Financial Aid Services provides short-term loans for students in need
It seems like the college experience wouldn’t be complete without being strapped for cash at one point or another. Whether it’s for books or rent, students could use some quick cash sometimes.
That is where Humboldt State’s Student Financial Services comes in. Many students don’t know that this department offers interest-free, short-term loans of up to $500 for currently enrolled students.
Recently, Director of Financial Aid Services Peggy Metzger and Manager of Student Financial Services Sandy Wieckowski explained the details that students need in order to determine if a short-term loan is a viable option.
Who is eligible?
To qualify for a short-term loan, you must be enrolled in at least one regular unit for the current term. The unit requirement cannot be met with Extended Education, College of E-Learning or Open University courses.
If you have a balance with the University, you will need to meet with staff and make a plan to pay that balance before you can be considered for a short-term loan. You must also have a clear plan for paying back the loan, such as an upcoming paycheck or a Financial Aid disbursement for the current term.
“A lot of times it’s a stop-gap when financial aid hasn’t disbursed yet and it won’t for a little bit, and so the financial aid will then pay [the loan],” Metzger explained.
What can you get a loan for?
Loans are available for any school-related expenses, including living expenses. Students have been known to request short-term loans for help with rent, car expenses, traveling home, technology or textbooks, according to Wieckowski.
How long do you have to pay it back?
The term for one of these loans is ten weeks. You can make payments within those ten weeks either online or in person at the Cashier, Wieckowski said. Making regular payments is the best option for students who rely on paychecks.For students who take out a loan before their Financial Aid is disbursed, their Financial Aid award will automatically be applied to their balance.
If you are approaching your due date and know you can’t pay the full balance on time, you can go into the office and request a four-week extension. During this visit, staff are able to work with you to plan how to pay this loan and budget for the semester.
What if school is almost out?
Student Financial Services is open 12 months a year, according to Wieckowski. This means that even if you apply at the end of the semester, once approved, you have the same ten weeks to pay the loan back and the option to request a four-week extension in person.
You can also request a short-term loan before the semester. Metzger said that the bulk of the applications for short-term loans are received right before the semester when Financial Aid awards haven’t been disbursed.
“We want to have some type of financial counseling when [loans and extensions] come up,” Wieckowski explains.
In order to prevent students from entering the cycle of taking out loans to pay off other loans, Wieckowski and her staff can help you look for ways to cut down your expenses and budget for school.
For more information, please visit or call:
Student Financial Services
SBS #257 (across from Financial Aid)
www.humboldt.edu/studentfinancial (under HSU Short-Term Loan Policy)