Can You Apply for Student Loans Without a Cosigner?

Can You Apply for Student Loans Without a Cosigner? August 17, 2012

Finding a private student loan provider who will give a loan to a student without a cosigner is very difficult.  Private student loans require strong credit history, and for students who do not have a longstanding job or steady income, their lack credit history usually won’t cut it.

Most students who use a private lender for student loans will have a cosigner.  Online resources that promise a student loan without a cosigner are most likely fraudulent and should be avoided.

The bottom line is that when you need a private student loan, your credit will determine everything, including your rate, which can be as high as 15% or more on private loans!  You’ll do yourself a big favor if you consider financial aid and government loans first and then private loans with a cosigner second.

Who Can Get Federal Student Aid Without a Cosigner? student loans without cosigner

Before you go signing up for the first private student loan you find online, you should know what it takes to get a student loan without a cosigner.

You often have to meet certain qualifications, including proof of credit history which can be challenging for students who don’t have an income or steady job.  The most general requirements include:

  • U.S. Citizenship (or permanent residency)
  • Valid Social Security number
  • Age 18 or older
  • High school graduate or GED
  • You must apply to an eligible degree/certification program
  • Good credit history (for private loans)

Believe it or not, your personal credit history will play a major role in getting private student loans without a cosigner.  In fact, most students who do not have any credit will not be approved unless someone cosigns their student loan.

The best solution is to first apply for financial aid and government student loans because these do not require a person to have a credit history.  The down side is that you are limited in how much you can borrow with government student loans.  If your school is too expensive to be covered entirely by government loans and you cannot qualify for a good private loan, you should probably consider a cheaper school – like a community college or state university.

How to Apply for Financial Aid Without a Cosigner

Fill out your FAFSA:

1. Get your PIN: Go to and get your pin number.  Keep your pin secret and in a safe place.

2. Go through the FAFSA worksheet Go to and start your FAFSA.

3. Use your PIN to complete FAFSA

4. Contact your school for other financial aid details.

Applying for a Private Student Loan With No Cosigner

If financial aid and government loans aren’t enough to cover your school bills, you may need to apply for private student loans.  Yes, it is possible to get a private student loan without a cosigner, but it’s very unlikely for a young student to get approved.  Plus, your rate could be very high depending on your credit history.  For students just starting out in college, their credit history may be very short or even nonexistent, so expect very high interest rates.

Finding a private student lender may prove to be difficult if you don’t have a credit history or steady job.  Also, should check with your school first to make sure your school certifies your private lender.  It’s a good idea to get a list of recommended private lenders from your financial aid office.

Have you used a private lender for student loans?  What do you recommend for students who need to borrow for college?

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