A lot, actually. Many students are out there saying things like, “I need a student loan and I have bad credit.” They think that because the economy is so bad, they will be unable to find the kind of financial assistance they need to get through school. Here is the truth- there are a lot of options for students, even those who have bad or young credit.
There are other articles out there about the different kinds of bad credit student loans you can get, so in this article, we will focus more on what you can do to qualify for more student loans. “I need a student loan I have bad credit so I don’t think I can get one,” is something we want you to remove from your mindset. Here are the things we think you should do to help you be more successful at getting the bad credit student loans you need.
1. Go to Class
Get your grades up. Perform well in school. Get some basic credits under your belt. This will help lenders see that you are serious about your education, and therefore, serious about your career choice, and therefore, serious about how you plan to pay back your loans once you are done with school.
If you have said, “I need a student loan, but I have bad credit,” then your first step to wooing the lenders in your favor will be to take your schooling seriously.
2. Get Your Credit Score Up
This is a big one, and won’t be terrible easy to perform, but if I need a student loan and I have bad credit has escaped your lips more than once in the recent past, then you may need to change your credit score. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. Here are some of the best ways we know of:
- Pay down some of your debt. You will probably have to borrow money from parents or other guardians to do this, but paying down debt you owe on credit cards can make a HUGE difference in your credit score.
- Get a credit card. If you don’t have a credit card, then your credit score is low not because it is bad, but because it is new. Be careful with this- you don’t want to cause problems. Simply use your new credit card to buy things you normally would have, and then pay it off EVERY MONTH!
- Talk to a money counselor. Many banks cater to students saying, “I need a student loan. I have bad credit and feel there is no way for me to get one.” Go in to a bank you trust and ask to speak to one of the personal bankers about some money counseling. They can help put you on the right course to raising your credit score.
- Don’t miss payments. Ever. On anything. The fastest way to lower your credit score and shoot yourself in the financial foot is to miss payments or be late on payments. Don’t do it.
- Get a job. We know how hard it can be to balance school life, social life, and a job on top of it all, but having an income will change your debt to income ratio, and it will make your credit score rise. It will also give you a way to pay down some of the debt that is dragging your score down.
There are other ways to raise a credit score, but we feel these are the best options to pursue if you are stuck in the I need a student loan but I have bad credit frame of mind.
3. Lower Your Costs
Cut back on your spending. If you are saying I need a student loan and I have bad credit, then it means that you are living beyond your means. We know that this is VERY easy to do for students who have living costs up the wazoo before they even get to feed themselves. Try to take a look at your life and see where you can cut back. Stop buying new clothes.
Try getting the generic brand of your favorite foods. Go on cheaper dates. Try saving yourself some money, so that the amount you need for a student loan will be lower. If you can do this, then you might be better able to get a loan for what you need, even if you are saying I need a student loan I have bad credit.
4. See If Your School Will Work With You
Believe us, you are not the first student to ever say I need a student loan, but I have bad credit. This happens all the time. Some schools will work with students who are in need of financial aid but can’t get student loans because of their bad credit or other circumstances.
Get an appointment with someone in the financial office and see if they can work with you. Some schools will help by letting you pay the tuition in payments over the semester instead of in one lump sum. Other schools can give you a lower rate depending on where you live or what program you are studying.
Some financial offices can even help students who are saying I need a student loan and I have bad credit, by getting them a job on campus that can help them get the money they need without getting a loan.
5. Fill Out Your FAFSA
FAFSA- the Free Application For Financial Student Aid, is a way to apply for government Pell Grants and other options of that nature. You will have to qualify for all the terms- but if you do, then you won’t have to worry about students loans with bad credit anymore because you will have money you won’t have to pay back.
These 5 ideas can get you kick started into a new and hopeful mindset. Just because you have said, “I need a student loan and I have bad credit,” doesn’t mean you are out of options!