How to Get an Emergency Student Loan

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Kristen Kuchar

By Kristen Kuchar

January 8, 2020

College students can receive an emergency student loan in the event of an unforeseen disaster – a death in the family, loss of job, accident, auto repairs, unexpected loss of funds or a natural disaster.

Many colleges offer the opportunity for currently enrolled students in good standing to receive a short-term emergency loan if they are experiencing a financial hardship. Usually these loans are less than $1,000 and are for a short duration, such as 60 days or until the end of the academic term. There could be an administrative fee, but there usually isn’t any interest fees associated with the loan.

 How to Get an Emergency Student Loan

  • Document your emergency needs for extra aid, since your college will want to see proof. 
  • Contact your financial aid office or student life office to see what is required to receive an emergency student loan and how the process works. Besides loans, you can see if your college offers emergency grants or scholarships, vouchers for meals or bookstore purchases or a bus pass.
  • Check if you have any remaining federal loan eligibility you can use. The financial aid office will know whether you’ve reached the loan limits. 
  • Submit all required application and paperwork for your loan. In addition to funds from the college, the financial aid office may also be able to connect you with third party sources of emergency assistance. 

How to Get Money in an Emergency in College

Try to post-pone or lower your bills. Call every bill you have to see how you can reduce your monthly payment.

Borrow a private student loan. A private student loan may require a cosigner, especially if you don’t have a steady income or a solid credit history. If you do qualify, a private loan will accrue interest. Credible allows you to compare rates from multiple lenders at the same time to make the process so quickly. 

Earn cash fast. Sell your unwanted stuff to make extra money. Explore ways to make extra money, such as tutoring, getting a part-time job or babysitting. 

Apply for a student credit card. You want to do everything you can to avoid tacking on credit card debt in college. But if you’ve exhausted your other options, it may be the solution. Pursue a credit card that offers an introductory interest rate of 0% on purchases for six months. Examples include, The Discover it Student Cash Back card, Discover it Student Chrome and Citi Rewards+ Student Card. This way, you can pay off your balance before it starts accruing interest.

Appeal for more financial aid. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to qualify for an adjustment to your financial aid package. You can appeal for more financial aid in the middle of the academic year, not just when initially applying for financial aid. Some of the more common justifications for a mid-year appeal include death of a parent or other wage-earner and job loss.

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