What can you do if your son needs a college loan but you have poor credit and cannot cosign for him?

If I were in your position I would first have the son apply for every scholarship he can, then I would have him apply for every student loan program he can. I would also go to the Office of Student Financial Aid, every college has one and meet with a financial aid officer. Tell them your situation. They will probably be able to help find sources he can apply for. Also most schools have a co-op program where he can get a part-time job in a field related to his major. Speaking of his major, there probably are professional trade associations that sponsor scholarships he can apply for and finally many colleges have a tuition management program where he can pay a portion of his fees up-front and make monthly payments on the balance. Every public Library has a Foundation Center where he can find information on scholarships, fellowships special programs. In short where there is a will there is a way.

Answer

First verify that he doesn't qualify with the FAFSA. No matter which route you take - you will be required to fill out the FAFSA, so do it early. YOu can do it online at fafsa.ed.gov

(If you want to look into it more, FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

Also your son will be guarenteed (if he doesn't qualify for FAFSA funds) for the Stafford Loans. These generally (at the chepest University) barely cover the cost of the clsses let alone books, computer, etc.