How To Get A Student Loan With No Credit: Realize Your College Dreams

loan application showing students how to get a student loan with no credit

Top Tips On How To Get a Student Loan With No Credit

Wondering how to get a student loan with no credit? All over the country, college tuition costs are rising. As a result, you may need to apply for a loan to pay for your education.

student stressing over student loan

Don’t have any credit? Not sure what kind of loan you qualify for?

You’ve come to the right place.

Keep reading for some tips on how to get a student loan with no credit.

Types of Student Loans

Before we talk about how to get a student loan with no credit, let’s quickly cover the most popular types of student loans that you can apply for.

Stafford Loans

Stafford Loans are a type of federal student loan, and they are typically considered the best option for first-time students.

These loans come in two forms: subsidized and unsubsidized.

With subsidized loans, you don’t have to make any payments on it until you graduate. While you’re in school, the government will pay your interest for you.

Unsubsidized loans also defer payments until you graduate. However, will have to pay off all the interest.

PLUS Loans

PLUS loans are another type of federal student loan. They come in two forms: Parent PLUS loans and Grad PLUS loans.

Parent PLUS loans are for parents of dependent undergrad students. Grad PLUS loans are specifically for graduate students.

PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate and no maximum amount. Utilized for any education costs that other forms of financial aid do not cover.

Private Loans

Private loans are an option for students who need additional help paying for the costs of their education or don’t meet the requirements for a federal loan.

These loans are not subsidized, and some of them require payments while you’re still in school.

How to Get a Student Loan with no Credit

If you don’t have any credit, there are few different ways you can pay for your education. Some of the best options include: student carrying books

Focus on Federal Loans

If you’re worried about how to get a student loan with no credit, your first option should be a federal student loan.

Stafford loans don’t require a credit check. This is because they’re backed and insured by the federal government.

PLUS loans do require a credit check. But, the requirements are not as strict as those put in place by private lenders.

They’re worth trying for, especially if you’re in a position where you simply don’t have any credit but also don’t have any other negative marks working against you.

Look at Local Banks and Credit Unions

Major banks and lenders often have very strict eligibility requirements for student loans. However, smaller local banks and credit unions tend to be a little more flexible.

There are lots of online tools that make it easy for you to compare lenders in your area. Check them out so you don’t have to waste time visiting each bank and credit union individually.

Seek Out Alternative Credit Checks

Another option is to look for lenders that offer alternative credit checks.

signs indicating one way and another way

These kinds of checks still look at your credit history. But, they also take into account other factors, like your academic performance and future job prospects.

Get a Cosigner

Students who are not sure how to get a student loan with no credit can also try to find someone with good credit to cosign their loan.

If you do go this route, make sure you find a cosigner who takes the obligation seriously. After all, they’re putting their credit at risk by co-signing for you.

Building Credit as a Student

If you don’t have any credit when you start college, you should start working on building up credit as soon as you can.

This will make things much easier for you when you apply for loans in the future.

Become an Authorized User

One option for students to build credit it to become an authorized user on one of their parents’ accounts.

With this option, parents can monitor their children’s spending and help them learn good money management habits.

As a student, you can also “piggyback” off your parent’s credit score. If they have good credit, yours gets a boost when you use their card.

Get a Credit Card

Another option is to simply get your own credit card. student with credit card

Keep in mind that not all cards are created equally. You’ll need to do your own research and make sure you get a card that will provide you with the greatest number of benefits.

Look for a card with a lower interest rate, now annual fees, clear billing policies, and a reasonable limit. Many lenders offer credit cards geared specifically toward students that offer all these features.

If you don’t qualify for a regular credit card, you can try applying for a secured card. This kind of card is attached to your savings account. Over time, if you pay your bill responsibly, you should be able to qualify for a regular card.

Use Your Credit Card Well

No matter what type of credit card you obtain, it’s important to use it properly from the very beginning.

Some good habits to get into to establish good credit include:

  • Paying your balance in full each month
  • Using your card regularly so your account doesn’t get closed
  • Using your card for small, recurring charges

In addition to using your credit card well, you’ll also want to make sure you’re generally managing your finances properly.

Credit bureaus are starting to pay attention to things like on-time rental payments, utility payments, and even traffic fines.

Don’t Abuse Your Student Loan

If you do qualify for a student loan, you should also use it as an opportunity to build your credit.

Many people end up using their loans to pay for things other than their education.

vice crushing an apple

Because they don’t have to repay the loan until after they graduate, they convince themselves that they have plenty of time to get their finances in order. This definitely isn’t always the case, though.

Borrow only as much as you need to pay for your tuition and fees to keep your balance as low as possible.

Once you start repaying your loan. Make sure you pay at least the minimum each month and always pay it on time.

Want to Learn More?

You now know how to get a student loan with no credit. Are you interested in learning more about managing your finances and building credit?

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  1. I’m enrolling in school starting this fall and have been totally overwhelmed by the process of applying for a loan. 

    This article cleared up some of the questions I had.

    It is helpful to know I have options even though my credit is far from perfect. 

    Very informative, thank you for all your help

    • Evan,

      My pleasure. Glad you found the article helpful.

      Really what it comes down to is if you need to get a student loan but have no credit then Federal Loans should be your first stop.

      Stafford loans don’t require a credit check because they are insured by the Federal Government. Plus loans require a credit check but the requirements to qualify are not as strict as those put in place by private lenders.

      Best of luck in your educational endeavors.

  2. I think this is a great article on the subject of getting student loans, because most students won’t have credit going straight into college.

    I was able to get my mom to co-sign a loan with Sallie Mae, they’re great for low interest or no interest loans. 

    You make a very good point about only borrowing what you absolutely need. 

    The government loans will offer stipends and they are so attractive – it was really hard not to want to just go shopping, but it’s a much better idea to give it back and not risk the interest you’ll add to your loan.

    • Hey Sunny,

      You are 100% correct.  Most students don’t have much credit when they are headed off to college, so it pays to study the best student loan financing available before you go study.

      Sounds to me like you were well informed when you got your Sallie Mae loan.  A low interest no interest student loans will make it much easier to pay back when you start out your career.

      Even smarter is avoiding all the add on’s like stipends. Students should give strong consideration to a part time job, or work study job to pay for the incidentals.

      In addition, use those extra funds to start making payments on your student loan, so you have less to pay once you graduate.

      Happy you enjoyed the article.

  3. A well crafted no nonsense article full of important facts for high school graduates looking for student loans with no credit.

    Your suggestions eases the stress that students may face when applying for a loan to get into college if going to college isn’t stressful enough.

    This article is another important tool for students and is a road-map on where they can get help.

    • Thanks Gerard,

      I think you nailed it on the post.  There are lots of facts here to help get students pointed in the right direction when it comes to college loans.

      First stop for most students should be Federal Student Loans. Stafford loans don’t require a credit check, so incoming freshman should look here first.

      Borrow only as much as you need and look for ways to pay on your student loan debt while still in college.  This way a college grad will have a head start when they begin their working career. 

      All the best.

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