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Need help with loans and financial aid - Aid/Loans 101

dreamer103dreamer103 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
Hey guys ! I'm an immigrant who's in the process of obtaining a green card through marriage. I already have an associates degree in Computer Science and acceptance to all UMass colleges and SSU. I plan on enrolling at UMass Lowell since it's closer to my wifes job and don't intend to work while going there, the problem is that I have no financial assistance from relatives since I'm by myself here in the U.S. I'm not sure if I could afford could afford rent and utilities with just her salary since she makes only about 22k a year working full time. I have absolutely no idea how loans work, but she does have a decent credit (710+). Would I be able to have only her as my cosigner and pay everything (including room and board) after college ? I really don't know how loans and financial aid work so forgive me for my stupidity D:
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Replies to: Need help with loans and financial aid - Aid/Loans 101

  • dreamer103dreamer103 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    Hey guys ! I'm an immigrant who's in the process of obtaining a green card through marriage. I already have an associates degree in Computer Science and acceptance to all UMass colleges and SSU. I plan on enrolling at UMass Lowell since it's closer to my wifes job and don't intend to work while going there, the problem is that I have no financial assistance from relatives since I'm by myself here in the U.S. I'm not sure if I could afford could afford rent and utilities with just her salary since she makes only about 22k a year working full time. I have absolutely no idea how loans work, but she does have a decent credit (710+). Would I be able to have only her as my cosigner and pay everything (including room and board) after college ? I really don't know how loans and financial aid work so forgive me for my stupidity D:
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 18,949 Senior Member
    It is unlikely you'd be eligible for federal loans since you do not yet have a green card. Once you have one, you can qualify for federal loans and will not need a co-signer.

    For private loans, it is up to the lender whether you can qualify with or without a co-signer. It is likely these will be true private loans, not student loans backed by the US government. Student loans can be for the full amount of tuition and living expenses. Other private loans are much more limited.
  • dreamer103dreamer103 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    Thank you so much for replying!
    Yes I should be getting my green card in the mail in the next couple of months! With my wifes good credit score you think I qualify for a private loan in the full amount of tuition and living expenses even though my wife only makes 22k a year ? I understand I can't fully know until I apply for it, but i just want to have an idea of what they usually do.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 71,087 Senior Member
    Your wife only earns $22,000 a year. Frankly, her ability to get large loans is going to be limited.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,098 Senior Member
    How soon will you have your green card? When you have your green card, you will be eligible to file the FAFSA. You will be considered independent for financial aid purposes because of your married status, and will be able to borrow federal loans of $11,500 as a junior and $11,500 as a senior. Depending on your and your wife's income and assets, you might also qualify for some Pell Grant money and other state or federal aid. You also will probably be considered an in-state resident based on your marriage to a citizen, so your tuition and fees should be lower. This means that your best financial deal is to just wait until you have the green card.

    Any loans now would have to be private ones and your wife would need to cosign. Her income probably is not enough to qualify the two of you for the amount you would need to borrow.

    Can you work in your current status? Can you live with your wife and commute to campus instead of needing to pay for room and board?
  • dreamer103dreamer103 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    But would u say she could get like 12k for 2 years(24k total)? That’s all I need! I already have an associates degree in CS
  • dreamer103dreamer103 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    Explain this to me like I’m a 5 year old.. if she can finance a brand new Mercedes with her credit why can’t she finance my 24k for school??
  • brantlybrantly Registered User Posts: 3,250 Senior Member
    Because when you apply for a loan they ask for your income.

    Can you go to school part-time and work part-time?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 71,087 Senior Member
    The cosigner has to be a QUALIFIED cosigner...meaning the bank or lending institution needs to be confident that the loan can be repaid by THAT person if needed. And since you have NO income...she would really be the only responsible loan recipient...because no one is going to give you a loa n without her.

    Do the math...the bank will. If she earns $22,000 a year...how much of that is going to her living expenses? Probably ALL of it. Where would the money to pay back a loan come from?

    Go to a bank and see. I’m sure their loan officers will give you a realistic view on whether she would qualify for this loan.
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 7,370 Senior Member
    Explain this to me like I’m a 5 year old.. if she can finance a brand new Mercedes with her credit why can’t she finance my 24k for school??

    Is she financing a brand new Mercedes? If so, she probably won't be able to borrow more. If she were my daughter, I'd caution her about cosigning for any loans on such a low income. Why don't you take the federal loans after you get your green card? You could also work and attend college part-time as you can afford it. Not many people have the luxury of attending school full-time while someone else pays all the bills.
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,549 Senior Member
    Where does your wife live now? Since you seem to be worried about living expenses, are you planning on living with her while going to school?

    You might need to attend a local public school where you could commute. Then you can cover the tuition cost with your $9,500 student loan and work earnings.

    You should work at least for a year, to save up some money and the school might have a minimum timeframe of you living and working in the state after you get your green card before you can qualify for instate tuition and/or state aid.

    If you are going to be married, you and your wife should discuss financial matters, it doesn't sound like she can afford a Mercedes on her income either.

    But it might be important that you finish your degree in the next few years, so you can get a better job and contribute to the family income.
    You both might want to have kids someday, and it can be helpful if you can earn a good income and enable her to take some time off.

    So you should have a plan, and sacrifices might need to be made by both parties.
  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint Registered User Posts: 3,763 Senior Member
    Explain this to me like I’m a 5 year old.. if she can finance a brand new Mercedes with her credit why can’t she finance my 24k for school??

    Ok, try this: if she really is financing a brand new Mercedes on an annual salary of $22k and she defaults on the loan, guess what happens? The Mercedes is repossessed and the creditor gets some of its money back. It's called a "secured loan" because the creditor has collateral to back up the loan. If you take out a $24k student loan that your wife co-signs for, where is the collateral? If both of you fail to make payments on the student loan, what can the creditor take to get some of its money back? Answer: nothing. The student loan is an unsecured loan, and therefore it is a much riskier loan to make, and it requires a borrower or co-signer with a demonstrated, stronger financial ability to repay. Does that make sense to you?
  • dreamer103dreamer103 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    Trust me , she wants me to get my degree as soon as I can, she believes in me and knows that I will be successful in the field. Also we don’t have a Mercedes, but we did ask if it be possible to finance and they said yes. We had a long talk last night... she said she wants me to live at the school while she lives with her parents. While at her parents she’d only be responsible for her car insurance. You think I’d be able to get it like this? Thank you all for replying!
  • dreamer103dreamer103 Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    I checked the net price calculator at UML. I hear theses things don’t tend to be very accurate, but let’s say they’re.. they calculated my net price with room and board included to be around 14k a year. After public loans it will only be like 4K... You think I could get 8k(2years) in private loans?? Oh btw guys I did finish CC. Got an associates in CS since 2016... pay it all cash no loans nor financial aid.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 18,949 Senior Member
    You aren't looking at the private loans correctly. Banks have different types of loans with different requirements for qualifications. There are mortgage loans, car loans, etc., which are secured loans. Those have lower rates because hey are secured.

    Then there are student loans, which are guaranteed by the government. They have protections for the lender like not allowing them to be discharged in bankruptcy. I don't think you are eligible for those because you, the student, are not a citizen or green card holder.

    What you are looking for is a plain unsecured loan. Banks are limited in how much they can lend and at what rates. It is very unlikely you or your wife could qualify for unsecured loans of $24k when she only makes $22k.

    The answer is no, you won't qualify. You must wait for your green card and then the entire landscape changes as you can get federal or private loans. Just wait.
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