Most young people that are seeking student loans while having bad credit turn to Mom and/or Dad to talk about cosigning on a loan. Some prospective students, however, do not have anyone in their lives with a sterling credit rating and are thus unable to find a cosigner that can help.
Fortunately, there are several ways that a person can get student loans with bad credit and no cosigner. Even students with no parents to enlist as cosigners can count on Uncle Sam for help.
Federal Help for Students with Bad Credit
Thankfully, the federal government still believes that a college education should be possible for just about anyone with the requisite grades. The government proves that belief by participating in several programs that can award student loans to people with bad credit, even without a cosigner.
Here is a brief guide to navigating the path to obtaining a student loan:
Fill out the FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will open all kinds of doors for you. Many schools take the numbers generated by the FAFSA very seriously when they consider student aid packages. Some will even minimize the amount that you need to take out via bad credit loans as they tap into various grant and scholarship funds.
The FAFSA will require an hour or two of your time and your parents’, as information such as student income, parental income and assets, and family size yield the magic number: the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Many schools will try to fill in the gap between the EFC and a year’s tuition and fees bill. Schools do this by drawing on grants, aid and loans to help you pay for college. The first source of credit is…
Check out Stafford Loans
Students with the greatest need qualify for subsidized Stafford Loans, which means that no interest is charged as long as you are in school, and low rates apply upon graduation. Stafford Loans have proven to be a lifesaver for many, as have been ….
Perkins Loans if you have No Cosigner
These loans are also subsidized and available to students in families that earn incomes of about $25,000 or less in a given year. Loan amounts up to $4,000 can be granted in this program, with a maximum of $20,000 for an entire undergraduate career. Perkins Loans for grad students can be up to $6,000/year. These loans are well known for their 5% interest rate that does not begin until nine months after graduation.
Private Student loans
The last resort for students with poor credit and no cosigner. These will usually only be awarded if you have a well-paying job while in school (not very common) and are willing to pay a high interest rate.
In many cases, this means going through an online lender, some of which are legitimate, others which are not. All such online lenders offer only high interest rates, but if they are the only source that you can turn to, you will have to accept their terms after checking out their rating with the Better Business Bureau. Be on the look-out particularly for loan agreements that state that the interest rate can be raised at any time. It is best to avoid such predatory lenders.