Get A Student Loan With Bad Credit: A How To Guide

Having bad credit due to poorly made financial decisions earlier in life is certainly a hard cross to bear. Especially if you wish to better your lot through an education, trying to finance such activities can be nearly impossible if your credit score is low. But there is no reason to use your bad credit as an excuse not to pursue your dreams, there are many bad credit student loan options available if you know what to do and where to look.

Get Counseling

Once you have made the decision to attend a particular school, your first step should be to contact that school’s Financial Aid office to discuss your options. Many schools will provide free credit counseling or refer you to someone who can counsel you specifically related expenses and money incurred for the achievement of a higher education. Oftentimes, if a student is not approved for a traditional student loan, a bad credit student loan counselor will have the resources to direct that student to the proper private lenders who can and will offer loans to students with bad credit.

Federal Student Loans

The best way to get money for college is to use the programs sponsored by the government that offer to lend a certain amount of money each year to students at a low fixed interest rate. These loans, called Stafford and Perkins loans, are available to any US college student and often do not require a credit check.

Private Student Loans

Though government-secured loans are the best choice for college, if they do not provide enough money to cover all your expenses, there are other programs such as Sallie Mae and other private banks like Wells Fargo who offer student loan options. Oftentimes each institution will have a separate loan program designed for those needing student loans and who possess bad credit. These programs will offer different rates, fees and services. Since there are so many players to consider, it is really important that you shop around and compare the packages that each one offers against the others.

Co-Signers Provide another Option

If you cannot qualify or are uncomfortable taking a private loan to pay for school by yourself, then the next option that you have is to find a co-signer for your student loan. Therefore, your parents can help you if they have good credit. Though the burden to pay the loan is yours, their credit rating will help you to get better interest rates. It is important to remember, however, that your failure to repay a student loan that has a co-signer will negatively affect that person’s credit as well. It is therefore important to discuss this choice with your loan counselor and your co-signer.

Take Your Time

The final option that you have available is credit repair. That is, even though your ultimate goal is to go to college and get a degree, you may be better off if you delay that for a while in order to work on repairing your bad credit. You can do this by making all payments on loans and credit cards on time, keeping track of your monthly finances as well as working to pay down your overall debt. You will also want to review a complete credit report to make sure that all the information on there is accurate and that you are not being penalized for something that you did not do.