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Applying for Loans "Just in Case?"

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I am attending a public institution so my cost of attendance is not as significant as many others here. I am considering three options:


1. Being very conservative with my money, paying all tuition up front, not taking out loans and supplementing with a part-time job.


2. Applying for a 24 month no interest credit card and putting all food, transportation and random expenses on it with or without taking out some sort of loan, paying back once I finish school.


3. Taking out unnecessary loans for tuition and paying the interest whether I need them or not. Better to waste a few thousand dollars long term if an emergency comes up.


I am attending a school that awards a BS degree, so already having 1 BS and 1 MA degree I am not eligible for any subsidized or perkins loans. So I will be paying interest from day 1. I have saved enough to scrape by for all 2 years of tuition (~17K) and rent for only 1 year (~15k-17k). I do NOT have enough money to coast job free for two years.


I plan on doing some limited part-time work (5-7 hours a week) to pay for food, transportation, etc. I have not factored in the cost of health insurance as I am not sure what I will be eligible for, though it appears to be no less than $300/month.. ugh.. so another $7200).


I know I can get by the next two years without taking out loans for the first year, and will probably take about 10k-15k out for the second just in case. However, since the cost of living in NYC is so expensive I'm wondering if I should just apply for both years and pay the interest as a precautionary measure.


If anything to be safe I would take out loans for next year. I just hate the idea of paying interest on loans if I have the money to pay up front to the school. I've worked my butt off to pay the other 53k in student loans i had from previous undergrad and grad and I don't want to do that over again.


Any thoughts? My total cost of living for 2 years would equal about 60k.

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