Using loans to help buy a mac.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Berius, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Berius macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2011
    I hope to get a 2011 15" high end pro before school starts in January. (Starting a quarter later.) I was just notified I could get 5.5k in fafsa loans but needed to take the rest out in parent plus loans.

    I can pay most of the cost but will be short about $500. Is it possible that i can buy it before school starts or do i have to wait until the end of the quarter when they send out the refund checks?

    Has anyone here done this?
  2. chrono1081, Oct 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2011

    chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    What you do with the money is your decision, but I will say this:

    - Remember you always have to pay back loans.
    - If you don't need top of the line, don't get it, get something less pricey.
    - A computer for college is a legitimate school expense but I would seriously just try and pay cash for it if possible instead of putting it on loan money.

    That loan money looks attractive, but it'll bite you in the ass once you graduate with a hefty interest rate.
  3. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    it is your money, so i hate to step in and quash your goal here, but i would definitely not be buying a mac with loan money. as much as i love macs, there is a time and a place for them. for most people (depending on your field of study), a 300 dollar or less netbook will perform spectacularly well. i know from experience, because this is what i used for the first couple years of my graduate degree. as much as i love my ipad (most of my work done here) and my macbook pro, i still use the netbook for some stuff. during my undergraduate years, i didn't even have a computer.

    seriously, i spent a year out of university paying off student loans, and i really didn't have that much. i have friends and relatives who still have tens of thousands of dollars hanging over their heads years later. businesses are suffering, benefits and pay is going down, but they can't quit and look for other work elsewhere, because they are buried under loans. okay. enough of my so-called advice.
  4. gpat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    Why do you need a 15" Pro? If you use your computer for web browsing and word processing, just get a netbook and use it as a free man, instead of getting skinned alive by loaners.
  5. Berius thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2011
    The 15" is tempting but i could likely get by with a 13". Then I could just update my desktop CPU for very demanding tasks. Would cost less but I could buy the macbook pro 13" cash now and then save up a bit of cash for the desktop upgrade later on.
  6. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    1100 vs. 300. why are you doing this? i am quite pleased with my macbook, and prefer it over windows, but if i were strapped for cash (depending on my field of study), i'd definitely be getting a netbook.

    like i said, as an undergrad i had no computer. most campuses are well-supplied with computers. a netbook is more than enough for most students.
  7. philipt42 macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2009
    I sympathize with you big time, but unless you have any special need for the 15" 2011 MBP, you could get a cheaper MBP or even a MB for an affordable price. (on a side note, this is exactly why I'm getting mine this year, before I leave for school!)
  8. amoda macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2006
    Get a used 09/10 13" MBP. Depending on your major it'll likely be able to do everything you need for school but at a much lower price tag.
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    OP what will you be studying in school? Maybe we can make some suggestions for your configuration.
  10. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    yep. get the device that meets your needs and your means. that would be my advice.
  11. ibuyufo macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2007
    It's a loan so technically it's not even your money. The thing with loans is that they tend to hang over your shoulders and at the end of the loan, unless you pay it off all at once, is that it'll end up costing you more. I would never buy something like a computer with a loan. A run of the mill notebook running windows can do things just as well and it's much, much cheaper! Think really hard what this macbook pro worth to you and what you will be using it for.
  12. Michael383, Oct 8, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011

    Michael383 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2011
    I'd advise aganist a loan to get your Mac. Try to find something available within your budget.
  13. plumosa macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2007
    Student loans suck. Try to take the least amount out as possible! Macs are great, but you probably don't need one as a student.

    If I read your original post correctly, you'd only have to take 500 of your student loan to pay for the MBP? If so, perhaps you could just save up an additional 500 before school starts and be able to pay for it in cash?

    Also, I believe that the MBP would be refreshed between now and then so that's another thing to consider, as well as refurbished MBPs because they are just as good as new.

    One thing is for certain, student loans do not get dispersed until school has already started and in some cases, at least a couple of weeks into class.

    Please think very carefully about what you really NEED and try not to overestimate your ability to pay back a loan, these are lean times we live in...
  14. tears2040 macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2010
    Let me put my $0.02 in here.....

    If you can buy anything cash, then do it. Now if you NEED a computer then you need to think wisely. A 13" MBP for $900-1000 used will be able to do almost anything you need to while you are in school.

    Second student loans are really not that bad compared to a best buy credit card or any comparable credit card which charges a lot more interest. I am currently going to school and used my VA Benefits to basically pay for 80% of my schooling. I tool out an additional 6k in student loans just for personal things since I basically went to school for free.

    Now NO it's not the best thing, but it was a lot better then getting that money from a credit card. In a sense I would say unless you NEED to take out that money do not do it. With a month or two of hard work you could save up that money and buy your MBP cash and you would appreciate it a lot more.
  15. MacHamster68, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    only a fool buy's on a loan things that can lose value and break
  16. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    If you have to use a loan to buy a Mac, chances are you don't really need one. Buy a $500 windows laptop.
  17. Xypheric macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2011
    While I completely agree with the opinions of most the people. If you are using it for web browsing and basic text editing, try and save up and consider a cheaper laptop.

    On the other hand, I'm putting myself through school and my program requires a specific level of macbook pro. Unfortunately, that had to be taken out in loans for me, since like I said, I'm trying to pay for school on my own.

    So use wisdom!
  18. wackymacky macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2007
    38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W
    It took me aprox 10 years to pay off my student loans (which ended up well over 100k) despite having a six figure income for the last few years.

    Debt is very easy to get into, but a pain in the arse to get out of. Really take people's advice about not borrowing more that you need. And it ten time you'll hopefully be in a position that you can buy what you want without thinking about in too much.
  19. thebluepointe macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2011
    A loan for a house or a car, I can understand. For a laptop? No. Why pay high interest on a device that will be out of date long before you pay it off? Save your money...find a trust worthy family member or friend if you have money saving difficulties. Give the amount you were planning on making toward monthly payments. By the time you've saved enough for your Mac, Apple will have come out with the next big thing and you'll be staring at a kick-ass new laptop, not an outdated laptop and heap of debt.
  20. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    This sounds like a good idea. Or maybe even the 11" Macbook Air for $999. It will hold its resale value pretty well so you could use it for a while and then sell it, if you have saved the money to do that.
  21. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I agree. That is to say buy what you can afford now. Don't waste a Parent Plus loan or even part of your FAFSA loan on a computer. Student loans are the worst kind of credit. Depending on your situation, they can even be worse than credit card debt for your credit score. If you need the money for tuition, by all means get the loan. But don't use a student loan for anything but tuition and books.

    This is something the for profit colleges tend to abuse. They suggest students use loans for all sorts of things and they often graduate with crushing debt for stuff it turns out they didn't need nearly as much as they needed a degree from a fully accredited institution.

    If all you can afford is a netbook, then hold your nose and use the netbook until you graduate. The 13 in MBP will probably hold value even better than the 11 in MBA because it is more upgradeable. The 13 in MBP is available for $999 at Microcenter and even if you don't have a MC nearby, you can get pretty close to that pricing with education discounts.
  22. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    Like most everyone else is saying, it's not a good idea to use a loan to buy a computer. Either, buy a netbook, or if you have to have a Mac get an older used one cheaply. It's nice to have your own computer in college, but most colleges have enough computer labs that it's not really even necessary.
  23. interrobang macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2011
    I don't agree with people suggesting a netbook to save money. Using a netbook as a sole computer could be a serious drain on productivity, depending on your coursework. But a 15" Macbook Pro is almost certainly overkill for a student in any field.
  24. boriscolombia macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2009
    Do what you want.

    My logic is this, if you are already getting loans for school what is $1500-2500 more? I say get it, you are the one that will pay for it, with a nice computer you'll be happy to do HW and take notes and stuff, I am a college student, I used the remaining of my loan to buy my 2011 MBP 13", and I love it, there is huge difference between a crapy windows computer and a nice MBP.
  25. palpatine, Oct 17, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011

    palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    It depends on your coursework, of course, but as a grad student in the humanities who spent a couple years with one, i'd say a netbook is just fine. in fact, i still use it on occasion for software osx cannot do. i love it, and a new version of it would cost around 300 dollars. So, you could get a brand new one every year and still pay less than you would for a macbook pro 13". Plus, you get double the battery life, and a fraction of the weight.

    Don't get me wrong. I love my MBP. But, I have no loans and a much larger budget.

    That is one way to look at it. But, like I said, you could get a netbook (far from crappy, in my opinion) for under 300. So, that's 5-8 computers. Heck, you could buy one for every member of your family! In some places (where I went to school), that same money would be 6-10 months of rent (sharing a two-bedroom duplex or apartment with someone).

    Not only that, but 1500 at X amount of interest spread over a decade or more is a lot of money. I can't even imagine contemplating such a waste of valuable resources. There is a time and a place for purchases, and going into debt for a Mac seems like a very poor decision to me.

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