Paying for college can be difficult enough without having to deal with bad credit. Your credit history can affect how much loan money you may receive. If you have bad credit and no cosigner, your best bet is to apply for federal student aid. Most federal loans are based on financial need and do not require a cosigner or credit check.
If you have good credit but no cosigner visit this page to get started
Most students are eligible for some type of federal aid regardless of income and whether or not they have a cosigner. To qualify for federal student aid, you must meet a few requirements.
According to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website, basic eligibility requires you to:
- demonstrate some kind of financial need;
- be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen;
- have a valid Social Security Number;
- be registered with Selective Services, if you are a male;
(Most males must be registered to receive federal student aid. Males must register if they are not on active duty in the United States armed forces. Register online at www.sss.gov)
- be enrolled as a regular student;
- be enrolled at least half time for Direct Loans;
- maintain good grades in college;
- have a high school diploma or GED.
Note: Students with criminal convictions who are incarcerated have limited availability to federal student aid. Once released, you can apply for student aid. If you are on probation or parole, you may apply for federal financial aid, but your options may be limited.
Federal Loans offer many benefits to people with bad credit and no cosigner compared to private loans, including
- lower interest rates;
- no cosigner;
- no credit check;
- flexible repayment plans;
- interest-free loans;
- the possibility of loan forgiveness.
Federal Loan ProgramsDirect Loans
Direct Loansare the largest federal student loan program. With these types of loans, the lender is the United States Department of Education. There are four types of Direct Loan Programs.
- Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. They are slightly better than Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The Department of Education pays interest on this loan while you are in school.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate, graduate and professional students regardless of need. You are responsible to pay interest on this loan.
- Direct Plus Loans are available to graduate and professional students and parents of students. It may be difficult to qualify with bad credit history.
- Direct Consolidation Loans allow you to combine your federal student loans into a single loan and make a single payment.
Federal Perkins Loans
If you can demonstrate exceptional financial need, you may qualify for a Federal Perkins Loan. The school is the lender on this type of loan. Not all colleges offer Federal Perkins Loans.
The first step to receiving federal student aid is to apply online. Visit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website to begin. Pay attention to all deadlines. Priority is given to students who apply by March 1 of each year, so start the application early.
If you have bad credit, a federal student loan is the best way to get a student loan without having a cosigner. So, what are you waiting for? Watch this short video to help you get started right now.