As students, there are times at the start and end of each semester when there could be a gap in your finances before the student loans kick in or the scholarship payout comes. However, you still need to cover your expenses or prepare for the next semester’s classes by purchasing books and other supplies. You just need that little something extra to get you through until you are back to your regular financial stability.

Luckily, there are options for you to cover your gap in financial stability, so you don’t have to live off of packaged noodles and saltines. When looking at these different financing options, don’t forget to do your due diligence and find the best fit for you and your personal financial needs.

Payday Loans

Payday loans, sometimes called a cash advance, could be done through a simple online process and could be a great option for students with little or no credit or assets to use as collateral. No faxing payday loans are typically from $100 to $1000 with a short-term repayment period, such as 14 days or one month.

Pawn Shop Loans

If you have an Xbox lying around that you don’t play very much or some other high-value items, you may want to consider using those items to get a pawn shop loan. Most pawn shop loans average $150 and last 30 days but can be extended with a written agreement with the shop.

A pawn shop loan is an attractive option if you don’t have any credit and do not have access to a co-signer for a more traditional loan.

Credit Card Cash Advances

If you are already working with a credit card company, you might be familiar with what your creditor provides regarding cash advances; you will often see this as a line item on your monthly statement. Credit card cash advances will have a different interest rate than a standard purchase on your card, and there are limits to the amount of cash you can pull based on your limit and company policies. Often these credit card advances can be completed at a local bank or big box stores; just check for their capability before you go.

Personal Expense Loans

There are two types of personal expense loans, secured and unsecured, and both are typically offered through online and local lenders. Applying for these loans is more detailed and requires more paperwork than payday loans and credit card cash advances. However, they offer the opportunity to build your credit and larger dollar amounts.

Secured Loans

Secured loans are a type of personal loan expense loan that requires some collateral to obtain the funds; this could be a paid-for car, a house, a four-wheeler or another large vehicle, or a hold on a savings account. If you default on this type of loan, the bank will exercise its right to repossess the offered collateral to make the difference.

Unsecured Loans

In an unsecured personal expense loan, the lender operates with the assumption that you will make good on your promise of paying back your loan. These loans typically have a higher interest rate and a higher monthly payment. When the lender funds the loan, they will require you to sign a promissory note that states the framework of the loan and the rights both you and the lender have when entering into the contract. Again, this type of loan is great for helping you build credit and if you need a higher dollar amount to get you financially stable.

Title Loans

A title loan is for those students who have access to their car title. The loan amount is based on the vehicle’s value, and typically, you can drive your car while you are paying the loan back.

Self-service Short-Term Loans

Some universities have seen a need with their students to provide these short-term loans to their students to get them from semester to semester. They are now offering these short-term loans that can be added to the student’s overall debt with the school. When the student’s normal funding kicks, it will pay off this additional debt. However, this can be dangerous for every student who decides to participate in this loan because this shorts their funding for that semester and causes a bigger gap when the next semester rolls around.


Again, when choosing a short-term solution to a cash shortfall, do your homework to determine the best product or service that will meet your needs while slowly working towards your goals and becoming financially independent.