How to pay for college without a cosigner
Updated on November 13, 2019
With the cost of college rising quickly, student loans are essential for most students. However, many loans require a cosigner to qualify for. If you don’t have a cosigner, you might find yourself worried about how to get the loans you need to pay for college. Luckily, it’s possible to get student loans and pay your tuition without having a cosigner – here’s how to do it.
Stick to federal loans
There are a number of federal loans that don’t require you to have a cosigner at all. These are the loans you should look at first when applying to college. Federal loans also come with the potential for forgiveness programs and income-based repayment plans later on, while private loans typically do not. Specifically, you can qualify for Perkins Loans, Direct Subsidized Loans, and Direct Unsubsidized Loans without a cosigner. However, you will typically need to provide your parents’ financial information when applying for these loans.
Look for grants and scholarships
If you don’t have a reliable cosigner, you should also be looking for grants and scholarships to help you get through college. There are many different types of grants and scholarships – some are income-based, some are merit-based, and many are based on unique demographic factors. If you don’t have a cosigner, there’s a good chance that you will at least qualify for financial scholarships. You’ll likely be able to find scholarships through your school, but you can also find scholarships from private organizations, so do your research – you might find scholarships in unexpected places.
Start building good credit early
If you have good credit, you may not need a cosigner for your college loans, even if you’re very young. Start building good credit early on by taking out a student credit card with a low limit. Use it to pay one bill every month, like your cell phone bill, and make your payments on time. If you had a part-time job in high school, it should be fairly easy to find a student credit card with reasonable rates that you can use.
If you don’t have parental support for your loans, don’t stress. There are plenty of options designed specifically to help students that don’t have financial support.