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My Parents Can't Qualify.. what to do?

bookworm429bookworm429 Posts: 40Registered User Junior Member
So, I got into my absolute dream school. I got a lot of financial aid, but still need to take out student loans to make up the difference. Due to economic issues, etc., my parents most likely won't qualify for a Parent PLUS loan. I'm only 17, so as a minor, I can't do loans on my own. Does anybody have any idea what options I have??? Any advice would be extremely appreciated.
Post edited by bookworm429 on
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Replies to: My Parents Can't Qualify.. what to do?

  • BatlloBatllo Posts: 3,047- Senior Member
    How much will you need to borrow per year to make up the difference?
  • bookworm429bookworm429 Posts: 40Registered User Junior Member
    Probably right around 15000. The problem is, my parents make really decent money, but not enough to pay for college. And my parents had awesome credit, until about 6 months ago, so they really would be qualified to help me, and cosign but they just can't.
  • mtpapermtpaper Posts: 782Registered User Member
    The FA issue is not how much an applicant receives in non-loans. The value of that is a big pat on the back.....

    The FA issue is how much is left to pay, and is it affordable.

    Do you have an affordable option elsewhere?
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Posts: 18,776Super Moderator Senior Member
    You need to look at more affordable schools.
  • megmnomegmno Posts: 415Registered User Member
    I'm only 17, so as a minor, I can't do loans on my own.

    You can get Stafford/Direct loans without parental approval, even if you are 17 at the time you start your freshman year. (My son did this last year.) However, you are limited to $5500 freshman year.

    If your parents apply for a PLUS loan and are turned down you can get additional Stafford loan money -- I think $9,000 (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). However, there have been threads on this forum in which people have been surprised to find that parents with somewhat bad credit get approved for PLUS loans, so don't be too surprised if that happens.

    You cannot get private student loans without a qualified co-signer even when you turn 18. A qualified co-signer would be someone who is a citizen/legal resident and has good credit. Basically, the banks want to make sure they have someone on the hook to pay if you are not able to do so. Most people on this forum, me included, believe that you should not take out more loans than the Stafford limits, or you will be enslaving yourself to student debt that can ruin your life.

    It would be helpful if you could post the cost of attendance, your financial aid package and how much your parents are willing to contribute, if anything.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,942Registered User Senior Member
    If your parents apply for a PLUS loan and are turned down you can get additional Stafford loan money -- I think $9,000 (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).
    It is only an additional $4000, which would bring the total Stafford for year one to $9500.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,759Super Moderator Senior Member
    If you are borrowing 15k in your freshman year, you will have about 60k in debt (minimally) by the time you graduate. Your parents are not in a position to borrow the money (which will have to be repaid). This school may not be an affordable option for you as your dream school should not pose a financial nightmare.

    It may be time to dream a new dream
  • polarscribepolarscribe Posts: 3,232Registered User Senior Member
    Sorry, but the reality is that you cannot borrow that much - and in any event, should not borrow that much. It's time to move on to more affordable schools.
  • bookworm429bookworm429 Posts: 40Registered User Junior Member
    My other option is a huge public state university. There, I'd need almost 10,000 a year because by their school standards, my family makes too much to qualify for fin aid basically at all. At the school I want to attend- cost of attendance is about 58k a year and I got approx. 42k in fin aid.
  • 2collegewego2collegewego Posts: 2,583Registered User Senior Member
    bookworm, Does the $42K include loans for you (Stafford or Perkins) or work-study? You said your parents make good $; can they give you ANY $ (like $500/month)? And what are the actual billable costs (tuition + fees+ room + board) of each school?

    You won't be able to borrow $10K nor $16K on your own so you will really need to give us a bit more info.
  • polarscribepolarscribe Posts: 3,232Registered User Senior Member
    That isn't your only other option. You need to look at potentially-cheaper non-flagship state universities or consider going to community college for the first two years.

    The $64,000 gap is not going to fill itself by magic and there really aren't lots of free money trees waiting to be harvested. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. Not all problems have happy solutions.
  • mtpapermtpaper Posts: 782Registered User Member
    @OP - are you in-steate for the "huge public university" ???

    or, are you out-of-state for that option?
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 24,330Registered User Senior Member
    OP, what kind of financial difficulties do your parents have? You say things were fine until a few months ago. You also say they make decent money. If this is truly a temporary setback, it might be smart to take a Gap year. This gives them time to recover from whatever issues they have. Perhaps you can find a job and contribute to the cause and save some money for your college as well. If they do earn a decent salary they can pay for SOME college for you. You are not expecting a full ride are you? Your college has offered you a generous package so that all you need is $15K I think that you and your parents had better figure it out how to come up with it, if not this year next.

    I am going to assume your package includes Stafford loans--if they don't, you have an additional $5500 right there. Maybe an additional $9k, if your parents are turned down for PLUS, which they may not be. They have to apply to be turned down. You might be surprised. The credit check is not as strict for that loan. You should be working right now,making some part time bucks and be working a couple of jobs this summer to get a few thousand into the till. Most schools put it on a student's head to come up with something. You don't have any savings at all? Not a cent? You knew you would be wanting college. Maybe an on line rummage sale is in order. Sell your stuff and replace with cheap, cheap things. One of mine gave up his super souped up phone this year for a true pay as you go cheapie and is chortling about how little he is paying whereas his room mate has a smart phone that is so smart that it sucks 3 figures out of him each month. You want something that costs money, means you gotta give up thing, earn and borrow to get it.

    How were you and your parents thinking that you were going to pay for college? As they were having their financial difficulties, it must have occurred to them that it was going to put a bit of a stint in those plans to pay $55K for you to go to a private, sleep away school. You too. You didn't just put all your hopes in getting a full ride, did you? If you cannot come up with the money each year and are already all loaned up with the package the school has offered (and I suspect you are), then you need to find a local college and a part time job. Sleep away college is expensive and a luxury, just like sleep away camp. Who do you expect to pay for your room and board? Are you coming from a private, boarding high school? You didn't expect such a school to pay for all of your costs did you? You have the exact same option as for high school to get that next year of college by going to your local state school. Not the sleep away state school that'll cost an additional $10=15K to feed and board you. But the one where you can commute and your parents can continue to provide those 3 squares and a cot.
  • bookworm429bookworm429 Posts: 40Registered User Junior Member
    The state university i'm referring to has about 40,000 students and yes, is in my home state. As far as financial difficulties, my parents bought some property when the economy was realy great, and their supposed friend suddenly backed out on them- and screwed them over. Of course, I was not expecting a full ride; in fact I was surprised we got as much money as we did from Georgetown. If I go instate, my parents and I can swing it probably. Also, my fin aid package I mentioned before does include work study and a small loan. I don't recall the exact number right now, but something about 2,000.
  • bookworm429bookworm429 Posts: 40Registered User Junior Member
    Additionally, my parents could probably afford about 6000 a year on some kind of payment plan- making the actual loans I need probably less.
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