Paying for college can be very hard if you have a limited income and you have bad credit. Bad credit limits the places where you can get your loans from, how much money banks will loan to you, and the interest rates attached to those loans. Whether you're a student now or thinking about going to college next year, financial planning is key to success in your quest for higher education. If you have bad credit, there are many opportunities and government student loans available to help pay for school without breaking your bank.

One thing with bad credit is it makes doing anything and everything with money much harder. Whether you have bad credit because of financial irresponsibility or just overwhelmed by unexpected expensive, bad marks on your credit report can make you a no-no for creditors when thinking about giving you money. Fortunately, there are many ways you can get your credit score back up so that the bad score from the past won't always haunt you in the future. First, make smarter spending decisions when using any form of loan or credit card. Before swiping, think about how much money you have and if buying whatever it is you're getting, is actually going to benefit your life. Careless spending on luxuries here and there adds up and by the end of the year could be thousands of dollars more than you expected. Next, if you have car payments, rent, or credit cards, make sure you pay them each month on time and ABOVE the minimum payment. Consistent payments show money lenders that you're responsible with your money and can be trusted with larger loans (especially large student loans) with relatively low interest rates. When you pay more than the minimum payments, you lower how much you pay overall by several hundred to several thousand dollars because of interest rates. For example, if you pay an extra 15 dollars on a 5 year car loan, that extra 15 dollars adds up to the extent where you may end up paying your loan off in 4 and half years instead of 5!

The government has many loans available for students that are financially needed and that have bad credit. These loans aren't based on your credit rating and so you'll often get a much lower interest rate than a student loan from a credit union or bank. Two such loans given out by the government are the Stafford Loan and the Perkins Loan.

The Stafford Loan is a loan that any student can apply for and get, regardless of financial standing or credit rating. So bad credit, no credit, or good credit will not limit or improve your chances to get the loan. There are two basic versions of the loan, subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are student loans where the government pays for the interest while you're in school. As you probably know, with any type of money lent out, there is a principle amount owed and then interest that accrues on top of the principle each month. When you're VERY financially poor, a subsidized loan can be an option for you and be key to getting your schooling paid for without killing you with debt. Subsidized loans are limited to the bottom bracket of money makers, so if you're making good money yourself, or your parents make good money, you're probably out of luck getting one. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, on the other hand, can be obtained by ANYONE. No matter much or little money you earn, you can get a unsubsidized version of the Stafford Loan from the government. Just like any other student loan you can get, an unsubsidized Stafford Loan is a non-credit based student loan with a low interest rate.

The Perkins Loan from the government is another student loan you can get if you have bad credit. This loan is not based on your credit score so if you have bad credit, you interest rates won't be affected. In order to get this loan, however, you have to extremely financially needy. Very few people get awarded this loan each year, so you have to prove that you can't afford school and that this loan is your only way you can end up getting to go. This is an unsubsidized loan so the government WON'T pay for interest while you're attending classes unlike the subsidized Stafford Loan you can get.

If you choose against, or need more supplement money after getting the Stafford and Perkins Loans, you can still get a student loan from a local bank, credit union, or even lenders online. The internet is a great place to be able to shop around for student loans and find the best people who loan you money. There are many non-profit and for-profit organizations who will help financially needy people to get to school. They can provide you free advice as well as opportunities for student loans.