Car Loan before Law School?

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
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Car Loan before Law School?

Postby OrcinusOrcas » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:52 pm

Hey guys/gals.

The Situation:
I'll be going to USD this fall and saving a bunch of money by living with family. One issue: I need a new vehicle. I'll be doing a 25 minute commute by freeway every day. I currently have a truck that is 2 breaths away from dying; my significant other is a mechanic, so I'm sure on this. We can keep it running for a few more months, but the transmission is on its way out and would cost more to repair than the truck is worth. You get the picture---it's a dinosaur.

So I'm looking at getting a "Hey, it works and should last about 3 more years!" vehicle. Nothing fancy or special. Bare minimum, I'll need $2-6k in loan money to get a car before this summer. I have good credit, so that's not an issue.

The Question:
Should I wait until after I sign my law school loans to try and get a car loan, or get a car loan beforehand? Does it make a difference to lenders? I've never purchased a vehicle, so I'm unfamiliar with how generous these lenders are for vehicle loans. Will I be violating any rules by using some of my law school cost-of-living loan reimbursement to make monthly payments on a vehicle loan?
Sorry if this is naive/dumb, but I'm wondering if anyone has done something similar and has some insight.


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Re: Car Loan before Law School?

Postby twopoodles » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:13 pm

The rules specify that loan money cannot be used to buy a car. As for making payments, I've simply been told the budget is not designed to cover car loans.

As for which to do first, getting a car loan is a lot harder than a student loan. Even if you think both will be easy, I would do the car first, before the student loan throws off your debt to income ratio horribly. Besides, if you wait until after you get the student loan, I would think you'd be testing the vagueness of the rules more than if you had it before.

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Re: Car Loan before Law School?

Postby wreckem » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:56 am

Get the loan now. And while technically car payments/maintainence do not fall under the personal expenses/transportation allocations the likelyhood of an audit is next to none or zero if you work a little bit at all during the year.

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Re: Car Loan before Law School?

Postby reverendt » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:11 am

Get the car now unless you have really good, established credit.

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Re: Car Loan before lawl skool?

Postby zeth006 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:08 am

Car loan now. I'm no expert on the matter, but I would think if you get the car under your name and/or cosign it with your parents, it'll make you look less like a wealthy person and more eligible for aid.

Off topic: Got any empty rooms in your house for a freeloader? :lol:

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