The first step to getting funding for college is to apply for the FAFSA so you can be sure to get all the free funding possible based on your need. If you can’t demonstrate need, you will need to borrow privately. Private borrowing can be expensive unless you have excellent credit or a cosigner.
Your cosigner can be a
- Relative, including a parent
- Any adult with a strong credit history
You do not have to have your parents cosign your student loan. You and your cosigner need to understand that their credit score will be impacted for as long as the debt is in place. Your financial plan, once you’re working, needs to include paying off these loans as soon as possible to take that burden off their credit rating. Of course, if you default, they are responsible for the debt.
Your cosigner may find themselves in need of the credit space that your loan is using up. In this scenario, you may need to refinance the debt with another lender to take them off the loans. You may also need to find another cosigner.
According to Ascent Funding, getting access to student loans without cosigner is possible even if you have no credit history at all. These loans are referred to as outcomes-based student loans. Once you have reached your junior year, your grades and time to graduation can work for you.
Without a guarantor, you may be facing higher interest levels. You may also face trying to cover expenses with smaller loans, meaning that you may wind up with more debts to pay each month once you graduate. If you are feeling overwhelmed with your potential debt, look for ways to bring in more money, including
- Finding a part-time job off-campus
- Getting some of your classes at a community or junior college
If you are considering finding part-time work off-campus, take a look at employers who will pay you to learn. For example, you may find work at a restaurant with a bar. Ask about getting training as a bartender. You may find work at a fast-food restaurant. Check into learning the basics of bookkeeping by offering to help the manager. Over your lifetime, the ability to pick up extra work will be made much easier with these skills.
If you have debts in your name, do everything you can to protect your credit score. Pay your bills on time and avoid maxing out your accounts. If you need a car, try to buy it in your name so you have secured debt as well as unsecured debt. Finally, keep your grades up!