Getting a post secondary education is important but it does not come cheap. For many students having the money to pay for their own education is not possible and therefore they must look to student loans to help them pay for their tuition and other schooling related costs. It is helpful if you have a cosigner for your student loan. The chances of being approved for a student loan are greater if you have a parent or another family member that can cosign for you. Most students do not have a great deal of money and have not had the opportunity to establish much if any of a credit history and therefore financial institutions feel that they are taking less of a risk on those students who have someone who can cosign for them.
But what happens if for one reason or another finding a cosigner is not a possibility for you? If you fall into this category then read on for more information …
A cosigner is a person with a good credit history who in essence is willing to step in and pay off a loan if the other person defaults on it or simply cannot afford to pay it. While having a cosigner is advantageous in terms of obtaining a student loan, this does not mean that you can kiss your chances of being approved for a loan goodbye if you do not have one.
Private lenders are not likely to extend a student loan to a person who has no credit, poor credit or has an insufficient level of income without the backing of a creditworthy cosigner. However your best bet if you have no one to cosign for you is to apply for a federal government loan. Most of the federal loans that are made available to students are based upon the needs of the student as well as their academic achievement as opposed to income and personal credit. The two most common federal student loans that do not require a cosigner are the Stafford loans and the Perkins loans. Neither one of these require a credit check for approval.
Fill Out a FAFSA
To apply for one or both of these student loans your first step is to fill out a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). In order to do this all you need to do is to visit the official government FAFSA website at and fill out the application. Make sure there are no errors before you press the submit button and make sure you apply for student aid well in advance of the start of the school year. There are cut off dates for applying for these student loans without a cosigner.
If you are not an independent borrower then you will require your parent’s income tax information. If you are presently working be it part-time or full-time you will need to include that as well. Once you have applied for the FAFSA you can then go ahead and apply for a student loan of your choice.
There are two types of Stafford loans- the subsidized loan and the unsubsidized loan. The subsidized loans are the ones you want to apply for if you have no cosigner or if you have a low income and/or if you have no credit history whatsoever. These loans are need-based loans for students. Although these loans generally are not very high they are still enough to get you started down the educational path you want to be on. The financial needs of the student are the greatest factor in how much money is granted to an individual through this loan.
The Perkins loan is another federal government funded loan that is ideal for those who have no cosigner. A student in dire financial circumstances is the most likely to be approved for this loan. A Perkins loan has a five percent interest rate and offers more flexible pay back terms than the Stafford loan. As well the student is given a longer period of time in which to pay back the Perkins loan.
If you are a non-traditional student (i.e. an adult learner or mature student who is returning to college or university later in life to pursue a degree program) then you have other options for student aid beyond Stafford loans and Perkins loans. For example, there is an array of grants and scholarships that you can apply for.
Applying for a student loans without a cosigner need not be a problem when you apply for a government loan. In general federal student loans are the better choice as the repayment terms are less stringent than private loans and the interest rates are lower.