Life as a single mother is already hard enough as it is, but it gets even harder when you have to juggle having a job, taking care of the kids, and paying the bills. This is why it is important to know what kinds of loans for single mothers are available. Loans designed for single parents put certain factors into consideration that other loan types might not.
Loans for Single Moms: What Are They?
Securing loans for single parents can be quite complex and intimidating because of the conditions required to be satisfied by them. For instance, it is very hard for a single parent to support a child to study at school because of how expensive it is. Also, single parents who are on welfare support can lose their eligibility if they receive any school loans. This is because a school loan is regarded as a form of income under certain regulations.
One of the major problems that impede the borrowing process for a single parent is that they are evaluated based on the same criteria that are used for everyone else. However, relying on a single income means that most single parents will not meet the requirements for loans put up by most lenders. Even if you are receiving some form of government benefits or working part-time hours, most lenders will consider your income insufficient. This is regardless of whether or not you can cover the cost of the loan.
While steps are being taken to change some of the regulations that make it difficult for single parents to obtain loans, some institutions have already facilitated the process for them.
There are several grants and scholarships that are meant to serve as loans for single mothers (fathers) or underprivileged parents.
Many of these loans come in the form of financial aids to help single parents obtain a higher education despite the odds stacked against them. These loans for single mothers (fathers) come in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships.
Some of the financial aids available to single moms include The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation Scholarship for “mature women.” There is also the American Association of University Women that offer funds to moms just returning to school after raising children. Then there is the Federal Pell Grant that provides single moms with free tuition assistance to attend any college in the country.
While there is an option to obtain a student loan for a single mother, the real problems come with paying back such a loan as a single parent.
A good place for a single mother seeking financial aid to start would be a federal financing program. Many recent developments have made it easier for single mothers to obtain public assistance for a college education.
Single Parent Student Loans
Most student loans have a requirement that would immediately disqualify many single parents from applying. However, there are several loan programs designed to help cater to the needs of a single parent who would like to continue education. These loans include federal and private loans, as well as different forms of scholarships and grants.
Here are some of the factors to look out for when seeking financial aid as a single parent:
- Low-income funding
- Dependent-based scholarships
- Private and federal loans with low-interest loans.
- Loan forgiveness periods
What Makes a Single Parent Qualify for Financial Aid?
A lot of the grants and scholarships designed for single parents are intended for women or men who are the sole providers of their household (children). Some other organizations, on the other hand, prefer to offer financial aid to low-income women or provide scholarships to students who have excelled in a particular subject area.
Here are some of the major requirements for applying for a single parent student loan:
- Have at least one dependent for whom you are the sole provider
- Acceptance to an accredited college or university
- Acceptable SAT or ACT scores
- A GED or high school diploma
- An income that is below a specific amount (sometimes)
While the requirements might differ from one financial aid provider to another, the list above is a general overview of what to expect.
What Should I Look out for When Applying for a Single Parent Loan?
There are several options out there in the form of loans for single moms, but it important that you compare all of the options you find. This way, you can choose the one that suits you best.
Here are some of the things to look out for:
- Interest rate
- Repayment Flexibility,Lender
Repaying a Single-Parent Loan
The process of repaying a single parent loan is almost the same as those for other student loans. Students will typically be given a forgiveness period after their graduation, during which they do not have to repay their loans. The usual period is six months, depending on the lender; the forgiveness period can be more.
Lenders usually offer several repayment plans to students, and a student is allowed to choose a lender that suits him or her the most. Also, a student may be allowed to apply for deferment plans if they have any financial struggle during the repayment period.
If the student is granted a scholarship, then the financial aid department of the student’s university will apply it to the tuition costs.
Single Parent Loans
Here are some of the single parent’s loans that you can check out to see if any of them suits your need.
- Women’s Opportunity Awards: This award is provided by Soroptimist, an international volunteer organization that has dedicated its services to improve the lives of women and girls through their single-parent student grant. This grant is given to women who are the primary providers for their dependents and are enrolled in an undergraduate or vocational academic program.
- Jeannette Ranking Women’s Scholarship Fund: This scholarship is specifically designed for women who are going back to school after they have raised children. A major requirement is that the applicant must be at least 35 years of age or above. Other requirements include having a low income and being enrolled in a vocational, technical, associate, or bachelor’s degree program.
- Stafford Loan: This loan is not especially directed or designed for single parents, but it is on this list because of the low-interest rate and being federally subsidized based on income. These two factors are important for single mothers or single parents in general. With a subsidized loan, it means that the interest rate will be covered by the lender while the borrower is still at school. This ensures that in the end, a graduate does not pay more than the initial loan amount.
For single parents, there are several responsibilities that need to be covered by them on a single income. However, by seeking out the proper financial aid designed specifically for single parents or loans for single moms, the burden can be alleviated.
By simply comparing all your options, you can easily apply for the single parent loan that suits your needs.