Managing Student Loans

Wyoming is a scattered state with large disparities between male and female income levels. Approximately half of all singles parent families within the state of Wyoming live at or below the federal poverty level so the State is encouraging more single parents to return to college to obtain a degree which will improve their future prospects and that of their families.

The Climb Wyoming program is a non profit based program which has been effective in placing low income women in careers rather than just jobs. It is worth considering contacting the organization to find out if any of the employers they place through would be interested in funding a college degree as part of a work scheme. Single parents may be able to improve their career opportunities and then go on to obtain a degree with employer aid.

The Wyoming Student Loan Corporation, which you may come across in searches for student loans for single parents, is no longer administering new loans since April 2010, so they should be discounted through any searches. However if you do search for Wyoming scholarships there are quite a number available to state residents and are worth investigating.

Single parent students need to follow the conventional method of applying for federal student loans which are the least expensive way of funding college. The application makes low income students eligible for the Pell Grant and the Federal Perkins loan, as well as the Stafford loans. Federal Stafford loans are means based and not subject to credit checks, and offer low fixed rate interest terms.

Low income students will qualify for the subsidized federal Stafford loan on which the government pays the interest whilst the student completes their education. This frees the single parent student from worrying about making any interest payments on the loan until after graduation.

The best route to finding other suitable loans is to approach the loans officer of the schools applied to as they can provide up to date information on scholarships, grants and loans. Often the school itself may have additional financial aid which it may make available to low income students. Currently 70% of college students receive some kind of financial aid to off set the high costs of perusing a degree.

If a private loan is required to make up any shortfall then the single parent student should shop around to ensure that the best terms can be found. Where the student has young children it may well be preferable to look for a long term repayment loan to lower the initial repayment costs. One without any early payment penalties should be sought in case it becomes possible to pay the loan earlier and thus reduce total interest costs.

It should be noted that all private loans are subject to credit checks and most often a guarantor is necessary to co-sign a student loan unless the student has a good credit record of their own. This should be taken into account early in case a guarantor is necessary.