up additional funds that can be used to purchase necessary books and supplies for their educational needs. It provides an opportunity to better manage the financial burden of student loans. Before deciding to refinance, it is important for you to carefully consider the terms of the new loan. 

PRO TIP! Refinancing your student loans could help you break free of debt and help your financial future.

Responsible Use of Student Loans

Covering the expenses of books and supplies can be a real challenge for students. Student loan funds give you the chance to focus on your studies without the constant financial stress. The loans offer flexible terms, making them accessible to many students. Note that misusing student loan money can lead to unnecessary debt and financial hardships later on. So remember to use the funds solely for educational expenses and manage them wisely.


Are there any limits to how much you can borrow for books and supplies?

There are limits to how much you can borrow for books and supplies. The limit depends on the type of loan or financial aid program you use. For federal student loans, the limits depend on your level of study and whether you’re dependent or independent.

What happens if you don’t spend all the money from your student loan on books and supplies?

If you don’t spend all the money from your student loan on books and supplies, you should use the remaining funds for educational purposes. Using the money on unnecessary expenses can lead to more debt and difficulty in repaying the loan.

Are there repercussions if you misuse your student loan funds?

Yes, there are consequences if you misuse your student loan funds. If you misuse the money, you might lose the chance to get financial aid in the future.

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