How to Get a College Loan for Continuing Education

The cheapest options for a college loan for continuing education are grants and loans from the government. For example, federal loan options, or state funded grants, are often the least expensive choices. However, a person entering a continuing education program may have unique needs, such as high living expenses and tuition expenses. Publicly funded loan options may not address these unique needs as well as private loans which tend to be more flexible. 

Examples of Continuing Education Expenses

Continuing education expenses can encompass any item you need to purchase while attending school; this includes tuition, books, living expenses and time spent away from work. When you go back to school after entering the workforce, you will have more to think about than a full-time student does. You may have rent, a mortgage, a family or a consistent job. Due to these factors, even if you are looking for a program with a low tuition, you can still require large loan limits to account for other needs. Try to keep your loan limits low by only incurring debt for expenses directly related to your education. Cover living or luxury expenses by continuing to work full or part time, and you will have a lower expense moving forward.

Loan Options through a College

Many continuing education programs offer student financing. For example, a training program for a specific computer software may be paid off through monthly installments to the college. You may be able to serve as a teaching aide or in an administrative role at the college to pay a portion of your expense. While these financing options are viable, you should be wary of any school that operates a for-profit student loan business. Often, this is a sign of a continuing education loan scam. The college exists to fuel not only profits through tuition but also through financing. 

Private Loan Options

You can seek a private loan from a bank or other lender, and these loans often accommodate both tuition and living expenses. If you have an income or assets, you are a more attractive borrower to these private lenders than a full-time student without any assets. Consider taking a home equity loan if you own your house. Auto title loans also use collateral in order to keep financing costs low. You may find these private loans offer greater flexibility than other financing programs.

Government Loan Options

Federal loan options are typically more favorable to undergraduate students than to continuing education students because they do not cover living expenses. If you are simply looking for a continuing education class that does not lead to a degree, most federal programs will not be an option for you. You can consider options that are industry-based, however. For example, some state or local governments help discount tuition for students looking to become teachers in areas where they are in need of experts. Math and science teachers are highly desirable in most areas, leading to grants for schooling. The same can be true in a number of community-oriented career training programs.


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