Q: I have pretty poor credit, and will be returning to college soon. I have heard from some of my friends and family that it will be next to impossible for me to obtain student loans because of my current credit situation. Is there any way to obtain no credit check student loans, or am I just out of luck?
A: You are not necessarily out of luck, the good news is, there are student loans that are not based on your credit. Federal Stafford and Perkins Loans are both student loans that require no credit check, and are not based upon your credit history. The first thing you will want to do, is file a FAFSA. The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it is your one-stop-shop when it comes to applying for federal student loans. In addition to applying for federal student loans by completing a FAFSA, by filing a FAFSA you will automatically be in the running to receive federal grants for college, if you qualify. Federal grant eligibility is also not based on a students credit, and unlike student loans, the money you are awarded in grants does not need to be repaid.
Shortly after filing FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report detailing what you have been awarded in federal financial aid for college. If the amount you receive in federal financial aid is not enough to cover your college costs, you still may have additional options. Private student loans can be used to help bridge the gap from what you have received in federal financial aid, and what your actual educatioal expenses are. However, keep in mind that private student loans will largely be based upon a borrowers credit, and additionally will require a credit check. If you have poor credit, you will most likely not qualify for private student loans on your own, but there is a way around this. If you can find a creditworthy cosigner, who would be willing to help you obtain a private student loan, they would likely be able to pass the credit check requirements, and you could secure these additional funds.