It's really odd you didn't qualify for a PLUS loan. Federal loans are based solely on need, not credit. Are you sure you filled out your son's FAFSA, and any other coordinating documentation for either your home state and his school? Usually the FAFSA student aid reports are favorable, and any additional expenses can be picked up by a subsidized loan (need based) or an unsubsidized loan (non-need based).
Also, your credit doesn't sound too dinged in terms of baddies; so I'm going to guess (possibly incorrectly, sorry in advance should I be wrong) that your util is probably through the roof? Your util (utilization) is the percentage of your credit lines that you're currently using. (Brief explaination.) Your scores I believe start to get dinged after %10, and slammed over %50 (I think, don't quote me on that one, but you get the idea.)
Worst case scenario, if you've completed all of the above, and your util isn't too bad, and you feel in good faith that you do not make enough money to support your son's education, you can make an appeal to the school's financial aid board. Just be prepared to explain the situation sixteen times, talk to student's who know less about student aid than the paint on the walls, and probably wait 3 hours; but it could pay off in the end. Bring all supporting documentation you can think of, and your best bargaining skills. Schools can only allot a certain amount before the semester starts in terms of aid to students, but when it gets closer to the start, or even after, more aid can be distributed to liquidate what has been given to the school. If you want, you're more than welcome to PM me since I'm going through a similar situation, and I would be welcome to go further in depth with you about the process.
Best of luck to you and your son.
Thank you for your reply Broke...the PLUS Loan is much more complicated than that in my situation. Nothing is black and white in my life! lol Anyway, long story short, I am not the custodial parent and the FAFSA went off his father's info, which is much better than mine, all the way around. But also, its my understanding that the Parent Plus loan is based on credit. That is the very reason I was denied, in the letter I got from the "Plus" people. I was under the impression the gov. loans weren't as stringent though, but I guess that's not the case, this day in age. On the good side though, my son got $3000 more a semester in his gov. loan, for me being denied the parent loan so that was cool. lol I'm still helping out with costs but just talked to my ex-hubby this morning and he and I agreed that I would pay come the spring semester. I was going to pay so much per semester but can't do that right now. I do believe I can improve my credit considerably by the Spring semester and will be better in line to get a loan. Also not in my favor is, I live in PA and am a state worker and if you're in PA or know about PA at all, you may know we're in a budget impasse and today was my last paycheck until a budget is passed. Another story I won't even go into! Ugh!!!! At least I have some time to work on my credit some more.
Also, I think you're right about my util. Its through the roof! :-/
speaking from recent experience, the parents plus loan is credit driven not need driven -(your son may be able to get the federal stafford loans in his name, and you can pay them off for him -)
even with the stafford loans, we needed to do a parents plus loan ($2k) this summer for summer classes for our son so he could pick up a class he needed - I asked the student loan corp that we would be applying to which CRA they used before I applied, and the told me TU - luckily, I had been working on our reports and TU was about the cleanest (they had been shockingly good with corrections and deletes) with only two real items to be concerned about (one disputed paid off med coll & one disputed CO with a very small balance) and the score hovering in the high 500s - I bit the bullet and did the online app and was promptly denied. I then immed. emailed the loan corp and said I had recd the online denial and knew there were a couple of things that may have triggered it - explained the Coll was paid off and in dispute and that the CO had been a back and forth battle for awhile. They immed. reversed - said approved as I had explained -
don't give up if you have just been turned down by the auto online applic - get in touch with a human - I was told a few yrs ago by sallie mae when trying to get approval for parents loan for daughter in college (which we got but thankfully never took out) that if a negative debt is below $500 they generally don't worry about it)
My mistake, I thought the PLUS loans were need based, I'm probably thinking stafford, which is what I got last semester. They're all a nightmare if you ask me. I'm sure the whole divorce thing makes things fun with the FAFSA and whatnot. I can't remember if they ask for the custodial parent's income, or both. Definitely worth an investigation for next year though. If you can get away with just your income, instead of Dear Ex's, your son could luck out. And like I mentioned earlier, the beg and plea method has some weight.
And as for the state employee part, I feel your pain neighbor. I'm in NY, and I'm sure you've seen some of the things that our positively Charming Governor has attempted to do to us in the State workforce. I work in the State agency with the largest budget ($2.5 Billion), and quite possibly the worst management, and they wanted to take over 2,000 jobs from us, just in our agency. I'm going to stay positive for you and say that the State is trying to play hardball with the Unions, and they'll come to an agreement in the end, and you shouldn't miss a paycheck. Elected officials know it's suicide, in addition to costly because they have to pay you interest on what they don't pay you. Again, best of luck, you're definitely not alone.
Oh, and on a completely unrelated side note, give your son this website:
This website actually rents out textbooks, and it's by far the best deal I've come across. I literally saved a few hundred in one semester. It's so much easier than buying the book, and then getting ploughed when you go to sell it back. They charge a flat rate for the semester, and when you're done, print the prepaid label, and send it back. Done!
Hope it helps! :-)
Thanks for all of the suggestions. It never amazes me how much I learn about credit and stuff here at the forums. I really hope by next semester, I'll be in a better place with my credit (and paycheck)!
And yes, I believe its the Stafford loan that is on a needs basis...and maybe the Perkins loan too. Its all very confusing!!! lol
I bought my TU score from TU and my EQ from EQ....? EX, I got that from them too, when I got my free credit report, purchased the score. But you say that's not possible?
Did I say something in my original post that made you think I got my scores elsewhere?
If you bought your TU score from transunioncs.com....it's a real FICO
The score you buy directly from Equifax....real FICO
The 2 you can buy here at myFICO...Real FICO's
All others....FAKO's .....No (credible) lender uses these
Try going to a private lender for a loan often times the interest rate is slightly higher however it will give you the cash you need.
credit exist for poor folks like us but not for rich folks like them.