2. Consider a creditworthy cosigner
If you were denied a student loan on your own, ask a creditworthy person in your life to apply for a loan with you as a cosigner—someone who signs for the loan with you. A cosigner with good credit may be able to help overcome your limited or negative credit history so that together you qualify for the loan.
Many students ask their parents, but if that’s not an option, you can also ask a guardian or relative to be your cosigner. In my case, my aunt cosigned the student loan that allowed me to attend college. Just make sure to have an open and honest discussion with your potential cosigner about responsibilities to make sure you’re making a responsible decision.
It’s important to understand that your cosigner is equally responsible for your loan—that means if you miss a payment, it will affect your cosigner’s credit as well as your own. After you’ve met certain requirements from your lender, like making a certain number of on-time loan payments, you may be able to release your cosigner from their responsibility for the loan.
There’s also another option for parents or creditworthy individuals that want and are able to help. If they want to take responsibility for paying for part of your education, they can take out a loan in their name.
3. Check your credit report
Reach out to one of the three national credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to view your credit report. You can check your credit for free with each of these bureaus once a year to get a better understanding about what is impacting your score. By keeping an eye on your credit and starting with simple steps like making on-time payments and paying off your balances, you’ll build your credit health in no time.
For students new to credit, talk to your parents about opening a secured or student credit card and practice good credit habits like keeping your balance low and never missing a payment.
You have options
Figuring out how you’re going to pay for college doesn’t have to be a challenge. If you’ve been denied a student loan, work on building or improving your credit, and don’t be afraidto ask the people around you for help. If you’re still having trouble, don’t hesitate to contact your school’s financial aid office. They may have other suggestions to help you pay, like a tuition payment plan that allows you to pay your tuition bill in monthly installments. Don’t let a student loan denial put a damper on your college journey.