Getting a student loan without a cosigner requires a good credit score. Without a cosigner, you will be responsible for paying back your student loans instead of relying on a parent or legal guardian.
You must prove you are a creditworthy individual to qualify for a student loan without a cosigner. Student loan providers must know that you are capable of paying off the student aid you borrow. Additional qualifications may include your academic achievements and postgraduate prospects.
Federal student loans are more available than private loans if you intend to get a loan without a cosigner. Private student loans are more restrictive, although some lenders do provide the option. Consider getting a private student loan without a cosigner only when the federal student aid you qualify for is not enough to cover your tuition.
How to Get a Federal Student Loan Without a Cosigner
You need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before anything else. If you are a dependent, your parents or guardians must assist with filling out the details. This is only required to decide how much federal student aid you qualify for. You may still get a loan without them cosigning.
You can also apply for a FAFSA with your information instead of your parents’. You will need to apply as an independent student. The following criteria will determine if you qualify for independent student status:
- Age 24 or older
- Married or separated (not divorced)
- Pursuing a master’s or doctorate
- Parent financially supporting children
- Financially supporting dependents (other than a spouse or children)
- Active member or veteran of the U.S. armed forces
- A dependent of the court or a product of the foster care system
- An emancipated minor
- Self-supporting youth at risk of homelessness
When you submit your completed FAFSA, you should receive a Student Aid Report a few weeks later. Your school’s financial aid office will then tell you how much student aid you qualify for.
If you qualify to take out a federal student loan in your name, you will be responsible to pay back the loan. If you include their information in your application, you will still shoulder the repayment costs.
Federal Student Loan Types
You can apply for the following federal student loans without a cosigner:
- Direct Subsidized Loans: Available to undergraduates with financial need. These loans pay for college or career school.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans / Stafford Loans: Available to undergraduates, graduates, and professional students with or without financial need.
- Direct PLUS Loans: Available to graduates or professional students only.
How to Get a Private Student Loan Without a Cosigner
You will need a credit score above 600 to be considered for a private student loan without a cosigner. For the best rates, you may need a credit score of at least 720. This may be difficult to achieve if you are a new student just beginning to build your credit. This lack of credit history explains why getting a private student loan independently can be difficult.
Building your credit to qualify for a private student loan without a cosigner may require you to delay your education. Regardless, here are some private lenders offering student loans without cosigner requirements:
Private Lender Requirements
- $24,000 minimum income
- Two years credit history
- No prior student loan default
- Good credit score
- Minimum 660 credit score
Student loan cosigner requirements are in place to ensure you have the means to pay off student loans. This makes it difficult to get a private student loan because they usually require cosigners with good credit scores before they approve a private student loan. New students tend to have a thin credit score history, making it difficult to qualify for a private student loan independently.
Meanwhile, federal student loans are easier to apply for without a cosigner. You may still need cooperation from your parents or guardians when filling out the necessary forms to assess how much aid you qualify for. Otherwise, you can apply independently if you meet certain age and dependent criteria.