Before getting a student loan, it is important to understand that you should only borrow for the cost of attendance including your tuition, lab fees, books, and any living expenses you will have throughout the year. Of course this amount should be lowered by any other financial assistance you will receive. If you have been awarded a grant or scholarship, you should be able to lower your loan amount by the amount that has been awarded to you.
Often, the school you want to attend figures the cost of attendance for a wide range of students and they don't take into consideration any grants or scholarships when publishing this dollar amount. You may not need to borrow as much as the school says you will due to your circumstances. Borrowing less money now lowers your financial obligations in the future when it's time to start paying back the loan.
If you find you need more money than your school allows to cover the cost of attendance, you can make an appeal to have it re-evaluated. However, the amount you are asking for cannot go over the amount that federal regulations has established as a maximum amount to be borrowed.
If you are completely financing your education with student loans, be sure to check into how much the borrowing restrictions are for your lender. The federal government places restrictions on borrowing amounts yearly and for the total amount you can borrow during your education. Make sure you evaluate the terms for each loan you will take on for the yearly and total restrictions.
Take a close look at the financial commitments you currently have and honestly assess your current financial status. Doing this before you enter school can let you have a better understanding of where you are at in your current finances. After school, you will be responsible for any of the student loans you have taken and any prior debt that you had as well.
Now take a moment to consider what your realistic future income will be. Do some job market research online for the areas you plan on living after you attain your degree. Your future income pays a big part in how much student loan debt you will be able to pay back after you leave school. Taking this into consideration before getting a student loan will help you to determine alternative payment plans to assist you with making your payments early in your career.