Financing College With Bad Credit (4 Loan & Grant Options)

Financing College Bad Credit

Whether you’re an adult looking to go back to school or a parent funding your children’s education, it’s important to know that you have options, even if your credit is bad. And while it may present a slightly more challenging path when financing college — bad credit does not spell the end for hopes of earning that degree.

You can finance large expenses like tuition and housing with student or personal loans, as well as with money from scholarships and grants. Smaller expenses, like books and uniforms, can be handled by a credit card designed for consumers with poor credit. Let’s take a closer look at the resources at your disposal.

1. Student Loans Lessen the Financial Burden of Education

FAFSA LogoThere are two main types of federal student loans, and both can be accessed by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

Stafford Federal Loans

These college loans are intended for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time in an eligible institution. Subsidized Stafford Loans are based on financial need, and the government pays for accrued interest during school attendance.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are not based on financial need and the government doesn’t pay the accrued interest. Both are to be repaid in 10 to 25 years and provide a six-month grace period after completing your studies before repayment begins.

Perkins Loans

These college loans serve the same student base as Stafford Loans, but the lender is the college or university rather than the federal government (which nevertheless guarantees these loans). These loans have specified maximum awards, provide a nine-month grace period and must generally be repaid within 10 years. Perkins Loans are rarer and harder to get than are Stafford Loans.

You can also apply for a private student loan from a bank, credit union, employer, or another source.

2. PersonalLoans.com Has Multiple Loan Offers

Another way to pay college costs is through a personal loan, available from well-regarded websites like PersonalLoans.com. The benefits of this website include:

Think of PersonalLoans.com as your one-stop-shopping website for any kind of personal loan you need.

3. Credit Cards Give You a Chance to Raise Your Credit Score

Credit cards are a great way to finance the books, equipment, supplies, and other incidental costs that occur when attending college. Credit cards for college students that are particularly well-suited for folks with a poor credit history are available from Credit One.

  • Don’t let a low FICO score stop you from applying – we approve applications others may not.
  • You don’t need good credit to apply.
  • Just complete the short application and find out in 60 seconds if you’re approved.
  • When you need assistance our award-winning US-based Customer Service agents are there to help.
  • FICO scores are used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any PREMIER Bankcard® product.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
4 minutes See Provider Website Yes 9.0/10
  • You don’t need good credit to apply.
  • We help people with bad credit, every day.
  • Just complete the short application and find out in 60 seconds if you’re approved.
  • You can build* or rebuild your credit: apply for a PREMIER Bankcard credit card, keep your balance low, and pay all your monthly bills on time.
  • Don’t let a low FICO score stop you from applying – we approve applications others may not.
  • FICO scores are used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any PREMIER Bankcard® product.
  • *Build credit by keeping your balance low and paying all your bills on time every month.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
4 minutes See Provider Website Yes 9.0/10
  • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score From Experian* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Initial Credit Limit of $300 – $1,000* (subject to available credit)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Free online account access 24/7
  • Checking Account Required
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes 24.99% – 29.99% (Variable) Yes 8.5/10

+See More Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Even if you have bad credit, you can establish a Credit One credit line of $300 to $500 dollars. Credit One cards offer several other benefits, including cashback rewards, the ability to personalize the card’s design, automatic reviews to increase your credit line, and free credit score tracking. These are a few of the best credit cards for college students with poor credit.

You can use a credit card to raise your credit score, because these issuers report your card activity to the three credit bureaus.

4. Grants & Scholarships Based on Merit or Financial Need

Scholarships and grants are available to many students based on merit or financial need. However, one of the biggest problems in getting a scholarship or grant is to find out what is available and appropriate for your circumstances.

Screenshot of Fastweb.com homepage

These are the resources available to you on Fastweb.com.

Websites such as Fastweb, Finaid.org, and Scholarships.com cut through all the confusion by providing valuable information about scholarship and grant opportunities, college comparisons, and other forms of financial aid, all based on a short profile you submit to the website. These websites are unusually robust in offering a wealth of information and search facilities – if the financial aid is out there, these two websites will find it.

Final Thoughts

There are a variety of solutions to paying for college despite bad credit. You can apply for federal or private student loans. Lenders like PersonalLoans.com provide access to loans even when your credit is bad. So do some credit cards, such as Credit One. You can also use websites like Fastweb.com and Scholarships.com to secure grants and scholarships. Even if you have bad credit, you have choices to fund your education.

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