Student loans for part-time students
Updated on December 16, 2019
With the cost of college rising, it can be expensive to attend even as a part-time student. Even if you’re working and studying at the same time, it’s difficult to make enough money to pay tuition and pay all of your bills too. Fortunately, loans are available for part-time students too. Here’s what you should be aware of when taking out student loans as a part-time student.
Who qualifies as a part-time student?
A part-time student is usually someone taking less than nine credits per semester. This may vary slightly depending on where you go to school and how the credits are structured. However, in order to qualify for certain student loans and financial aid, you will usually need to take at least six credits per semester.
Federal loans and financial aid
Part-time students can fill out a FAFSA application for student aid, just as full-time students can. You should always apply for financial aid before taking out student loans – you might be surprised by how much financial aid you qualify for, and it will lower your repayment amount later on. Part-time students can take out both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans have very low interest rates, but you will need to demonstrate a certain level of financial need in order to qualify. You can borrow more money with unsubsidized loans, but they also will accrue more interest. Parents of part-time students are also eligible to take out Parent PLUS loans.
Private student loans
If you can’t get the financial coverage you need with federal student loans, you can also apply for private student loans as a part-time student. Private student loans usually have much higher interest rates and stricter repayment plans than federal loans. The terms of these loans will also be highly dependent on your credit. If you have poor credit, getting a cosigner with better credit to help you can lower your interest rates and save you money in the long run.
It’s important for part-time students to remember that there are student loan options available for them. Studying part-time is a great way to work towards your academic goals and work at the same time.