I am wondering if it’s a good or bad idea to take out a personal loan of maybe $5000 or so in order to prepare for a possible bad second wave of coronavirus this fall/winter? A bit about my situation: I’m a college student heading into my final year before I graduate and start the software engineer job that I’ve already accepted and am starting next summer. Next may/June I will be 100% financially stable and have a sizeable cash bonus with my first paycheck that I can use to pay off debts. My worry is about running out of cash this school year and having to work some kind of risky job like shelf stocking or something at a grocery store.
I’m going to start the school year with about $16k-17k in my checking/savings and $5k in a Roth IRA. My rent will be $650/month from September to May. My parents will be able to help me out here and there but they aren’t super financially stable right now and I don’t want to impose on them as much as possible. A loan of $5000 will be able to cover like 90% of my housing costs and then I can have like $1600 per month for food, house supplies etc.. I should also mention that I expect to have some online freelance work during the school year that might amount to $1k-2k but I can’t rely on that 100% to come through and I am expecting maybe $2k-3k on my tax return next tax season which I usually file for ASAP so I’ll get the return in early February probably.
Is this reasonable? Should I consider taking out more or less. I’d rather err on the side of being overly paranoid and overly prepared for something bad happening and then realizing that everything worked out ok and be saddled with some debt than being underprepared and sacrificing my health and safety in order to afford food and housing.