Federal student loans should be the first step for all students, whether a single mother or not. Being backed by the government, they offer better terms than any other type of loan you’ll find.
Federal Stafford Loans and Sallie Mae programs fall under this umbrella. To see if you qualify, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
Private Student Loans for Single Mothers
There are two different breeds of private loans: secured loans and unsecured loans.
Secured loans are the most common. To qualify you have to have something to use as collateral for the loan. This might mean a house, car, boat, or a savings account.
Unsecure loans don’t require collateral of any type. That also makes them more difficult to get. You’ll need stellar credit to be considered.
Alternative Funding Options
Loans, both government and private, are options but aren’t ideal options. Scholarships and grant programs are better alternatives for the single parent… simply because they don’t have to be paid back.
Each program has a specific set of qualifications you have to meet. These can be based on anything from financial need to minority status.
Learning about program qualifications is the first step to getting alternative funding. The library is a great resource for this. You can also leverage the internet in your research.
Finding a student loan is only part of your challenge. You’ll still need to consider how you’ll care for your child while you’re in school.
The easiest option is to ask friends or family for assistance. If this isn’t an option for you, consider using a private babysitting service in your area. If affording a babysitter is a challenge, you can contact the Department of Social Services to inquire about their child care assistance program.