Managing your finances while studying is hard, but it is extremely important. You must be extremely stringent and have everything under control. Letting things slip can really get you into trouble. The Federal Pell Grant offers a real financial relief. More importantly, it is a scholarship and not a loan, so you will not have to return the money. The Federal Pell Grant is now more accessible than ever before, but the eligibility criteria remain as strict as before. You should look closely into the ones regarding loans in default.
It is not shameful to admit that you have a student loan in default. You should do your best to get it back in good standing since this can ruin your chances of getting a Federal Pell Grant. Basically, you cannot be awarded this grant if you have defaulted on the repayment of a student loan. You cannot get any other form of financial aid from the Federal Government either. This means that you cannot receive other student loans to repay your defaulting one. These rules are also applicable to people who have any outstanding charges on Federal grants. For instance, if you had to return money and you did not do it, you are not eligible for more financial aid.
You should not despair for being ineligible to get a Federal Pell Grant due to your student loan being in default. You have a number of options to solve the problem. It is a very good idea to contact your school’s financial aid office for advice. They might be able to do something for your case, if there are any special circumstances involved. You can also ask for other types of scholarships available from the school or from the local government. These might not have eligibility criteria regarding student loans. In fact, many grants available to top students do not have such stringent rules.
The other option you have in order to receive a Federal Pell Grant is to actually repay some of your student loan so that it is not in a default status. It is true that this is more easily said than done, but you might not have another choice. It is a good idea to postpone your studies and get a well paid job to repay part of your loan and regain your Pell Grant eligibility. Alternatively, you can work while going to school, but in this case you will have more expenses and a smaller income.
It is best for you to try to sort things out as quickly as possible. You know what your personal circumstances are, so you need to look for an individual solution. Keep in mind that you need to get your loan in good standing and to repay any charges you owe for Federal grants, before you can apply for a Federal Pell Grant again. You should also look into the other criteria for eligibility to make sure that you comply with all of them. Seeking help is not shameful. Quite the opposite, there are a lot of people ready to help you.