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Bad Credit Score and Nursing School--Need Serious Advice


Hi everybody. This is long but I would REALLY appreciate your advice--especially those who have already graduated, and are working.

I am on the verge of starting an ABSN program at a private school...or maybe not. I need some serious advice about financing the school.

I come from a low-income family. My parents were very irresponsible with their money and have bad credit. Over the course of four years, they took out student loans out in my name, which I did not need because scholarships and grants covered my undergrad tuition and living costs. I have three credit cards that I never used but are under my name. I have a car loan in my name on a car that my parents drive. I was young and really uninformed about how this would take a toll in my life. I naively signed and handed my SSN to my parents.

I know this makes my parents sound horrible but I understand their difficulties as first generation immigrants...and I still love them wholeheartedly. They are paying off this debt with minimum monthly payments.

Anyway with about a total of $40k in debt, low credit history (just graduated college), high debt to income ratio (i work part time and take prereq classes) and a few late payments....my credit score sucks (600).

Here's the dilemma, I have to take out private loans in order to finance for my absn program. First of all, I don't even know if I can get approved even with a cosigner. Honestly, I'm afraid to even do so because this inquiry will lower my credit score more. Even if I can get a student laon (probably very high interest rate), I don't know if going into nursing school with such a bad credit would be a wise choice.

My program allows me to defer for one year. I plan on working my @ss off to save money and pay off at least the maxed out credit card and save money by teaching english in korea (where I am from btw). This will raise my credit score. However, my parents are advising against that. They think its better me to enter nursing school and just get it over with in one year..enter the workforce.

I'm 23. An adult...but I am still very tightly knit with my parents. When I mentioned this option to them yesterday, my mom flipped out...my dad was more calm.

There are more complications to this situation but I've tried to simplify as much as possible. Would you start nursing school with bad credit and get done one year earlier, start working earlier...OR...defer acceptance, work for a year, pay off some debt, save money, and raise credit score but graduate one year later?


Specializes in Trauma-Surgical, Case Management, Clinic.

If it were me, I would get my credit/debt under control. There's no guarantee that you will get a job as soon as you finish school in this job market anyway. Get a copy of your credit report so you know everything that's on it, set some financial goals and you can probably pay the debt way down in a year. Good luck!

Inquiries are not a big deal. Something to consider: Assuming that you can get the loans for school and that you are in the US, I would say go ahead and go to school and get it over with. A year is not so long. Once you have been out of school for six months, you will have to start paying back those student loans that your parents already took out. As long as you are in school (or unemployed) the payments can be deferred on the student loans for quite some time. Finishing nursing school and getting a job in a year will put you in a better financial position to pay those loans off, plus after you are done with school, you may be able to consolidate them all for a lower interest rate and only have to make one payment at a time.

I would also consider having the credit reporting companies lock your accounts (you have to contact all 3 of them individually) so that no one can get any more credit in your name without you knowing about it. Its free to do though. You do not have to tell them why, just that you want fraud protection or whatever they call it on your account. it could save you from more headaches down the road. That way if your parents were to try and get more credit in your name in the future without you knowing, it would simply be declined.. they would not know why.