College is expensive. Graduate school is even more expensive. Trying to complete graduate school without a job to pay the bills is impossible. That means you need a loan, but I don’t know many graduate students who have good credit scores.
Young credit, low income, high costs of living and more all add to the equation for a bad credit score for someone who needs a loan. So- how can you get a student loan for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer? It sounds impossible, right? It isn’t. Believe it or not, there are some ways for you to get a student loan for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer.
Here are the steps we think you need to take in order to do this:
- Complete Your FAFSA Information: FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the first step you should take when looking for a student loan for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer. The process is long and there is a lot of personal information required- but if it gives you money for school, then it is totally worth it. This can be done online, but we suggest you head to the student financial aid office at your school and get one of their professionals to help you. They will know the best ways for you to present yourself and complete the application quickly so that you can get your student loan for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer. It is their entire job- so let them do it!
- Apply For Non-Credit Check Loans: There are a number of loans out there that do not require a credit check. These are your best bet for a student loan for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer. They do not check your credit and they do not need a co-signer to lend you money. Some of the options for this kind of loan are Stafford Loans (these come in subsidized and unsubsidized) and Perkins Loans. These are both federally funded and give you some time after graduation before demanding payment. These are great ways to get a student loan for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer, but they are limited in the amount they can give, and you will have to re-apply for them each year.
- Look For Scholarship Opportunities: Be on the look out for scholarship opportunities. These are even better than student loans for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer because scholarships are not something you have to pay back, and they look REALLY good on resumes. Apply for every scholarship you think you might have a chance at- even the smaller ones. Every penny counts, and the more you apply for, the more you will get!
- Take Out a Line of Credit: We hesitate to put this one here as it can lead you into financial disarray, and may very well be what caused you to have bad credit and no hope of a co-signer to begin with. If you cannot find a decent student loan for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer, then you may want to look into applying for a line of credit. A credit card can be an emergency fund that can see you through until you have a sustainable income. The problem with lines of credit is that they have to be paid on each cycle, and they can be almost too easy to come by. Don’t make the mistake of getting in a huge bind by being unwise with credit. But, if you have no other option and can’t get a student loan for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer, then it may be your only option.
- Apply For Pell Grants: This is another option even better than a student loan for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer because it is money you do not have to re-pay. A huge part of this will be in filling out your FAFSA form, but there are other Pell grant options out there. Some are state funded, some are privately funded, and others are done through the school or alumni institution at your school. Pell Grants are usually not huge amounts of money, but a Pell Grant in addition to any of these other options can make a huge difference.
- Talk to the Financial Department at Your College: If your credit is so bad that no loans are within your reach, then try talking to the financial department at your college. While they can’t give you a student loan for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer, they might be willing to set up a payment program for the tuition, write off some of the school costs as a donation, or even help you find a part time job on school campus which wages can go straight to paying down what you owe the school. You have to remember that colleges cannot function without students, and if you are a good graduate student, then they will do what they can to keep you in their numbers
- Never Give Up!: If you have applied for many student loans for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer and have been turned down, just don’t lose hope. There are options out there and there is always a way. Keep working and keep trying. Do what you can to raise your credit score and stay afloat as best you can.
Remember This Situation is Temporary: Once you graduate, it won’t matter if you found a good student loan for graduate school with bad credit and no co-signer. All that will matter is that you now have a bright future in a great career field! Do what you have to and carry on. This won’t last forever.