What do you do when nobody will give you a student loan without a co-signer. I live on disability and am trying to go back to school. I need a loan to pay for out of pocket expenses.
Karen from Cleveland, Ohio
Be sure to apply for Federal financial aid. If you are approved, and it sounds like you should be, then they will approve you for the loans and maybe even give you grant money as well.
You can get a form from any college or university or can probably even find one online. It is a long form but mostly info from your tax return. You would want to apply for this year (2007) and next year (2008). But be sure to apply as soon as you have your 2008 tax information completed. If you can get it in before the end of January, you will be closer to the head of the line for any grant money (that you don't have to pay back) or lower interest loans.
They will give you a check which you can use for tuition, books and living expenses. Just be careful to only take out what you really need because you cannot declare bankruptcy on student loans and they will get their money back, one way or another.
Meet with the Financial Aid dept at your school. They may know of other sources of aid, such as Dept of Rehab-maybe in grants and scholarships that won't have to be paid back.
Meet with the deacons at your church, and they may co-sign for you. God bless you, and please put a post up to tell us when you graduate!
Contact your state's Independent Living Resource Center as well as the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Both organizations will guide you, free of charge.
You need to fill out the FAFSA to apply for federal student loans. You may be eligible for grants, not just student loans. FAFSA loans are available to more people than regular student loans. The website is www.finaid.org.
But, if you are well enough to go to school...couldn't you also work a part-time job to earn some money? Even if you have to limit your physical activity, there are call centers and places like that with desk jobs that are always hiring. If a part time job would mean you would lose your disability income, you may want to compare what you could make by working with what you will receive from disability. You might be able to make more at a job.
IN Pennsylvania, the state gives loans to students. Dont pay a higher interest rate than you can get from state or federal governments. Also, this type of loan will help you establish a credit rating as you pay it off. Good credit is important as it establishes the costs of almost everything you buy even your car insurance.
Kudos to you for wanting to get an education. Its the way to go for everyone.
If you have a disability ( and since you receive a disability check you do) you qualify for a tremendous amount of Financial Aid. I just turned 25 and my college no longer looks at my parents income and they qualified me for grants, Aid and student loans through them covering everything tuition, room, and board...everything but books! You will be doubly qualified! Good luck!
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