Are you concerned that there aren’t student loans for adults?
Going to school as an adult can be daunting. You’re a bit older and wiser than your classmates, and being in an academic environment again can be a shock.
Almost 31% of students are adult or non-traditional students. You’re not alone, but you do have a lot to be worried about. How will you fit in with your classmates? How will you balance life, work, and school?
The last thing you want to be concerned about is financing your education.
Fortunately, there are plenty of financing options if you’re an adult looking to get ahead on your education.
Keep reading to learn about what your student loan options are.
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What Is Your Situation?
It’s common for people to think that there no student loans for adults.
That’s not true, but to determine the right loans for you, you need to assess your situation.
The first thing to know is what kind of degree you’re working towards. If you plan to pursue an undergraduate degree, there are more opportunities available than if you plan to pursue a graduate degree.
As an adult learner, you’re considered a non-traditional student.
Your current income may also be a factor in eligibility for some grants and scholarships as well. That may leave student loans as your only option.
Grants & Scholarships
This is the first place you should look to finance your education. As an undergraduate student, there are a lot of scholarship and grant options available.
You may qualify for a Federal Pell Grant or a Federal Work Study Program.
If you want to start a career in teaching, you have additional options. There’s a $4000 TEACH Grant and you’re eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.
On the downside, there is no guarantee that you’ll earn a scholarship. Plus, the odds are that the scholarship isn’t enough to cover all of your expenses.
You will have to invest a considerable amount of time to request the grants and scholarships, plus you’ll have to win multiple awards to pay for the entire cost of school.
To start researching potential scholarships and grants, think of every organization you belong to. Also, remember that there may be opportunities in your field of study.
If there’s any other affinity group that you have belonged to, write all of those down. They are potential options.
Next, look up options on FastWeb and check with your state and local organizations. For example, the Elks Club is a national organization with local chapters that offer scholarships.
You will also need to fill out a FAFSA form, which is necessary for federal grants and student loans.
Federal loans are usually the first option for student loans. Once you’ve filled out your FAFSA form, you can request. There are several types of student loans for adults from the federal government.
A couple of terms to know are subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The difference is in the amount of interest that accumulates while you’re in school.
With a subsidized loan, the government pays the interest on your loan while you’re in school. The government also pays interest if you have to defer your loan or go into forbearance due to financial hardship.
You’re responsible for paying all of the interest accumulated on unsubsidized loans.
This is important to remember because your loan can explode with interest if you take a long time to repay your loans, or you are in school for a number of years.
You can usually get a federal loan regardless of your income or credit score.
When you fill out the FAFSA form and request a loan, you’ll receive your student loan options from your school.
They will lay out the terms, interest rate, and whether or not the loans are subsidized. You can decide if you want to accept the loan offer or not.
Private Student Loans
If you don’t want to go through the federal government for a loan, private lenders are another option for non-traditional students.
Loans with private lenders to require you to have a way to pay it back. That means you need to have a certain amount of income.
You’ll also need an excellent credit score to avoid paying a high interest rate. If you have bad credit, you may not be eligible for a loan at all.
Leverage Current Assets
Are you a homeowner? You can leverage your home and get a refinance loan or an equity line of credit to pay for your education.
With a home equity loan, you may be able to deduct interest on the first $100,000 borrowed from your taxes. Of course, check with a tax or financial professional to see if that’s a good option for you before you do it.
What if You Have Bad Credit?
If you have a bad credit score, don’t despair. There are options for you.
Some loan companies like Bonsai Finance offer small student loans for adults with bad credit.
This can be a great option if you’ve already requested federal funds and found the amount you’ve received just isn’t enough to cover all of your expenses.
Paying for Your Student Loan
If you do decide to get a student loan, how will you pay it off without drowning in debt?
One way is to get hired by a company who is willing to pay your student loans. More and more companies are offering this possibility as a benefit.
Another option is to consolidate your debt, potentially at a lower interest rate. Some companies offer this to students even if they have a bad credit score.
Explore Possible Student Loans for Adults
Making the decision to return to school as an adult is a big, bold step. There’s a huge upside in increasing your earnings with a degree.
It’s hard enough to juggle your job and family while you’re going back to school.
Let Bonsai Finance help you when it comes to financing your education. We have student loans for adults whether you have good credit or not. You can get up to $5,000 that will take care of expenses while you’re in school, such as books or equipment that student loans won’t cover.
Check out our student loan options and request your loan today.