When you are figuring out how you will be funding your education for the next several years, having bad credit can really impact your options. Federal student loans are a great option to start with, but they only go so far, and many still have a tuition gap to fill. If there is a concern with the credit history and score for the student applying, there are still some viable methods for getting the funding needed to get the education they are aiming for.
The federal loans do not require any credit history and they have a wide variety of flexible repayment options. However, borrowing limits are often too low for many state or private universities, and so there are still significant costs due from the student before term. Often private lenders will require student borrowers to have a credit score minimum of 690, which can exclude many potential students. Here are some tips for those with bad credit, or simply limited credit history:
1. Always Start With Federal Loans
No matter what the credit condition of the applicant, they should always start with the FAFSA and federal student loan programs. This will also put the student through an eligibility check for additional funding sources such as grants and scholarships, as well as work-study programs. The interest rates of federal loans are often fixed and below 5%. One of the additional bonuses is the flexible repayment options, like income-based repayment.
2. Do Everything You Can To Get A Co-Signer
This will dramatically improve the overall interest rates and terms of all loans that the student will qualify for, and will often allow them to qualify for additional loans their credit alone would not allow. The big caveat with this is that it is frequently difficult to find anyone other than perhaps a parent or grandparent to be your cosigner. This is because the cosigner will become responsible for the debt as well if the primary signer defaults.
3. Compare The Basic Features And Interest
Many of the independent companies will have a wide variety of interest rates and terms that will largely be dependant on the applicant’s credit specifics. Providers such as Ascent have interest rates that range from below 7% to over 14% on fixed rates, and 5.8% to 12.9% on a variable, while other popular bad credit student loan providers A.M. Money Private Student Loan and MPOWER Private Student Loan both strictly offer fixed-rate loans only.
A.M. Money Private Student Loan, MPOWER Private Student Loan, and Funding U Private Student Loan are all providers that will be able to service loans for without requiring a minimum credit score. They offer a variety of fixed interest rates as well as terms for their student loans. They will each use slightly different criteria to gauge loan approval, such as GPA, and some students with special status like DACA. Limitations often include availability limited by state or by the school.