Financial aid to pay for college is at the forefront of many students’ concerns at the present time due to the fact that many new students and returning students who are going to begin school in the fall of 2011 are looking for ways to meet these college tuition costs. However, the types of students who will be returning are broad in their financial backgrounds and some students who may be either beginning for the first time or returning to school are in a situation where they are looking for financial assistance but may have a bad credit score and are concerned about financial troubles that may arise.
Typically, students who seek out free sources of financial aid through scholarships and grants may find the funding they need to meet the entirety of their college costs, but if this does not occur, these students may be able to fall back on federal or private student loans. For bad credit borrowers, there is a concern that if financial assistance is not available in an amount that would allow them to meet their college costs, they may be unable to borrow student loans as a way to supplement other sources of financial assistance.
However, students in a bad credit position do have options to borrow in order to meet their student tuition costs, but financial aid counselors often advise these men and women to seek out these free sources of assistance primarily before even considering borrowing. Obviously, students who may be in a bad credit position might still have debt in their life or may be debt-free, but still suffering from a low credit score. However, counselors still suggest that exploring free assistance should be a primary focus for college students.
If a student’s financial position is a concern, many often seek out a Federal Pell Grant and options through filling out a FAFSA form, as these funds are available for specific students in a troubling financial situation who may be unable to meet these costs otherwise. While there are different federal grants, like those for teachers, veterans, or general students from low income backgrounds, exploring the forms of financial aid that factor in a student’s financial need and background can be helpful if a particular bad credit student is in a difficult financial position and low income environment.
Yet, students may also want to simply make an appointment with their university’s financial aid counseling center to speak with an advisor who can point them in the direction of scholarships that may be available for their situation. Since a bad credit score does not necessarily mean a student has a poor academic record, there are also merit-based scholarships and even institutional financial assistance directly from colleges and universities they can also cut down on the likelihood that a student may have to borrow to meet their college costs.
When it comes to borrowing student loans though, many bad credit students are advised to avoid acquiring debt if at all possible due to the fact that it can be problematic if, again, debt remains in their life. While there are those who may have a poor credit score who can borrow loans, like federal student loans, and if proper repayment practices are used might see an increase in their score as this can reflect well on their credit history, a student’s particular situation and ability to repay will determine whether this is a good route. However, seeking out scholarships and grants first and exhausting these resources is usually a bad credit student’s first priority as, again, these funds can allow a student to graduate school without being in debt and having to begin repayment down the road.