How to get a student loan without a cosigner?

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    Jordan Moore
    Team StellarFi

    There are several ways to pay for your college expenses without a loan or cosigner. These include grants, scholarships, and federal loans. 

    Grants and scholarships

    Colleges, companies, and individuals offer grants and scholarships to students for a variety of reasons including academic achievement, involvement in specific activities (like volunteer work or sports), interest in a specific major, and personal identity.

    A major advantage of grants and scholarships is that you don’t have to pay them back. Most scholarships only cover tuition fees and you may need to apply for additional funds to cover extra costs like rent and other essentials. The best option to get a student loan without a cosigner is to apply for a federal student loan. 

    Federal loans without a cosigner

    Federal student loans don’t need a credit check. You can get either Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loans to cover your education costs. Direct Subsidized Loans are only for undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need. The federal government pays the interest for students while they are still enrolled in school and during the six-month grace period after graduation. 

    Direct Unsubsidized loans are for graduate and undergraduate students and are not based on financial need. Your school decides how much loan you are eligible for based on the cost of attendance and any other financial assistance you may receive. Interest accrues while you are in school and during the six-month grace period after you graduate. This may be added to the principal of the loan – also known as capitalization – which may increase the total cost of your federal student loan. 

    With federal loans, you can apply for repayment programs based on your employment type and income. You may also be eligible for loan forgiveness if you meet certain eligibility requirements. 

    Private student loans usually require a good credit score (above 690) and a stable income. Most students would not have reached this score when they’re in undergraduate or graduate school or have stable full-time jobs. Most would require a cosigner with a good credit score to apply for a private student loan. You should consider taking out a private loan only after exhausting all your options with grants, scholarships, and federal loans since they have higher interest rates and less flexible payment terms.

    You could also consider building your credit and getting it to above 690 before applying for a private loan by paying your bills on time and keeping your credit utilization as low as possible. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rates.

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StellarFinance, Inc. and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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