So I have signed up for a study abroad starting in May, total cost is around $9.5k. Should be getting around $4k from FAFSA, which would bring me to my max for the year, so I will be needing a private student loan for the remainder, $4.5k.
FICO is hovering around 650, with a year of one time payments for two CC's, one on time payment for a joint car loan opened in Jan, would be two or three by the time I'm applying for the student loan. Where should I apply? Will I need a cosigner? My mother has god awful credit, my father has none, so I'm not sure what my options would be like for that.
Any help or advice would be much appreciated!
You may need to double check this, but you should work with your school's financial aid office. You should be able to utilize Federal Direct or Federal Stafford loans for most study abroad programs so that you don't have to take out a private student loan. I would certainly go that route first as private student loans do not have the same flexibility as federal loan and typically require a mature credit file with supporting documents for income to show your ability to pay the loan back. Many of the major banks do personal loans, also Navient, Sallie Mae, and AES. But I'm concerned you will need a co-signer based on the 2 items I mentioned above. Which company is your car loan and credit cards through? Where do you bank? Have you checked their websites to see if they do private student loans since you already have a relationship with them?
I have talked to my financial aid office, and they are extremely unhelpful. I am planning on taking out federal loans for half of the amount, but they max at $9.5k for the year, and I have already used a little over $5k of that for the spring and fall semesters.
As for where I bank, I have checking and savings with Capital One, as well as a Journey Student CC. My car loan is through Citizen's one, which I had never heard of before. My grandmother cosigned on that, so I might be able to get her to cosign on a student loan but I don't want to ask too much of her. I also have a checking account with Chase, and have had one since I was about 13 years old, now it's a college account. I've had savings with them in the past, but I switched to CapOne to avoid the monthly fees. I was approved for the Chase Marriott rewards card earlier this week, but I obviously don't have any sort of payments and good history showing there.
I have not checked their sites yet, but I will. I was under the impression that banks like Sallie Mae were where to go for student loans, but I may be entirely wrong.
Thank you for your help!
Sallie Mae specializes in student loans so is probably a great option. Citizens One also does private student loans, and since you have an auto loan with them currently, they may be a good option as well.
I will say, without a co-signer, they are going to look into things like your credit history, and also the ability to pay the loan back. Have you considered how you will be paying your current bills while you are abroad?
Also, is the trip something you could do next year and still get the same educational experience out of it so that you can try to save up some additional cash?
Is there a workstudy program or something that may be able to go along with this to help with some of the expenses?
Also, do you already know what your FICO scores are? I haven't had experience applying for private loans with limited credit because when I got my loan through Chase, it was because I already had a mortgage with them. So, at this point, I think your best option is going to be to check with one or 2 of the companies and what amount they will approve you for. If they do not, then you can use the reasoning they give you to determine if you may be able to just postpone the trip until next year when you can save up or get the loan, or if you would need to go ahead and get a co-signer.
Citizens One also does private student loans, and since you have an auto loan with them currently, they may be a good option as well.
You sound like you've done a fair amount of homework and are off on the right foot getting everything figured out. I would recommend starting with your bank as they will be the most helpful as you are already a customer. Even if they can't help you with this type of loan, they will want to retain your business and likely give you a ton of direction.
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Thank you for all the advice!
I could most likely postpone the trip, but I would have to pay a hefty cancellation fee, so I would prefer not to. I have also already purchased my airfare. I was also just promoted at work, making 3x-5x what I was. The only bill I will have to pay while away is my car payment, which I already have half of saved. The remainder will be put away within the next month by means of this promotion.
Would you suggest starting with Citizens One, Chase, or Sallie Mae first?
My fico scores last I checked (a few days ago) were around 650, but I have since paid down debt from around 56% util to 12%, so I am expecting that to go up once the lower balances report.
Last question, would you reccommend finding a cosigner before I apply, or seeing what I get? I have a lot of inquires from CC apps and the auto loan, so I would like to do as few as possible.
I believe chase sold it's student loan book of business. Based on your first posting, it sounded like you preferred to do the loan on your own, so it won't hurt to check and see what the underwriter's say. And if you then need a co-signer, they can usually just append to the application to get you approved.
Congrats on the promotion! Certainly put those additional funds to good use paying of debt like you did with your credit card utilization and your score will continue to improve. When do your statements close? You may want to way a few days after the statements close to maximize your FICO score since you paid off a large percentage of your credit card debt. Best of luck, and let us know the outcome!
And on a personal note, enjoy your time traveling. Sounds like an amazing opportunity.