Sometimes you need some extra help funding your education outside of government aid. But getting a private loan to cover education expenses if you have no credit might seem out of reach.
Getting a later start in college and haven’t had the chance to build up proper credit? All hope isn’t lost if you find yourself in this situation. Many lenders offer ways around this obstacle. You can use Benzinga’s list of potential private student loans with no credit to find a lender willing to work with you.
How to Build Credit
Are you a nontraditional student who plans to go back to school with so-so credit? It seems like a paradox: Lenders set minimum eligibility standards for loan applicants, including good credit. But you need access to credit to build it. What do you do? These steps can help you build your credit:
- Pay any bills you have on time, every time. Your payment history is a huge part of your credit history.
- Open up a secured credit card. This type of card is backed by a deposit and can help you build credit without as much risk.
- Open a store credit card. These often have looser approval standards and lower credit limits. Because you can only use the card at certain retailers, you have less of a chance of overusing it. Pay it down and on time to build credit.
- Some banks offer credit-builder loans. These loans are small in size and paid back in short installments. This will establish solid repayment habits and financial responsibility to creditors.
If done correctly, these actions can jumpstart your credit and give you a solid foundation to work with.
Best Lenders for Private Student Loans with No Credit
These lenders offer private loans to students with no credit. Apply for a loan with a co-signer or use a loan comparison service to find potential lenders willing to work with your situation.
Federal student loans are also available to people with no credit, but private loans can make up for any gaps in loan coverage or offer solutions to other issues. You can deduct a certain percentage of interest paid yearly for both private and federal student loans, but there are several differences between each type of loan.
Best for Financial Literacy Tools: Student Loan Hero
Student Loan Hero is a loan comparison service that links you with lenders offering student loans, personal loans, student loan refinancing and bad credit personal loans. All you have to do is enter your top school of choice to begin the process.
Because private lenders set their own terms and loan regulations, comparing loans risk-free with soft credit pulls is a solid option if you don’t have credit. Up your loan approval odds without any negative marks on your credit report. Applying with a cosigner increases your approval chances.
Student Loan Hero connects you with lenders who provide cosigner release loans as well. These loans require a cosigner for an established period of time, but if you meet the set loan terms, your cosigner is released from the contract and you assume sole responsibility for the loan.
Student Loan Hero also provides useful financial literacy tools, like several kinds of debt repayment scenario calculators. These tools act as a possible safeguard to the risks associated with taking on large debts and can teach you how to pay off your student loans efficiently.
Best for Loan Comparison: Credible
Credible is among the leading loan comparison services. You’ll find loans of every type here, from private student loans to mortgages and personal loans.
Connect with carefully vetted lenders and view your loans offer in under 3 minutes. Using Credible is completely free. Prequalifying and checking your rates doesn’t involve a hard credit check. You can browse with confidence and make a knowledgeable selection without affecting your credit score.
Generally, only those with decent credit scores are eligible for loans from Credible partners, but you can always apply with a cosigner. This will increase your approval odds 3-fold. Plus, because of Credible’s risk-free comparison model, you can safely check your eligibility.
Even though Credible is an online service, you’ll still get that personal human touch. Credible’s Client Success team is there for you throughout the entire process, from viewing your offers to signing for a loan. You can access them quickly by using the chat feature.
Credible only partners with lenders who offer fee-free loans, meaning you won’t pay origination or prepayment fees. You can choose a loan knowing you’ll get the full amount you’re approved for and have the flexibility to pay it off early if that makes the most sense for you.
Best for Future-Income Based Loans: Ascent
Ascent is a private student loan lender. You can pick from 3 types of private student loans: consigned, credit-based and future-income based. Check your rates by prequalifying.
Ascent considers applicants for its credit-based loan on an individual basis. If you don’t quite meet Ascent’s credit eligibility standards, don’t worry. You can add a cosigner with more favorable credit than you for better approval odds. Or you may be eligible for a future-income based loan.
This loan is for people who fall short on credit but can make up for it elsewhere. The future-income based loan is exclusively for juniors, seniors or people who are within 9 months of graduation. You have to be 18 years of age, enrolled in an eligible program and maintain at least a 2.9 GPA. Ascent also allows you to apply to release your cosigner after 24 months.
Taking out loans can be confusing and complicated. Ascent wants you to understand what kind of investment you’re making by taking out a loan and provides many financial literacy tools to ensure you do. This means accurately weighing the potential return of your education versus the cost and risk of financing it.
Best Features: Earnest
Earnest is one of the only private student loan lenders that offers free eligibility checks. If you’re a student with no credit or your cosigner is unsure of its creditworthiness, this is a great tool to determine whether you should apply for a loan.
Enjoy other features that allow for maximum flexibility. First, Earnest allows a 9-month deferment period, much longer than most private lenders. Earnest is also fee-free, gives you a choice of loan terms and allows you to skip 1 payment per year. Earnest also offers solid interest rate discounts if you auto-pay your loan.
Earnest’s eligibility standards are transparent and easy to find on their website. Applying online is easy and fast as well.
Qualifying for a Private Student Loan
Generally, borrowers require that applicants and/or cosigners meet the following minimum standards to qualify for any private student loan:
- Be at least 18 with a high school diploma or equivalent certificate
- Have at least a 670 credit score
- Proof of income that shows you are financially able to repay the loan
- Proof of enrollment in an eligible higher education program
Different lenders may have different eligibility minimums. Find out more by visiting the lender’s website or use a free loan comparison service like Credible to find loans you qualify for.
Student Loans without a Credit Check
To apply for any private student loan, you’ll always need a credit check. However, federal student loans don’t require credit checks. You qualify for these loans through the government by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
If you aren’t eligible for federal aid or have maxed out your borrowing power, try finding a cosigner for your loan if you’re unsure that your creditworthiness is up to snuff. Also, many lenders allow you to prequalify for loans. This means you can check your eligibility and rates without any risk or negative impact on your credit score.
Finding a Private Student Loan with No Credit
There are many reasons why you may need a private student loan. Federal loans might not cover the full amount or you may be working toward a certificate program that isn’t eligible for government aid. If you have no credit, accessing a private loan is more difficult, but not impossible. Benzinga’s ranking of vetted private student loan providers can connect you with the right lender.
Lend-Grow offers 5-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 25-year student loan refinance terms with fixed rates as low as 2.80% APR and variable rates as low as 1.89% APR.
Lend-Grow pays down your loan, too — 0.10% APR every month for 3 years! Here’s what this means: Lend-Grow deposits 0.10% APR of your loan amount funded each month for up to 3 years (as long as your account is active) with payback rewards.
Lend-Grow deposits the payback reward directly to the loan account you specify at the time of Payback Reward enrollment. Payback reward is not a rate discount and you must continue to meet your full payment obligations with the lender each month.