Selective Service and Financial Aid

Q: Can I get financial aid even if I did not register with Selective Service?

A: It depends how old you are.

The Military Service Act states that any student required to register with Selective Service who fails to do so is ineligible for federal student financial aid to attend post-secondary school.

Normally, US males must register with the Selective Service before the age of 26.

If you fail to meet this requirement you may be ineligible to receive federal student aid. This includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct and FFEL Stafford Loans.

Private loans may be your next best option.

Private student loans are offered by banks and other private lenders and can come with a very wide range of fees and interest rates.

Also, unlike government student loans, private student loans require that students pass a credit check in order to qualify. This means that the lender may look at your FICO score, your credit history, and your debt-to-income ratio.

This credit check can be used to determine your interest rate as well as your fees. Poor credit will equal either a credit denial or a private loan with less attractive terms.

Because of this credit check, students are often required to apply with a co-signer (or co-borrower) in order to either qualify, or to qualify for an attractive interest rate.

The co-signer is often a parent who is more likely to meet the credit requirements.

So before you apply, shop around and look for student loan providers that are offering the lowest fees and interest rates.

But also remember that you (or your co-borrower) may need near-perfect credit in order to qualify for the lowest rates being offered.

Which Student Loan Is Best?