Being a college student without substantial financial backing has always been a struggle. But the global financial crises has made it even more difficult as lending institutions make it even more difficult to credit - especially if your credit score is less than perfect. Also more students are looking for loans as the supply of student jobs dries up as the unemployment rate skyrockets in the US.
So what should a college student do if they are struggling to get a loan? Here are 5 quick tips which might help.
Federal money - Stafford Loan Program, Perkins Loan Program or a Pell Grant. These programs are designed to help students who fit certain income and other criteria. They are limited and they may not be able to raise the amount you want - but start here as its the cheapest money you will get, especially the Pell Grant which is a grant you don't have to pay back. PLUS loan. This one depends on your parents as the loan is assessed on your parent's credit score not yours. If your parents are in good financial shape its worth trying for as you will pay significantly less in the way of interest rates and other fees. Co-signer. Along similar lines if you have a spouse or other relative who has a better credit score than you then try to get them as a co-signer on the loan. Be aware though that if you default you are risking their credit rating as well as your own. Decrease your living expenses. Old-fashioned but true. Maybe you just need to reign in your spending and make it fit your budget. Take in another room mate - move to a cheaper neighborhood, cut out the regular coffees... Sell some assets. Along the same lines as point 4 above. Sell some of the stuff you don't use/want anymore - list stuff on craigslist, books on Amazon. Clear the clutter and raise some money at the same time.
If all else fails try to defer your study and get a full-time job or try to decrease your study load and increase your work hours. If you can get a job you will really decrease the amount of student debt you have on graduation.
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