Typically, it’s recommended that borrowers have a good credit score to access competitive student loan offers. But what if you have no credit at all?
Don’t fret — there are a variety of student loan options for borrowers with no credit.
Keep reading to learn how you can get student loans with no credit and to explore our top picks for lenders.
Can You Get Student Loans if You Don’t Have Credit?
It depends on the type of loan you are borrowing. For federal loans, you do not need to have credit to qualify. On the flip side, most private student loans will require you to have a strong credit history.
However, there are still private loan options for those without a credit history. Borrowers can either apply for non-credit-based loan options or have a cosigner with a strong credit history cosign their loan. That said, borrowers should consider a cosigned loan option before non-cosigned, non-credit-based loans because the interest rates can be higher for the latter.
Student Loan Options if You Have No Credit
There are plenty of loan options available for prospective borrowers without any credit.
Federal Student Loans
Experts recommend that borrowers exhaust their federal loan options before resorting to private loans. Federal loans have controlled interest rates, strong borrower benefits, and various repayment plans, making them the preferred option.
Generally, most federal student loans have fixed interest rates that are set by Congress. This means that the interest rate on the loan will never change, protecting your interest rate from fluctuations due to the economy.
To borrow a federal student loan, you’ll need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA opens on October 1st and closes on June 30th.
Private Student Loans
If you opt for private student loans, look into the lenders below. Rather than searching for lenders one-by-one, we recommend comparing your no credit options with an automated student loan search tool. With the free Sparrow application, you can see the rates and terms you’d qualify for with 17+ premier lenders.
Here are the best private student loans for no credit:
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Ascent’s Non-Cosigned, Outcomes-Based loan is a great option for high school upperclassmen (including DACA recipients and international students) with limited credit/income and no cosigner. Qualifying students must have a GPA above 2.9.
Fixed interest rate: 13.09% to 15.08%
Variable interest rate: 13.07% to 15.02%
Edly’s income-based repayment (IBR) loan is not like your average student loan. Students who are approved for an Edly IBR loan do not make payments during school but can make payments based on their income after graduation.
IBR loans are best for borrowers who want a loan that doesn’t require a cosigner or have a minimum credit score, in addition to flexible repayment plans and competitive repayment terms.
The APR on an IBR loan depends on your projected income, but the Edly IBR loan has a maximum 24% APR.
If you are a high-achieving undergraduate student with limited credit history and income, Funding U is the lender for you.
Funding U offers student loans without a cosigner, credit history, or income. Your eligibility as a borrower depends on your GPA and estimated future earnings.
Fixed interest rate: 7.49% to 12.99%
Variable interest rate: Funding U does not offer variable interest rates.
MPOWER offers non-cosigned loans to domestic, international, and DACA undergraduate and graduate students. MPOWER is available in all 50 states and offers special discount rates for responsible borrowing.
Fixed interest rate: 13.74% (14.75% APR)
Variable interest rate: MPOWER does not offer variable interest rates.
Closing Thoughts From the Nest
As a borrower, finding the best loan option for you is important for your future finances. As you sift through your options, be sure to compare loans across interest rates, repayment plans, and borrower protections.