Paying for college is expensive, so if you don’t have the money and aren’t receiving enough scholarships to pay for the education, your last resort is to obtain a student loan. However, if you don’t have any other individuals available to cosign for your loan you may find it slightly harder to obtain your student loan. This is typically due to not having the credit score of an established individual. Luckily, there are several locations and companies that are willing to shell out money for student loans, as long as you have some sort of credit history.
Build your credit score. Without a credit history you cannot sign most student loan applications. Do so by obtaining a credit card a few years before heading off to school and pay the monthly fee off every month. Also make sure to pay all your bills on time. Missing a payment or paying your bill late can result negatively on your credit score.
Visit either a student loan specialist or visit the student loan online sites. The online site allows you to fill out the information and know if you are approved right away (instead of waiting several weeks when mailing in the information).
Fill in your name, Social Security number, the school you are attending and the amount you need. You may also need to fill in a student number. Complete the rest of the form and submit it (click “Submit” or mail it to the given address on the paperwork). You may need to have your school accept the loans you are taking out. This is to ensure you don’t withdraw more money then your entire school and room and board combined.
Look at the response message from the student loan company. Usually, when no cosigner is available and you have little to no credit history the interest rate is higher. This means you are going to pay back more in interest, per month, than individuals with a cosigner. There isn’t much you can do about this. You can try out other loan agencies to see if you can obtain a loan for a better interest rate. Even a rate of half a percent can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Accept the interest rate and submit the paperwork back to the student loan company. The company than (usually) contacts your school and works out a disbursement plan. Depending on the lender and the school you either directly receive the money from the student loan company, or the school receives all the money up front, then sends you a check for the remainder.