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What Can You Use Student Loan Money For What Can You Use Student Loan Money For


What Can You Use Student Loan Money For

Explore the smart ways to spend your student loan money on various financial needs. From tuition fees to textbooks, discover how to make the most of your finance.

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Student loans play a significant role in helping individuals pursue higher education and achieve their academic goals. Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, loans can provide the necessary funds to cover various education-related expenses. However, it’s important to know how to effectively use your student loan money so that you can maximize its benefits and avoid unnecessary debt.

In this article, we will explore the different ways you can use your student loan money to finance your education and related expenses. From tuition and fees to housing and personal expenses, understanding the permissible uses of your student loan funds can help you make informed decisions and manage your finances responsibly.

It’s important to note that while student loans provide financial assistance, they are still loans that need to be repaid. Therefore, it’s essential to use your funds wisely and only for necessary educational expenses.

So, let’s dive into the various categories of expenses that you can use your student loan money for.


Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are often the largest expenses that student loans help cover. This includes the cost of attending classes, laboratory fees, and other mandatory fees charged by the educational institution. Your student loan funds can be used to pay for both in-state and out-of-state tuition, as well as additional fees such as registration fees, technology fees, and student activity fees.

It’s important to note that tuition and fees can vary greatly depending on the institution and the program of study. Before taking out a student loan, it’s crucial to research and understand the cost of tuition and fees at your chosen educational institution. By doing so, you can accurately determine the amount of loan funding you will need to cover these expenses.

It’s also worth exploring potential opportunities for scholarships, grants, and work-study programs that can help reduce your tuition burden. These options can help supplement your student loan funds and minimize the amount you need to borrow.

When using your student loan money for tuition and fees, it’s important to only borrow the amount that is necessary, keeping in mind that you will need to repay the loan with interest in the future. Be mindful of your future earning potential and choose your loan amount accordingly. Remember, it’s always best to minimize borrowing if possible to avoid excessive debt.

Additionally, it’s essential to maintain good academic standing and progress towards your degree to continue receiving financial aid and student loans. Be sure to understand and meet any requirements, such as maintaining a certain GPA, to ensure ongoing eligibility for financial assistance.


Books and Supplies

Another important expense that student loans can help cover is the cost of books and supplies. Textbooks and course materials can quickly add up, especially when taking multiple classes in a semester. Fortunately, student loan funds can be used to purchase all required textbooks, digital resources, and other necessary supplies for your studies.

When budgeting for books and supplies, it’s important to estimate the costs based on your course syllabi or consult with your professors to get an idea of the materials you will need. Consider purchasing used or rental textbooks, or explore online resources and libraries that may provide access to certain materials at a lower cost.

While it’s tempting to buy brand new textbooks, keep in mind that used or rented books can substantially reduce your expenses. You may also find that some textbooks are available as e-books, which can be a more affordable option.

In addition to textbooks, supplies such as notebooks, pens, calculators, and art materials are also considered eligible expenses. Make a list of the necessary supplies for each class and budget accordingly.

It’s important to stay within your designated budget for books and supplies and prioritize essential items. Avoid unnecessary splurges and be mindful of any available discounts or second-hand options to help stretch your funds further.

Remember, it’s essential to keep receipts and records of your book and supply purchases, as these may be required for financial aid reporting or potential tax deductions in the future.


Room and Board

One of the major expenses that student loans can help cover is the cost of room and board. This includes the cost of housing and meals while you are attending college or university. Depending on your living arrangements, the cost of room and board can vary significantly.

If you choose to live on-campus in a dormitory or student housing, your student loan funds can be used to cover the costs associated with your housing, including rent, meal plans, and utilities. Many educational institutions offer different housing options, ranging from traditional dormitories to apartment-style living. It’s important to consider your preferences, budget, and any additional costs, such as parking fees or laundry expenses.

If you opt for off-campus housing, such as renting an apartment or sharing a house with roommates, your student loan funds can also be used to cover the cost of rent and utilities. However, it’s important to research the local rental market and budget accordingly, taking into account factors such as location, amenities, and potential utility expenses. Remember to factor in additional costs such as internet connection, renters’ insurance, and furniture.

When using your student loan money for room and board, it’s crucial to carefully consider your options and find a balance between affordability and comfort. While it can be tempting to choose luxurious accommodations, it’s important to keep in mind that your overall loan amount will increase, leading to larger repayments in the future.

Additionally, some educational institutions may have specific guidelines or limitations on using student loan funds for off-campus housing. It’s important to consult with your school’s financial aid office to understand any restrictions and ensure compliance with their policies.

Overall, be mindful of your budget and prioritize affordable housing options that meet your needs while minimizing your overall loan debt.



Transportation is another important expense that student loans can help cover. Whether you are commuting from home or need to travel to and from campus, student loan funds can be used to cover various transportation costs.

If you rely on public transportation, such as buses, trains, or subways, your student loan money can be used to purchase transit passes or pay for individual fares. It’s important to consider the frequency of your commute and estimate the cost accordingly. Many educational institutions also offer discounted or subsidized transit options for students, so be sure to explore those opportunities.

If you prefer to drive, your student loan funds can be used to cover the costs associated with car ownership and maintenance. This may include expenses such as gas, parking fees, insurance, and vehicle maintenance. It’s important to calculate the expenses based on your commuting distance, local gas prices, and potential parking fees at your educational institution.

In some cases, students may need to travel long distances to attend college or university, especially if they are pursuing education away from home. Student loans can also be used to cover the costs of airfare or train tickets for long-distance travel.

When using your student loan money for transportation expenses, it’s important to budget carefully and consider cost-effective options. Opt for public transportation whenever feasible and explore carpooling or ride-sharing options to reduce expenses. Additionally, maintaining a reliable mode of transportation is crucial for attending classes and completing your studies, so be sure to allocate sufficient funds for ongoing maintenance and repairs if you own a vehicle.

Remember, it’s important to keep track of your transportation expenses and retain any relevant receipts for reporting purposes or potential tax deductions in the future.


Personal Expenses

Student loans can also be used to cover personal expenses that arise during your time in college or university. These expenses can include a wide range of items and services that are necessary for your well-being and overall college experience.

Personal expenses may encompass items such as clothing, toiletries, and personal care products. It’s important to budget for these essentials and allocate a reasonable amount of your student loan funds to cover these costs.

In addition to basic necessities, personal expenses may also include entertainment and leisure activities. While it’s important to enjoy your college years and have a social life, it’s crucial to be mindful of your budget and spend responsibly. Student loans should primarily be used for educational purposes and essential living expenses.

When it comes to personal expenses, planning and budgeting are key. Take some time to assess your needs and determine a monthly allowance for personal items and recreational activities. By setting limits and sticking to your budget, you can ensure that your student loan money is being used efficiently.

It’s important to note that personal expenses should be reasonable and within the parameters of responsible borrowing. Avoid unnecessary splurges and try to find cost-effective alternatives. For example, consider shopping at thrift stores for clothing or take advantage of student discounts for entertainment or dining out.

Remember, student loans must be repaid, typically with interest. Keeping your personal expenses in check can help you avoid excessive debt and financial strain in the future.

Lastly, it’s a good idea to keep track of your personal expenses and maintain records of your purchases, as this may be useful when managing your budget and for potential financial aid reporting purposes.


Technology and Equipment

As a student in the digital age, having access to technology and necessary equipment is crucial for academic success. Student loans can be used to cover the costs of various technological devices and equipment that you may need for your studies.

One of the primary technology expenses is a laptop or computer. These devices are essential for research, writing papers, and completing online assignments. Student loan funds can be used to purchase a reliable laptop or computer that meets the requirements of your program and supports your academic needs.

In addition to a computer, other technological devices such as printers, scanners, and scientific calculators may also be necessary depending on your field of study. These equipment costs can be included in your student loan budget.

Software and subscriptions may also fall under technology expenses. Certain programs or courses may require specific software or subscriptions for access to necessary tools and resources. Be sure to consider these costs when allocating your student loan funds.

It’s important to carefully research and compare prices when making technology-related purchases. Look for deals, student discounts, or refurbished options to stretch your funds further. Many educational institutions also offer technology support or resources that can help you access required software or equipment at a lower cost.

Lastly, it’s essential to consider the longevity of your technology purchases. Buying quality equipment can ensure that they last throughout your academic program and potentially beyond. This can save you money in the long run by avoiding frequent replacements.

Remember to keep receipts and records of technology and equipment purchases, as they may be required for financial aid reporting or potential tax deductions in the future.


Study Abroad Programs

Studying abroad can be an incredibly enriching and life-changing experience for students. If you are considering participating in a study abroad program, you’ll be glad to know that student loan funds can be used to cover many of the associated expenses.

Studying abroad often involves additional costs beyond regular tuition and fees. These costs can include travel expenses, visa fees, housing abroad, and living expenses in the host country. Student loans can help offset these expenses and make your study abroad dreams a reality.

Prior to applying for a study abroad program, research the estimated costs associated with the program and destination. This will help you determine the additional funding you may need from your student loan. Additionally, consider exploring scholarships or grants specific to study abroad programs, as they can help reduce the financial burden.

It’s important to communicate with your educational institution’s study abroad office or financial aid office to understand any specific guidelines or restrictions for using student loan funds for study abroad programs.

When using your student loan money for studying abroad, it’s important to be mindful of your budget. Consider the cost of living in the host country and plan your expenses accordingly. Look for affordable housing options, utilize public transportation, and seek out cost-effective meal choices.

While studying abroad can be an incredible opportunity, it’s crucial to remember that you are still responsible for repaying your student loans. Be mindful of your loan amount, interest rates, and repayment terms. It’s best to borrow only what you need to cover your study abroad expenses.

Keep records of your study abroad expenses, such as receipts and travel documents, as they may be required for financial aid reporting or potential tax deductions.

Overall, studying abroad can broaden your horizons and provide a unique cultural experience. Utilizing student loan funds responsibly can help make this dream a reality.


Off-Campus Housing

While many students opt for on-campus housing, others may choose to live off-campus in apartments, houses, or shared accommodations. If you decide to pursue off-campus housing, student loan funds can be used to cover the associated costs.

Off-campus housing expenses can include rent, utilities, and other household bills. It’s important to thoroughly research the rental market in your area and budget accordingly. Consider factors such as location, amenities, and proximity to campus.

Before signing a lease for off-campus housing, consult with your financial aid office to understand any restrictions or guidelines on using student loan funds for these expenses. Some educational institutions may have specific allowable amounts or restrictions on off-campus housing expenses.

When searching for off-campus housing options, consider the cost-sharing possibilities of living with roommates. This can help reduce your monthly expenses and allow you to stretch your student loan funds further. Splitting the rent and utilities among several people can significantly lower your housing costs.

In addition to rent and utilities, don’t forget to budget for other expenses associated with off-campus living. This may include groceries, transportation, and internet services. Take these costs into account when determining your overall budget.

It’s important to be cautious and informed when choosing off-campus housing. Research the neighborhood, read the lease agreement carefully, and understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Taking these precautions can help ensure a safe and comfortable living environment.

Remember, student loans are still loans that must be repaid. While off-campus housing can provide independence and flexibility, it’s essential to consider the long-term financial implications. Borrow only what you need to cover your essential living expenses and be mindful of your overall loan repayment obligations.

Keep records of your off-campus housing expenses, such as rental agreements and monthly bills, for future reference and potential financial aid reporting.

Off-campus housing can offer a different experience compared to on-campus living. With smart financial planning, student loan funds can be used wisely to support your living arrangements during your college journey.


Graduation Expenses

Graduation is a significant milestone in your academic journey, and there are various expenses associated with this momentous occasion. Fortunately, student loan funds can be used to cover graduation-related expenses to make your celebration memorable.

One of the primary graduation expenses is the purchase of your cap and gown, along with any additional academic regalia required by your educational institution. These items are often necessary for participating in the graduation ceremony. Student loan funds can be used to cover the cost of purchasing or renting these items.

In addition to cap and gown, there might be expenses for professional graduation photos, graduation announcements, and invitations. These personal touches can help commemorate your achievements and share the exciting news with family and friends. Student loan funds can be allocated towards these expenses as well.

If you plan on hosting a graduation party or gathering, student loan funds can be used to cover the expenses associated with the event. This may include venue rental, food and beverages, decorations, and other party supplies. Be sure to budget carefully and determine an appropriate amount to spend on your celebration.

Travel and accommodation costs may arise if your family and friends need to travel to attend your graduation ceremony. Student loan funds can be used to cover these travel expenses, including airfare, accommodations, and transportation.

It’s important to remember that while graduation expenses can be exciting, they should be kept within a reasonable budget. Avoid excessive spending and prioritize your loan repayment obligations. Consider cost-effective alternatives, such as DIY graduation decorations or sharing graduation announcements digitally.

Plan ahead and set a graduation budget to ensure you can cover all necessary expenses without depleting your student loan funds entirely. Keep track of your graduation-related purchases and retain receipts for potential financial aid reporting or tax purposes.

Graduation is a momentous occasion to celebrate your academic achievements. With responsible planning and usage of student loan funds, you can make this milestone memorable without compromising your financial well-being.


Loan Repayment

After graduation, the next chapter of your student loan journey begins: loan repayment. It’s essential to understand the repayment process and your responsibilities as a borrower.

Repayment plans vary depending on the type of loan you have. Federal loans offer various repayment options, including standard repayment, income-driven repayment, or extended repayment plans. Private loans may have different repayment terms and options, so it’s important to review the terms and conditions of your specific loan.

Once your grace period ends, which is typically six months after graduation, repayment begins. It’s important to create a budget and calculate your monthly loan payment to ensure you’re prepared to make timely payments.

Consider setting up automatic payments to avoid missing any payments and potentially qualify for an interest rate reduction. Many loan servicers offer a lower interest rate as an incentive for enrolling in automatic payments. This can help you save money over the life of your loan.

If you’re experiencing financial hardship and struggling to make your loan payments, explore options such as deferment or forbearance. These options allow you to temporarily postpone or reduce your payments, but interest may continue to accrue. Be sure to reach out to your loan servicer for guidance on eligibility and the application process.

It’s essential to stay in contact with your loan servicer throughout the repayment process. They can provide valuable information about repayment options, loan forgiveness programs, and answer any questions you may have.

If you have multiple loans, consider consolidating or refinancing them to potentially lower your interest rate or simplify your repayment plan. However, be cautious when refinancing federal loans, as you may lose certain benefits and protections.

Remember, making timely payments on your student loans is crucial for maintaining good credit and avoiding late fees or default. If you’re facing financial challenges, proactively communicate with your loan servicer to explore possible solutions and avoid negative consequences.

Finally, prioritize your loan repayment obligations and make them a part of your overall financial plan. By budgeting and managing your expenses wisely, you can ensure that you stay on track and successfully repay your student loans.

Loan repayment may seem overwhelming, but with careful planning and responsible financial management, you can successfully navigate this phase of your student loan journey and work towards becoming debt-free.