Going to college is a stressful time.
Not only you have to worry about getting into the college of your dreams, but you might also wonder how you’re going to afford tuition.
Unless you have a college fund, you might require student loans to finance your education.
What happens when you have to request student loans without cosigner help?
It might be difficult, but it’s not impossible.
Before You Request, Consider This
Before you begin your student loan search, it’s important you consider your budget and what your options are.
How Are You Planning on Paying for College?
Are your parents going to help you pay for college, or will you be responsible for paying back the loans?
If you’ll be a freshman in college, discuss with your parents before you begin talking to institutions.
The financial state of you and your parents could determine whether or not you need to request student loans without cosigner help.
If they have some money saved up or you have a potential scholarship, you might not have to depend on a loan.
On the flip side, if you’re going to grad school or you don’t have financial help from your parents, you might need to explore student loans without cosigner help.
How Will You Pay It Back?
It’s easy to request a student loan without thinking about paying it back because re-payment might seem so far away. After all, you’re going to college and will get a good job.
This is true, but there is still a 2.5 percent unemployment rate among college graduates. You should always keep a statistic like that in the back of your mind.
Consider the average starting salary for your field of work, and how much you’re expected to earn over time.
Match up your earning to how much you should borrow. If it’s a lot of money on the line, student loans without cosigner help might be your only option. Not many people are willing to cosign a large amount.
Be Realistic about What You Can Afford
Always be realistic about what you can afford. It won’t do you any good to spend money at a university that is beyond your financial possibilities.
If you don’t have the prospects of financial aid or scholarships, it might not be worth taking out a large loan.
Do Your Research
The best you can to in this scenario is do your research and educate yourself.
What institutions are you considering attending? Do they offer scholarships? Can you get financial assistance from a family member?
If your only option is a student loan, do your research on what’s out there. Are you qualified for student loans without cosigner help?
Don’t Be Blindsided by Monthly Payments
Student loans often give you the option to repay once you’re out of school and have a job. This is a tempting deal.
However, the last thing you want to do is be blindsided by high payments you can’t afford.
Before requesting a loan, ask the provider what your expected payment will be.
Federal Financial Aid and Loans
If you will require student loans without cosigner help, Federal aid might be the best option.
The U.S. Government Department of Education has federal loan programs for students who don’t require an established credit history.
However, note that there are limits on how much you can borrow a year when you qualify for student loans.
Dependent undergraduate students can borrow up to $5,500 a year. Independent students can borrow up to $9,500 a year.
Start Your FAFSA Request
The first step you need to take is to start your Free Application for Federal Aid or FAFSA. In fact, many colleges might require you to fill out this request.
Before jumping straight away into giving you loans, with FAFSA the government can determine your financial needs. You might qualify for federal grants and scholarships depending on your income and that of your parents.
If what you qualify for in grants and scholarships isn’t enough, then you will be offered federal loans.
There a few types of federal student loans without cosigner help you can qualify for.
The Stafford loan is available in two types for undergraduate and graduate students.
Subsidized Stafford loans offer interest benefits and are given based on need. Students who qualify for this loan will not have to pay interests while they are in school and during their deferment period.
Unsubsidized Stafford loans don’t require you to have financial needs. They’re given to students when they submit their FAFSA even if their family doesn’t qualify for aid.
Students do have to pay for the interest accrued while they’re in school and during their deferment period.
The latest interest on the unsubsidized Stafford loan was 4.45 percent for undergraduates and 6 percent for graduate students.
The Perkins loan is not available in every institution, so students should research their options before considering it.
It’s offered to students who seek to obtain a higher degree.
Candidates must demonstrate financial need in order to qualify for this type of loan.
If your parents will be responsible for paying for your education, this loan might be the right one for you.
To qualify, the students must be enrolled in a higher education institution. They must also study at least part-time in order to participate in this program.
Out of all the Federal loans, Plus loans have the highest interest rate, which is 7 percent. This number is still low compared to private loans.
Although there’s not a credit check required to qualify for this loan, parents must also not have a delinquent credit history.
If you meet any of the Federal loan requirements, you can obtain student loans without cosigner help.
Private Student Loans
If Federal loans are not enough, you always have the option to request private student loans.
Many banks and other financial institutions offer these loans. Unlike federal loans, they have several more requirements.
The conditions vary from institution to institution, but most of them are straightforward. Students must:
- Must have a good credit history
- Meet the income requirements
- Be a U.S. citizen
Depending on the lender, you might be able to put down collateral to make it easier to obtain a student loan.
The first requirement is enough to discourage people from requesting these loans. If you don’t have a credit score of at least 660, you might not be able to qualify for student loans without cosigner help.
Not having the necessary credit requirements and requesting without a co-signer might result in high interest. Getting a loan without a co-signer often results in interest rates well above 10 percent.
Build Your Credit before You Request
When you have to request student loans without cosigner help, it’s recommended to take steps towards building your credit.
It might seem impossible to do so when you’re young and don’t have a long credit history. But it can be done. All it takes is some planning.
If You’re Under 21
If you’re under 21 or even a high school student about to go to college, chances are you know very little about how to establish your credit history.
It might seem like a good option to request a credit card, but most banks won’t give it to you unless they know you can afford to pay the bill.
It’s never too early to begin establishing your credit history. You can get a credit card with the help of a co-signer, or by having your parents or a qualifying adult add you as an authorized user on their card.
21 or Older
If you’re over 21 and don’t have a strong credit history (which is very common for people of this age), you can request a secure credit card.
It starts with you putting down a deposit like $500. This becomes your credit limit.
Use it to make small purchases you can pay off at the end of the month, such as your cell phone bill or trips to the grocery store.
Once creditors see you’re paying off the bills, you’ll begin to see positive changes in your credit score.
Know Your Credit Score
If you’re thinking of requesting student loans without cosigner help, then you need to know what your credit score is.
Once you know your credit score, you’ll be able to get a better handle on your credit and finances.
Several organizations offer services that track your credit score each month. These requests will give you the option to set up scenarios that will help determine if your credit score would go up or down based on how much of your debt you pay off.
Understand Your Credit Score
Once you know what your credit score is, you need to understand what it says about your credit.
Obtain a copy of your credit report at least six months before you request student loans.
This report will give you a break down that will determine what factors might make your unattractive to potential lenders.
Knowing what those factors are will help you take matters into your hands. This way, you can improve your credit before requesting loans.
If requesting student loans without cosigner help is not an option, or if you’re having trouble finding loans, there are a few options available.
Grants and Scholarships
We touched a bit on qualifying for federal grants based on need, but these are not the only ones available.
There are many organizations that offer scholarships for students in need. However, you’ll have to conduct extensive research and know where to look.
This is free money you can use towards your education. Plus, you don’t have to pay back, which will be worth the hassle if you’re looking for a bit extra help.
Work and Save While You’re in School
This might not be an attractive option if you want to use all of your free time to study.
However, it might be a great way to finance some of your added expenses, such as books, cost of living, and other materials so you don’t have to borrow extra money.
Some schools offer work-study programs that are flexible and work around your class schedule.
Go online and do some research. Compare the different programs and ask questions.
Going to college, in general, it’s not cheap. However, some organizations are more affordable than others.
Some students opt for enrolling in a community college for two years before transferring to a four-year university. The average cost of a community college is $3,000 a year compared to $36,000 for private universities.
Public universities are also a great alternative to private universities because they average about $9,000 a year.
If you’re requesting student loans without cosigner help, a more affordable institution might make it possible for you.
Employer Tuition Reimbursement
Some companies offer tuition reimbursement for their employees as part of their benefits package.
In some cases, they will only reimburse your tuition if your degree relates to the field of work you’re doing.
However, this isn’t always the case. Some companies offer tuition assistance for their part-time employees, no matter the field.
You’ll have to do your research and find these companies. Also, ask your current employer if they offer a similar program.
Student Loans without Cosigner Help: Are They Right for You?
It is possible to qualify for student loans without cosigner help, but it might take a few more steps.
To facilitate the process, start your research early. Request FAFSA, understand your credit score, and consider all of your possibilities.
Don’t let yourself get discouraged.
If you enjoyed these tips and would like to learn more ways to improve your finances and borrow responsibly, visit our blog!