Student loans available for a student without a co-signer?
April 14, 2011 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Student loans available for a student without a co-signer? Need a one time loan of $18,000....

So, my little brother got accepted into a great school. However, out of state tuition is around $40,000. If he can go, my parents plan to move to this state (they had been considering such a move for a while anyway) so that he will qualify for in-state tuitition after his first year and financing will no longer be a problem.

However, first year is still a problem. My borhter is $18,000 short on financing and neither my parents nor myself are in a position to co-sign for a loan or take out a loan of our own for him. I really want my brother to have this opportunity. i understand that he could defer acceptance for a year. But it would be great (and worth it to him) if he didnt' have to.... So, any student loans available to a student without a co-signer?

Thanks hivemind for any information you have on the issue....
posted by roxie5 to Education (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
FYI, I went to a great state school as an out-of-state student. It was similarly expensive. Pretty much everything anyone tried, up to and including having their parents establish residence, didn't work. The bursar's office was incredibly keen on figuring out any end-run around the in-state tuition rules, as every out-of-state student subsidized two in-state students.

I'd be incredibly, incredibly sure that having your parents up and move will actually work before they do so.
posted by Oktober at 10:32 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

echoing what oktober said - my research into this has shown that if residency isn't established before he starts school, they aren't going to be too keen on changing it a year in.
posted by nadawi at 10:35 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just apply to different lenders and see what you can come up with. Some lenders will provide this type of loan, others will not, depending on their underwriting criteria. No real way of knowing who's going to give you what without you asking them directly.

And do be sure that you understand the in-state rules before you move. The above comments are correct in that moving mid-tenure may or may not qualify you for in-state tuition.
posted by valkyryn at 10:39 AM on April 14, 2011

Response by poster: Well, my parents would move this summer before school starts, if he goes to this college. No problem there. The school's in Florida, and they've talked about moving back there for years. I will definitely let them know how stringent schools are about out of staters moving in and maybe they can even check with the school to confirm that establishing residency before first day of class would do it for the next year.

Right now, the problem now is finding the $18,000.
posted by roxie5 at 10:39 AM on April 14, 2011

Has he qualified and been awarded any loans through the financial aid process? Usually a Fin Aid office will use the FAFSA info to see if there are any Federal loans loans that can be given (I think they are still through "Direct Loans" least that's what was at the top of my paperwork). I didn't have to have a co-signer for those. Has he been told he needs a co-signer?

Here's a whole website about federal student aid: Surf around there and see what's available without co-signing.
posted by MultiFaceted at 10:42 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Many state universities consider in-state residency to be someone who has lived with an address and diver's license or other state identification in that state for a year prior to matriculation.

If your brother is looking to go next September, it won't have been a year that your parents or he would be residents of that state.

It's really, really, really, really worth triple checking the university's policy on this, because even moving this summer may not be time enough for the university to consider your parents and brother residents for tuition purposes, even if the state would once driver's licenses and voter registration are.
posted by zizzle at 10:42 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Agree with what Oktober said above - it's extremely difficult to establish residency for purposes of tuition in a lot of circumstances, even if your parents move before he starts school. Look very very closely at the rules (and they might not be published very clearly).

Otherwise, I have lots of student loans, and I never needed a cosigner. Make sure ehs' filled out the FASFA, and there should be some eligibility for government loans. Then, call the financial aid office, they can walk him through finding other loans.

In fact, these questions are exactly what financial aid offices are for. Give them a call.
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:42 AM on April 14, 2011

Response by poster: We have called... He is maxed out with the fniancial aid office. They can't offer anymore loans to my brother. Just loans to my parents. Of the $40k tuition, he has $5500 in loans and about $165000 in grants/scholarships.

I guess we'll look at banks for him. My parents feel not so optomistic about this, but there has to be a way....

And I will defintiely tell my parents to check this school's in-state policy! Thanks for everyone that gave a heads up on that.
posted by roxie5 at 10:48 AM on April 14, 2011

Response by poster: $165000 << That number above should be $16,500... Otherwise this clearly would be no problem ;)
posted by roxie5 at 10:49 AM on April 14, 2011

I did some private loans through Sallie Mae and Capital One. Some hard lessons learned:

A) Don't go through more than one private lender to make ends meet. One federal, one private. You can't consolidate federal and private when it comes time to pay back and somehow I missed that VERY IMPORTANT piece of information which leads me to...

B) Private lenders are much more stringent about getting paid back RIGHT AWAY. They do not waste time sending you into default like federal loans do, and your deferral options are extremely limited with private loans. They can be great to close the gap, but you have to be realistic about paying them back. In this economy, it's not uncommon to go a year or more before finding a job out of college, and the grace period on student loans is only 6 months.

Is this the only school your brother got into? Because $40K in tuition for a state school is pretty rough. I'd be thinking about other schools (even in state) to keep the debt down, were it me. Could he do a year at a junior college while your parents establish residency?
posted by moojoose at 11:29 AM on April 14, 2011

Should also mention, at the time, private student loans were incredibly easy to get, no co-signer needed. Probably too easy (obviously). I had little to no credit. Graduated 5 years ago, though, so things could have changed.
posted by moojoose at 11:33 AM on April 14, 2011

Response by poster: Well, moojoose, my brother got into other schools, but this is the one he wants to go to. It's a private honors college in FL and he has almost half of his tuition for first year covered with grants/scholarships. He's so smart and (unlike me) actually knows what he wants to do.

I called my dad about in-state thing (since so many said that could be an issue) and he said he'd called the school weeks ago and they advised him that if he moves before August 1, my brother will qualify for in state starting Fall of 2012. So the last 3 years of schooll, will be less than $6000 a year... which makes a loan for 18k less scary. I would like to get him a loan from one place rather than piecemeal it. I would like to avoid credit cards too. But I think we're gonna have to make some compromises here.
posted by roxie5 at 11:38 AM on April 14, 2011

Oof, sounds so much like my situation 10 years ago, without the moving to another state portion. I wish someone had told me then that the prestigious university matters a lot less than you think it does at 18. But nothing could have dissuaded me or my family then, so I doubt anything can dissuade you or your brother now.

Be looking for private STUDENT loans, not just personal loans. Do your best to get it all from one source. Everyone has harrowing tales of problems paying back to private lenders if you google around, but if your brother truly knows what he wants to do and is getting a degree in something that will guarantee him employment right out of graduation (things like engineering come to mind), then best of luck to him. Nothing is more exciting than starting your education. Don't let us cynics talk you down.

But please, don't do the credit card thing. Ouch.
posted by moojoose at 11:45 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

he said he'd called the school weeks ago and they advised him that if he moves before August 1, my brother will qualify for in state starting Fall of 2012.

Get. This. In. Writing.
posted by desjardins at 11:52 AM on April 14, 2011 [9 favorites]

Seriously, the person he talked to could have misunderstood your dad or your dad could have misunderstood him. The person could be incorrect or lazy or stupid or malicious (maybe it was his last day on the job). You have no idea, and his word will mean nothing if your brother's residency is challenged.
posted by desjardins at 12:15 PM on April 14, 2011

Response by poster: Getting it in writing is a great idea, desjardins, I'll def have my dad do that.
posted by roxie5 at 12:20 PM on April 14, 2011

A person can do a lot of really cool exciting enriching things with a free year between high school and college, for less than $18,000. I think the deferring option could work out really well for everybody and he should consider it strongly.
posted by Salamandrous at 12:39 PM on April 14, 2011

This is a long-shot, but is there any other family member that would be willing to take out/cosign on a Parent PLUS loan for your brother? Initially, most financial aid offices only allow biological parents to take out PLUS loans for students, but if the parents don't pass the credit check, another relative may co-sign instead. It's not ideal, of course, but it is an option. One of my former students had his aunt cosign on his PLUS loan so that he could attend a $38k school.
posted by chara at 1:37 PM on April 14, 2011

I can't think of a Florida school that would be considered a "private honors college", so I'm not sure what school you're talking about (or I might be able to help more), but I agree with desjardins that you absolutely need to get it in writing. FL schools are apparently even more stubborn than most about residency requirements, and I know a lot of friends at both public and private colleges that have had problems getting their residency changed (including friends who went to HS in Florida and had residents-only scholarships- I go to a public state school here and have a friend who just got her residency changed after a full year of school registered as an out of state). You don't want to have family members move down here and find out that the person in the office didn't actually know what they were talking about.

I know you said he has plenty of scholarships, but if I were him I would be applying to everything I could find, even $50-$100 awards. Write to businesses in the area and ask if they have scholarships. Even better, write to businesses around the college and ask if they have scholarships or can sponsor a student. Even if he only gets a few thousand more, that will be less money you'll need to cover in loans.
posted by kro at 6:04 PM on April 14, 2011

Actually, if he really is going to a private school, this might not even apply. Private schools usually don't have in-state or out-of-state, so if this really is a private school, I would quadruple-check that they even HAVE an in-state discount.
posted by kro at 6:13 PM on April 14, 2011

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