I Need Money for College But I Have Bad Credit – What Can I Do?
I have bad credit but I need a student loan for college! How can I get a loan when I need money for college, but I have bad credit? Believe it or not, you are not the only one facing this problem or asking these questions.
In this economy, things can seem a bit hopeless when you are a low-income student in need of some financial assistance and bogged down with a young credit score or simply with bad credit. There is hope, though! There are more options out there for students with bad credit than you might know of. Here are just some of the ways you can get a student loan for college even if you have bad credit.
When you apply for government loans, your credit history is not taken into consideration. That means if you have been saying, “I need money for college, but I have bad credit!”, that won’t even matter. They won’t even peek at your credit score, and it won’t affect your credit score. The kinds of government loans you can look into are:
Subsidized Stafford Loans
These loans are federally funded, and the subsidization of them means that you will have less interest to pay over the course of the loan. These loans are limited in the amount they can give, but it can definitely fill in some gaps for you.
This is a federally funded loan that needs no credit check or co-signer. That is great for students with bad or young credit, and good for students with a parent has bad credit can not get college loan.
This does not affect your credit until the repayment process begins, which doesn’t happen until you are no longer in school. This means it is a free credit report financial aid option. This loan can be applied for every year, and while it will not give you the full amount you will probably need for college, it can help, and for something like an apply for a guaranteed student loan regardless of credit, it is worth looking into.
The qualifications of this loan are easy to meet- which is why it is almost guaranteed. However, it is the hardest loan on this list to qualify for, so if this one doesn’t work out for you, try the next one. This is the preferred government loan, because the amount you pay in interest over the life of the loan is much less than the other student loan options out there.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
These are the same kind of loan as the prior, only you will have higher interest payments as they are not subsidized. These are easier to qualify for, but will keep you in debt longer.
This is a lot like the Subsidized Stafford Loan, but is different as it is not federally subsidized, which just means that you won’t be saving on interest payments like you would with the prior option. If you want to apply for guaranteed student loan regardless of credit, then you best put in the paper work for one of these.
These loans are easy to qualify for, and do not require a credit check or a co-signer. Just like the subsidized Stafford Loan, it is not meant to cover every cost- but it can definitely bridge the gap for you and make you feel a little less like a starving college student. If you are going back to school with bad credit, then apply for one of these loans to help you, as your bad credit will not be a factor at all.
That is why we feel it belongs the list for apply for a guaranteed student loan regardless of credit.
This loan is even easier to qualify for than the Subsidized Stafford Loan, but if this still doesn’t work out for you, then head to the next loan on the list which is the easiest of all the government student loans to get.
These loans are nice, but they have a total cap of $20,000 and you can only pull $4,000 a year. This means they won’t cover everything, but for a student saying, “I have bad credit, but I need a student loan for college,” they might be just the thing.
This is another government funded student loan, and is the easiest of all the government loans to apply and qualify for. However, it is not as popular as the Stafford loan options because while you can apply for a guaranteed student loan regardless of credit through a Perkins Loan, it does not offer very much per semester.
The cap per year on a Perkins Loan is $4,000 and you are limited to $20,000 total to take out in Perkins loans. Now, $20,000 is definitely not something to sneeze at, but we all know 5 years or more of college will cost a lot more than that. Perkins Loans can lighten the loan, but they can’t take away all the financial stress.
This is an easy way to apply for a guaranteed student loan regardless of credit, but you will need to add to this amount with other items as well. Perkins loans are also nice as they give you a grace period of 9 months after your last college class to start the repayment process.
There are more government or federally funded student loan programs, but these three are the most popular and the most helpful. You do have to meet the qualifications for them, however.
The standards change every year and are slightly different between the three, but the main criteria of taking advantage of these student loans for bad credit are:
- Low Income: The cap on this is usually around $15,000 a year.
- Currently enrolled in school: If you aren’t a student, you don’t need a student loan.
- Little to no personal assets: If you have any savings in the bank or if you own any kind of property, then you will be denied, even if you are constantly saying, I need money for college, but I have bad credit.
- Passing marks in school: The government will not pay for you to fail and party your way through school. You should have a decent GPA if you want to take advantage of these programs.
These are not options for everyone, but most people stuck in the I have bad credit but I need a student loan for college boat should be able to get some kind of assistance from these sources.
PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) are not your traditional loan. They do require a credit check, but before you start hitting us with “I have bad credit and I need a student loan for college” hear us out. PLUS loans are given to parents.
There is a credit check, but the credit that is looked at is the parents and not the student. These loans are designed to give money to parents who have given money to their children who are in school. Basically, you can get your parents to give you some money to help you with tuition and books and pizza and other college related things, and the PLUS loan will put that money back in their pockets.
The interest rates on PLUS loans are low, but they are there. If this is making your parents nervous about putting out the money, maybe you can offer to pay them back the amount of interest that will be accrued, or you can sit down and make a plan to be responsible yourself for paying back the loan that you couldn’t get because of your bad credit.
This will require the cooperation of your parents, which dissuades many students from using them. If you have a good relationship with your parents or guardians, then this is something to consider.
Bad Credit Student Loans
This is last on our list because it is the worst option on the list. For those saying I need money for college, but I have bad credit, there are banks out there with loans just for you. They don’t care about your bad credit and will give you the amount you need to finish out your schooling.
Why? Because they charge you a HUGE interest rate and they know through this, they will make money off of you even if you can’t pay out the full borrowed amount. Many of these bad credit student loans will require payments while you are still in school- which is rare for most student loans. Basically, they look for people with the I have bad credit but I need a student loan for college kind of people, and they take advantage of them.
However, if nothing else on this list works for you, then this may be your only option. If you decide to take this route, be VERY careful! Do not get tied into something that will hurt your credit score even more than it already is. If you have someone you can trust to come with you, they can help you spot the traps that are laced into some of these bad credit student loans.
There you have it. Even if you have bad credit and need a student loan for college, you can find something for you!
1. Get Some Stress Relief
Having to admit, “I need a college loan to help through school- very bad credit is holding me back!” is a VERY stressful situation to be in. Needing any kind of loan is hard, but trying to a get a no credit check student loan with the burden of bad credit is one of the most stressful things you can deal with while a young student.
You won’t be doing yourself any favors if you stay stressed out. Our first suggestion is to find ways to relieve the stress in your life. Here are some options we think can help for someone stuck in the I need a college loan to help through school very bad credit kind of deal:
- Talk to a counselor: Almost every school campus has psychiatrists or counselors available for free to help students who need someone to talk to.
- Get a night out: This doesn’t have to be spendy- in fact it really shouldn’t be if you are saying, “I need a college loan to help through school very bad credit is why!” Go out with some friends and just relax for a minute or two.
- Drop one of your harder classes: Not only can this free up some time and relieve some stress, but it can also drop the rates on your tuition.
- Get a massage: If your college has a massage therapy or physical therapy program, then there might be a chance to get a free massage as part of a class demonstration or for homework. Relieve some tension and save money, and help a fellow starving student- win, win, win!
Getting rid of stress can help you see the situation of I need a college loan to help through school very bad credit included in a different light.
2. Talk to Others in Your Situation
Like we said, you are definitely not the only student at your school thinking, “I need a college loan to help through school and very bad credit is making it hard to find one.” There are many other students around you carrying that same burden, or who have recently gone through your same trial.
Talk to some of these students and find out what they are doing about it. Tell them what you are trying. Throw around ideas and get some support through this frustrating situation. Sometimes just knowing you are not alone can be a huge help.
3. Fill Out Your FAFSA
Even if the FAFSA (Free Application for Financial Student Aid) doesn’t come up with any monetary assistance, it can help you know what is out there and point you in the right direction. If you are lucky, then you will be one of the lucky students who actually qualifies for a Pell Grant or a no credit check student loan after finishing the FAFSA.
This is a great step for anyone to take who is in the I need a college loan to help through school very bad credit is making it hard boat. Basically, you have nothing to lose- and it is free. We also suggest that when you do this, you go to the financial office of your school to do it. Most likely, your college will have some people hired just to help students like you.
4. Consider ROTC
The ROTC or Reserve Officer Training Corps is an Army program that will pay for your school. In return you will sign a limited contract with the Army.
If you have ever considered serving in the military, or if there is a career training program in the Army that is appealing to you, then the ROTC is an excellent option to consider- ESPECIALLY if you have recently caught yourself saying, “I need a college loan to help through school and very bad credit is getting in the way.” The ROTC will negate any need for a loan and can give you the training and career path that no other program can.
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