Getting Loans

The idea of taking out loans can seem intimidating or counterproductive. But there are plenty of times when loans can come in handy. We’re not talking mortgage size loans here – loans don’t have to be for large amounts and they don’t have to be for tuition payments. Read on to learn how and when to use loans, and what may be the best options for you!

What is a loan, and why get one?

A loan is a way to get a sum of money, which you will be required to pay back later. Loans have interest rates and terms, meaning that you will eventually pay back in a certain timeframe (called amortization period) more than you originally borrowed. Different types of loans have different interest rates and different timelines for repayment.

Loans have interest rates, meaning that you will eventually pay back more than you originally borrowed.

Often, we consider loans solely in the context of paying tuition. And while loans can be helpful for that, small loans can also be helpful for other things. Say you need to spend a lot of money all at once — perhaps you are moving, or need to fix a vehicle — but because you get paid monthly, you do not have that much cash on hand. A loan might then be a good way to get that money together, knowing that as you get paid over the next few months, you will have the funds to pay back the loan. 

What type of loan should I get?

As a Yale student, there are three types of loans you can consider: a federal loan, a Yale loan, or a private loan.

Federal student loans are given by the federal government, and often have low interest rates. If you have demonstrated financial need, you may qualify for a subsidized loan, which charges no interest for the duration of your time as a student. If you do not demonstrate financial need or you have exhausted your subsidized loan, you can still get an unsubsidized loan, which has a fixed interest rate lower than most loans.

Yale loans can be applied for through the Yale financial aid office. Yale’s financial aid is meant to cover 100% of the cost of tuition using grants, so without any need for loans. Some students may want to use loans to cover the Student Share of their financial aid package or you may just need a few hundred dollars to cover an unexpected expense. Should you wish to do so, you may apply for a loan through the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid — see the office’s website for more information!

Private loans come from banks, credit unions, or individuals, rather than the federal government. These are an option if you do not qualify for or have already used federal and Yale loans. Interest rates and repayment plans vary greatly depending on the lender — make sure to do your research first and find a loan with a low interest rate.

Before you take out a loan, make sure you fully understand the repayment terms, and then make a personal plan as to how you are going to pay back a loan. Always know that you can repay the loan before you take one out.

Check out some of the resources in our database below to search for loans, and see more advice as to how to pick the right loan plan for you.


Loan Resources

Topics: Loans; Student Loans | Featured Resource

The Financial Aid Office at Yale offers several loan options for students. There's also advice here for parents/guardians. Don't forget: loans don't have to be big! Yale offers loan options for small amounts too.

Topics: Budgeting; Earning; Loans; Saving; Spending; Taxes | Featured Resource

LIT is a financial education program that teaches students how to manage their money while in school and prepare for financial life after graduation. Over the course of ~80 videos, LIT guides students through seven major personal finance topics: Money Mindset, Cash Flow & Net Worth, Credit & Loans, Taxes, Insurance, Investing, and Retirement.

Topics: Loans; Student Loans | Featured Resource

So you or someone you love has been accepted to college. Congratulations! Now it's time to decide how to pay for it. Here's how to get a student loan that works for you — and, eventually, pay it back.

Topics: Financial Aid; Grants, Fellowships, and Awards; Loans; Student Loans | Featured Resource

Going to college has a ton of benefits — it’s fun, educational and can lead to a roughly $30,000 annual earnings premium for people who graduate with bachelor’s degrees. But it is also undeniably expensive.

Topics: Loans; Student Loans | Featured Resource

Whether you just graduated, are taking a break from school, or have already started repaying your student loans, these tips will help you keep your student loan debt under control.

Topics: Budgeting; Earning; Emergencies; Employment; Financial Aid; Grants, Fellowships, and Awards; Investing; Loans; Saving; Spending; Student Loans; Taxes

Looking to get some money for summer travel? Cant figure out how to fill out that annoying financial doc? Or just looking for some pro tips on financial wellness? We have you covered. This page is full of amazing resources, curated and written by folks who's primary interest is your financial well being. Click on any of the campus resources below to learn more

Topics: Budgeting; Earning; Loans; Saving

This multi-page guide will provide suggestions made by peers for how to approach your finances so that you can minimize your stress and maximize your academic success.

Topics: Loans; Student Loans

Taking out a loan for the first time? This site gives an easy, quick overview of Student Loans. A student loan is money that you borrow for college and pay back with interest. These college loans help pay for tuition, books, room and board, and other education-related costs.

Topics: Budgeting; Loans

Nerds make even the most complicated money questions and topics simple to understand. Helpful tools: Side-by-side comparisons, smart calculators and straightforward simulators help you make sense of your options.

Topics: Banking; Budgeting; Loans; Saving; Spending

A personal finance website covering broad range of topics such as credit cards, loans, financial planning, insurance and mortgages.

Topics: Loans; Student Loans

Whether you just graduated, are taking a break from school, or have already started repaying your student loans, these tips will help you keep your student loan debt under control.

Topics: Loans; Student Loans

Are you trying to figure out if a student loan is bad or good? In reality, all loans can be both but managing your debt carefully is important.