Will a car repo prevent me from getting a student loan?

Mods: I don’t think I’m asking for legal/financial advice here. This should be just a straight up “yes” or “no” and not a “you should/n’t do this”.

That having been said, I’ve fallen on some tough times and recently had my car repossessed. I’ve been unable to find anything other than minimum wage jobs (or only slightly better paying part time jobs) and have decided finishing my degree is the best route.

So… if I’ve had a car repossessed will that affect my ability to get federal loans for college?

ETA: Just to reiterate, I’m not asking if I should take out a loan, etc. Not looking for advice, just a general question.

Not much. Certainly not as much as getting some other loan from a bank.

Most college loans are guaranteed by the Federal government, so the bank has much lower risk for them. If you default on payment, they can get paid by the Feds, who then can come after you to collect. And they have much more leverage to collect from you than banks do.

So the banks are pretty willing to do college loans, because the Feds guarantee them. Your individual credit-worthiness isn’t nearly as important as in other loans.

In my experience, the only thing that will keep you from getting federal financial aid loans are drug and other federal convictions. So, no, I don’t believe it will affect you in getting a student loan.

Assuming you’re talking about a Stafford Loan, then no, your repo will not affect your ability to get a student loan. I’m not sure about other types of loans, and private loans are credit-based so you might run into trouble there.

Make sure the Stafford loan will cover all you need. I’m not sure what your situation is exactly, but here’s how much you’re allowed to borrow:

There’s also the Perkins loan, which is another $5500/year for undergrad and $8000/year for graduate degrees.

So depending on your situation, which school you want to go to and for what sort of degree, the federal loans could cover all you need. But it won’t cover your costs at an expensive private college. If that’s what you really want to do, you’d need to secure a private loan, which would be difficult given your repo. And frankly in this economic climate it’s probably not very wise to borrow a lot beyond what you can get through federal programs.

If you are going to grad school, you can also take out Grad PLUS loans up to the cost of attendance determined by your school. Grad PLUS loans have a higher interest rate than Stafford loans but are also federally guaranteed and require FAFSA but not credit scores.