Students with insufficient or poor credit may wonder how to get student loans without cosigner support. For student loans from a bank, this is a major problem. However, for need-based programs like the Perkins Student Loan Program, no cosigner is needed. This is good news for those applying for student loans with bad credit.
Qualification requirements for a Perkins loan are not related to credit but are based on need and the ability to benefit from a college or vocational school education. The requirements include:
- Enrollment in a degree program in an eligible school at least half-time
- Satisfactory academic progress (maintain a record that will lead to graduation)
- U.S. citizenship, permanent residency, or eligible non-citizen status
- No unresolved defaults owed on any Title IV education loans; no overpaid title IV grants
- Satisfaction of Selective Service requirements
Over 1,800 institutions belong to the Perkins loan program. Loan officers at these institutions have a lot of flexibility in the amount of money they offer to students. Loans can range from $100 to $4,000 per academic year. Of course, it is important not to take out more loan money than needed to complete a course of education. But the Perkins loan is very low interest (only 5 percent), and graduates who serve in the military, teaching or other public service positions can get some or all of their Perkins loans discharged.
To get student loans with no cosigner, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA becomes available each year on January 1. It should be submitted as early as possible to ensure that the student receives as much assistance as needed.
To complete the FAFSA, have ready the income tax return and W2 forms from the year, social security card, and driver’s license. A dependent student (one whose parents claim him or her as a dependent) will need the parents’ information from their income tax return also. You will need any information on untaxed income also, plus bank account records. Assets such as a car or a home, stocks or farm records will also be necessary.
To apply for student loans without cosigner support, get all needed documents together. Keep these papers in a safe place for future reference. Go online to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/index.htm and follow the directions. By filling out the FAFSA as early as possible, even students with poor credit can qualify for student loans with no cosigner.
Don’t wait to fill out the FAFSA until the school’s deadline. This is a major mistake. Grant and loan money is awarded on a first come-first served basis, so apply as soon as possible after the FAFSA becomes available.
The Perkins loan is one of the best bargains possible for students who can demonstrate financial need. After submitting the FAFSA, wait for the Student Air Report. The SAR states what contribution the family is expected to make toward expenses and how much grant and loan money will be offered. If more loan money is needed than the school has offered, schedule a meeting with the student aid officer at the school.
Bring to the meeting any documentation that shows greater need than demonstrated on the FAFSA, such as recent unemployment records or medical bills. The officer has some flexibility and may be able to increase the award. Be courteous and respectful, but state your case clearly to get student loans with no cosigner.
With Title IV money available, even bad credit student loans may be able be successful without cosigner assistance.
- The Latest on Obtaining a Student Loan Without Cosigner Support Federal Student Loans With No Cosigner College costs rise every...
- Finding a Cosigner for Student Loans Individuals with financial need can obtain student loans without cosigner...