Getting a private or even federal student loan for college can be a tricky if not impossible for many students. Having bad credit is one problem, but a large percentage of potential borrowers have no one to cosign on the loan for them. This rising demographic of nocosigner student loan applicants is spread across different age generations, ethnicities, and geographic regions.
Typically nocosigner applicants do not have solid enough or old enough credit to qualify for loans on their own, and the lender requires an additional applicant to sign on the loan. For many adult borrowers and immigrants this is difficult or impossible for them to obtain. What are you to do without a cosigner?
Federal Student Loans, Financial Aid, and Grants
Your first course of action needs to be to exhaust all available federal student loan programs. The federal student financial aid programs allow most students to borrow for college with bad credit and/or nocosigner. This is your best bet to securing financial aid without having additional applicant.
You will need the fill out the federal application for financial aid (FAFSA) and wait for the processing and approval period. Federal loans can be slow to process, approve, and arrive at your college so don’t panic if its been several weeks!
You may also be eligible for federal and state grants, such as Pell Grants. These will not cover the cost of college by any means, but they certainly can help supplement the remaining tuition that is not covered by your federal loan.
If you are truly in desperate financial times, there are Federal Perkins Loans to cover the most needy of college borrowers.
Scholarships and Gift Aid
This type of financial aid does not need to be repaid and is not a loan. Since these are not loans they do not require a cosigner to acquire them. http://www.scholarships.com/ or http://www.fastweb.com are good search engines for scholarships you may qualify for.
These can be tricky to get if you do not have a cosigner. By tricky, I mean they can be almost impossible to get. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but its typically quite hard to find a lender that will give a young student (age 18-25) a loan without a cosigner.
However, if you are an adult borrower with established credit, you may not have any problems at all getting a nocosigner loan. Its the young borrowers who have no credit history, limited credit history, or all around bad credit that are going to face the highly difficult task of securing a private student loan.
What Does This All Mean?
What you should take away from this is that federal financial aid is always your best bet. The interest rates are the lowest, the tax benefits are the highest, the repayment periods are the longest, and for most types you do not need a cosigner. If you are looking at private loans, but have not yet explored your options with federal loans, then you need to stop what you are doing and fill out a FAFSA.
If you have already exhausted for federal loan options, then scholarships and private loans are the only sources left. Of course there are always state by state programs you may qualify for, employers that offer tuition credits, and you may want to check with the school to see if they have any preferred lenders that may be able to give you a nocosigner private student loan.
It really boils down to credit, age, and credit history. Just because you have a high score, doesn’t mean your credit is old enough to show you are worthy of a private loan. The lender may still require a cosigner and if you don’t have one, then I’m sorry to say you are out of luck. You have fallen victim to the shame that is the American post secondary education system.