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Best Student Loans Without a Cosigner

The best student loans without a cosigner can help borrowers get the funding they need without any help. Having access to these loans can be crucial for students who don't have a cosigner or don't want to get anyone else involved in their finances.

Best Student Loans Without a Cosigner
Holly Johnson
Written by:Holly Johnson
Award-Winning Personal Finance Contributor

The best private student loans without a cosigner make it possible to qualify without having a third party on the application. This can be important for students who don't have anyone who wants to take on that liability, as well as those who don't want to have another person entangled in their financial affairs. Our team of financial experts reviewed and ranked more than 30 online lenders to help you get funded, so read on to learn more.

Our Top Picks for The Best Student Loans Without a Cosigner

college_ave_logo_sl
  • Auto-pay discount available
  • Flexible repayment terms (up to 15 years)
  • Prequalify without a credit check
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score Not disclosed
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $1K up to the cost of attendance
Fixed APR
Loan Repayment 5-15 years
credible_logo_sl
  • Compare multiple lenders loan offers
  • Refinance student loans you already have
  • Prequalify without a hard inquiry
  • Choose from flexible repayment terms
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 700+
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount Up to the cost of attendance
Fixed APR
Loan Repayment 5 to 20 years
 sofi_logo_sl
  • No maximum loan limit
  • Prequalify without a credit check
  • Unemployment protection
  • Flexible repayment terms
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 650
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $5K up to the cost of attendance
Fixed APR
Loan Repayment 5-15 years

How to Choose the Best Student Loan Without a Cosigner?

When you're looking for the easiest student loans to get without cosigner, there are a range of important factors to consider. Our experts ranked each of the places to get student loans without a cosigner based on the following criteria.

  • Loan Features: Borrowers should consider major loan features such as loan limits and repayment plans, as well as any published limitations on how funding can be used.
  • Interest rates and fees: It's also important to compare loan rates and fees for the best student loans without a cosigner, including any hidden fees that may be listed deep within the fine print.
  • Application process: Look for lenders that let borrowers get prequalified without a hard inquiry on their credit reports, as well as those who make it possible to complete the entire loan application online.
  • Qualification process: Check for minimum qualifications that might apply, including minimum credit score or income requirements.
  • Customer support: Check to see whether lenders offer ample customer service and support options, including phone support, email support, and online chat.
  • Online user reviews: Read over online user testimonials for each company on platforms like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot with the goal of finding companies that have mostly positive reviews.
  • Perks and Bonuses: Finally, check for student loan companies that offer discounts or perks for borrowers, which may include auto-pay discounts or good grade rewards.

Best Student Loans Without a Cosigner for 2022 - Full Overview

When you're looking for the best way to get a student loan without cosigner, you should start your search with lenders that make it easy to get approved. We compared more than 30 online student loan companies in this space to find the best options out there, and the reviews below explain each provider's offerings as well as their pros and cons.

1. College Ave Student Loans — Best Overall

College Ave Student Loans offers exceptionally competitive loan rates and terms for their in-school student loans and student loan refinancing products. They also offer loans for any stage of higher education, from undergraduate student loans to graduate school loans, career loans, and parent loans. Individuals with good credit may be able to qualify with a cosigner, and applicants can gauge their approval odds and check their rate online before they apply.
Pros
Competitive loan rates and terms
Offers a free credit qualification tool
Flexible repayment plans
Make in-school or deferred payments
Application takes three minutes
Auto-pay discount offered
Cons
Mid-700's credit score required
Minimum income of $35,000 required

college ave
College Ave Student Loans makes it possible for students to borrow up to 100% of the cost of attendance for college, which can help them graduate. However, borrowers without a cosigner will likely need a credit score in the mid-700's to qualify, and they will definitely need a minimum income of $35,000. This lender lets borrowers get prequalified with their free credit qualification tool, and there are four repayment plans to choose from.

The Bottom Line

If you have a good credit and an income you can prove, College Ave Student Loans offers some of the most competitive student loans without a cosigner on the market today.

2. Credible — Best Loan Comparison Site

Credible is not a direct lender, but it does make it easy to compare the best student loans without a cosigner from the comfort of your home. This company is a loan aggregator, so they let you enter your information once before comparing loan offers from multiple providers. Their student loan offerings are competitive whether you need loans for in school or student loan refinancing, and you can also check your rate without adding a hard inquiry to your credit report.
Pros
Compare rates across eight lenders at once
No origination, prepayment or service fees
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
Competitive rates and terms
Cons
Loan rates and terms vary by lender
Aggregator site (not a direct lender)

credible
Credible makes it possible to compare student loans with no cosigner for both undergraduate and graduate degree students. However, the fact this company is a loan aggregator site means that the rates and terms of their loan options vary. At the moment, the company is advertising variable APRs from .94% to 12.99% and fixed APRs of 3.20% to 14.54%. Minimum qualification requirements will also vary by lender.

The Bottom Line

Consider offers from Credible if you want to compare several student loans that don't require a cosigner in one place. Also note that this provider lets you compare loan offers without a hard inquiry on your credit report.

3. SoFi — Best for Good Credit

SoFi is another company that offers a range of student loan and student loan refinancing products, including some of the best private loans without a cosigner. SoFi student loans don't have any origination fees or hidden fees, and their advertised variable and fixed rates are some of the most competitive on the market today. SoFi even offers a career services department that can help you get a job after you graduate with your degree.
Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
No origination fees or hidden fees
Get help with your job search
Unemployment protection available
Competitive rates and loan terms
Auto-pay discount offered
Cons
Minimum loan amount of $5,000
Good credit required

sofi
SoFi may let borrowers without a cosigner take out enough student loans to cover 100% of the cost of attendance at school. Repayment terms can last for five, seven, 10 or 15 years, and loans come with a six-month grace period if you don't make payments during school. Interest rates from SoFi include variable APRs of 2.59% to 13.17% and fixed APRs from 4.60% to 12.55%. SoFi does not disclose their minimum credit score requirements, yet you may be able to qualify with no cosigner if you have a good credit score, or any score of 670 or higher.

The Bottom Line

Consider SoFi if you have a good credit score and you want to borrow for school or refinance without help from a cosigner. Like other lenders in our ranking, SoFi even lets you check your rate without any impact on your credit score.

Try SoFi

4. Ascent — Best Outcomes-Based Loans

While Ascent offers several different types of student loans, including credit-based loans with and without a cosigner, they offer an outcomes-based student loan that comes with no credit score requirement and no minimum income requirement. This type of student loan bases your qualification on the income they expect you to have when you graduate. Interest rates are higher for their outcomes-based loans, but they can help you get the funding you need to graduate from school.
Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
1% auto-pay discount offered
No credit or income requirements
Earn a 1% cash back graduation reward
Cons
$20,000 loan limit for outcome-based loans
High APRs apply

ascent
Students who need help funding college without a credit score or a cosigner can turn to Ascent for help. This lender lets borrowers take out up to $20,000 in student loans without any credit requirements or income requirements, and they can repay their loans over five, seven, 10, 12 or 15 years. Interest rates currently include variable APRs of 9.16% to 11.56% and fixed APRs from 12.18% to 12.85% for outcome-based loans with no cosigner.

The Bottom Line

Ascent lets you get funding for college when you don't have a credit score, your own income, or a cosigner. However, loan limits are low and interest rates are higher than other lenders charge.

5. Stride — Best Income-Share Agreement

Stride Funding is a company that offers income-share agreements (ISAs) instead of student loans. This means they ask you to guarantee your loans with a percentage of your future income, but that you can get qualified for funding with no credit score, minimum income, or cosigner required. While your payment will vary, ISAs typically require you to repay 2% to 9.5% of your gross income during the repayment period.
Pros
No credit score or income required
Repay over 60 months
Three-month grace period
Ongoing career support
Cons
$25,000 limit per year of school
Availability based on school and major
No prepayment discount

Stride Funding lets you use your future income to guarantee your student loans, and you can borrow up to $25,000 during each year of school. Just remember that you may or may not qualify based on your school and your specific degree program, and that you'll owe a percentage of your income for 60 months of payments after you graduate. Fortunately, there are no credit or income requirements for these loans, nor do you need a cosigner to qualify.

The Bottom Line

Consider Stride Funding if you plan to have a substantial income after you graduate, and if you need up to $25,000 in funding per year of college without having to get a cosigner involved.

6. Laurel Road — Best Refinance Loans with No Cosigner

Laurel Road offers a robust student loan refinancing program with more repayment options than other lenders. Interest rates are competitive, and borrowers with good credit may be able to refinance their loans to get better rates and terms without a cosigner. This lender also offers lower rates for applicants who are willing to open a Laurel Road checking account and set up qualifying direct deposits. Borrowers can also check their rate with no hard inquiry or impact to their credit scores, so there's no risk to see if you can qualify.
Pros
Excellent rates and terms available
Award-winning online experience
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
No origination fees or hidden fees
Refinance parent PLUS loans in your name
Cons
Checking account required for lowest rates
Good credit required

laurel road
Laurel Road offers studentrefinance loans with variable APRs of 1.64% to 5.95% and fixed APRs of 3.24% to 6.05%. Borrowers can repay their loans over five, seven, 10, 15, or 20 years, and interest rates can adjust slightly based on the repayment plan chosen. Be aware that advertised interest rates include an auto-pay discount, and that the best rates and terms also go to those who open a Laurel Road checking account and set up qualifying direct deposits.

The Bottom Line

If you want to refinance your student loans without a cosigner, Laurel Road is worth checking out. This lender even lets you check your rate without any impact to your credit, so you have nothing to lose.

7. Education Loan Finance — Best for No Fees

Education Loan Finance (ELFI) is a top lender to consider if you're looking for the best student loans with no cosigner and you don't want to pay any fees. This student lender offers loan products with no origination fees and no hidden fees, and there are myriad repayment plans to choose from that can help you get a monthly payment you can afford. Education Loan Finance also clearly discloses their qualification requirements, so you will have a full picture of what you need to qualify without a cosigner.
Pros
Check your rate with no impact on your credit
No origination fees or hidden fees
Competitive rates and terms offered
Cons
Only for bachelor's degrees or higher
Minimum credit score and income required
Minimum credit history of 36 months required

elfi
Education Loan Finance makes it possible to borrow up to the cost of attendance for a bachelor's degree program or a graduate degree, and with variable rates that start at 1.30% or fixed rates that start at 3.20%. Applicants can repay their student loans for school over five to 15 years, and student loan refinancing products offer repayment options that span from five to 20 years. Minimum qualification requirements include a credit score of 680, at least 36 months of credit history, and a minimum income of $35,000.

The Bottom Line

Consider student loans from Education Loan Finance if you have a credit score of at least 680, at least 36 months of credit history, and an income of $35,000 or more. This lender also lets you check your rate and approval odds with no impact on your credit score.

Try ELFI

8. Discover — Best Forbearance Options

While the vast majority of student loan companies do not have any programs in place for borrowers experiencing economic hardship, Discover offers several forbearance options you can lean on for help. Discover student loans also come with no origination fees and no hidden fees, and borrowers can qualify for a one-time cash reward of 1% of the loan amount if they maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher (or equivalent). Interest rates for Discover student loans are also highly competitive, so you're bound to get a good deal if you can get approved.
Pros
Several programs for economic hardship
Rewards for good grades
No origination fees or hidden fees
Auto-pay discount offered
Discount for in-school payments
Cons
Only one repayment term
Cannot check your rate without applying

discvoer
Discover makes it possible for students to borrow up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance with their chance to repay loans over 15 years. Advertised rates include variable APRs of 1.79% to 11.24% and fixed APR of 4.49% to 13.34%, and these loans come with no origination fees and no hidden fees. Discover does not disclose their minimum qualification requirements, but you can get approved without a cosigner if your credit and income are sufficient.

The Bottom Line

If you have good credit and you want a private student loan that comes with forbearance options, consider Discover. Their rates and terms are highly competitive, and you may be able to qualify with good credit and a sufficient income.

Best Student Loans Without a Cosigner - Feature Comparison

Company Name

Estimated APR

Minimum credit score

Loan Amounts

Loan Terms

College Ave Student Loans

Variable APR of .94% to 12.99%


Fixed APR of 3.22% to 13.95%

mid-700's

Up to 100% of the cost of attendance

5, 8, 10, or 15 years

Credible

Variable APR of .94% to 12.99% 


Fixed APR of 3.20% to 14.54%. 

Varies by lender

Up to 100% of the cost of attendance

Varies by lender

SoFi

Variable APR of 2.59% to 13.17%


Fixed APR of 4.60% to 12.55%

Not disclosed

$5,000 up to 100% of the cost of attendance

5, 7, 10, or 15 years

Ascent

Variable APR of 9.16% to 11.56%


Fixed APR of 12.18% to 12.85%

None

Up to $20,000 for outcome-based loans without a cosigner

5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years

Stride

Not applicable 

None

Up to $25,000 for each year of school

5 years of payments over 10 years

Laurel Road

Variable APR of 1.64% to 5.95%


Fixed APR of 3.24% to 6.05%

640

None

5, 7, 10, 15, or 20 years

Education Loan Finance

Variable APR from 1.30%


Fixed APR from 3.20%

680 and at least 36 months of credit history

Up to 100% of the cost of attendance

5 to 15 years

Discover

Variable APR of 1.79% to 11.24%


Fixed APR of 4.49% to 13.34%

Not disclosed

Up to 100% of the cost of attendance

15 years

What Is a Student Loan Cosigner? 

A student loan cosigner can be any individual who is willing to be legally responsible for repaying your student loans. While a cosigner isn't always required, students can often get better rates and terms on their private student loans if they can secure a cosigner with a good credit score and a long credit history.

Do You Need a Cosigner for a Student Loan?

If you have a strong credit history and a credit score that's in the "good" range, which includes FICO scores of 670 and above, you may be able to get approved for the best student loans without a cosigner. That said, having a cosigner can help you increase your approval odds, as well as your chance to qualify for loans with the best rates terms.

How Can You Get a Student Loan Without a Cosigner?

Getting a student loan without a cosigner works similarly to applying with one. The following steps can help you start the process:

  • Step 1: Compare lenders that offer student loans based on their loan limits, rates and fees.
  • Step 2: Check each lender's minimum qualification requirements, including income and credit score requirements.
  • Step 3: Check your rate with at least three or four lenders in order to gauge your approval odds.
  • Step 4: Compare loan offers among lenders who preapproved you in order to determine which one offers the best loan for your needs.
  • Step 5: Move forward with the student loan application by providing full details such as your contact information, your school and degree program, your Social Security number, and more.
  • Step 6: Be prepared to send your school additional information or documentation they request, such as pay stubs or your tax return.
  • Step 7: Wait to find out if your loan application is approved, which could take hours or several days.
  • Step 8: Wait for your lender to send your loan funds directly to your school.
  • Step 9: Begin repaying your student loans during school or after based on the loan agreement and repayment schedule you agreed to.

Who’s Eligible for Student Loans that Don’t Require Cosigners?

Companies that offer the best private student loans without a cosigner typically have unique minimum approval requirements, so you may be able to get approved with some lenders and not others. That said, most student loans with no cosigner come with the following minimum requirements:

  • Good credit score (minimum FICO score of 670)
  • Lengthy credit history (usually at least 24 months)
  • Minimum income (usually $35,000 or more)
  • Must be in pursuit of a bachelor's degree or higher

Since requirements among different lenders can vary so much, you should take the time to check your rate and approval odds with a few different lenders before you apply. Doing so can help you see which places to get student loans without a cosigner might approve you with the best possible rates and terms.

Where Can You Get a Private Student Loan Without a Cosigner?

Several different types of financial institutions offer private student loans with no cosigner required, including the following:

  • Traditional banks: Many traditional financial institutions offer private student loans with exceptional rates and terms. However, their minimum credit score and income requirements vary.
  • Credit unions: Students can also reach out to a credit union for help with loans for school, although credit union membership is required. These institutions may offer better rates and terms for student loans than other companies.
  • Online lenders: An array of online student loan companies also offer financing for college, and often with the best rates and terms.

Pros and Cons of Student Loans with No Cosigner

Getting a private student loan without a cosigner comes with its own share of pros and cons. Consider the advantages and disadvantages below before you apply.

Pros:

  • You may be able to borrow up to 100% of the cost of attendance for school.
  • Good credit can help you qualify for loans with the best rates and terms.
  • Not having a cosigner can help make the loan process less complicated.
  • Without a cosigner, you can pick the repayment plan and terms that suit you best.

Cons:

  • Having a cosigner could help you qualify for better rates and loan terms.
  • You won't have anyone to share the responsibility for repaying your loans.
  • Some lenders may not be able to approve you without a cosigner on your application.
  • You'll have fewer lenders to choose from if you don't have a credit score or an income when you apply.

Tips for Improving Your Student Loan Options

If you want access to the best possible student loan options, including the best student loans without a cosigner, there are steps you can take to improve your chances.

  • Take steps to improve your credit score. Moves like paying down debt, paying off old debts in default, and paying all your bills on time can help improve your credit score in the short-term.
  • Check your credit reports for errors. If you find errors on your credit reports and dispute them with the credit bureaus, your credit score can improve in a hurry. Fortunately, you can check your credit reports with all three credit bureaus for free with the website AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • Boost your income before you apply. If you have a minimal income right now but you are going to earn more in the near future, it can help to put off applying for private student loans until then.
  • Get a cosigner. Finally, getting a cosigner with a long credit history and good credit score can help you qualify for better loan rates and terms.

Conclusion

The best student loans without a cosigner make it easy to qualify if you have good credit and a sufficient income. However, loan companies all have their own minimum qualification requirements, so you'll want to do some research to find out what you'll need to qualify with each one.

As you search for the best places to get student loans without a cosigner, your best bet is starting with the lenders on this list. Each one offers loan options you may be able to qualify for on your own, and with the best rates and terms of all lenders on the market today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the advantages of having a cosigner?

Having a cosigner can help you qualify for student loans with better rates and terms than you can get on your own. A cosigner also shares legal responsibility for repaying your loans.

Do all private student loans require a cosigner?

Most private student loans do not require a cosigner, although you'll need to meet their minimum income and credit score requirements to qualify on your own.

How are non-cosigned loans different from cosigned loans?

Non-cosigned student loans aren't much different than cosigned loans other than the fact the borrower is applying without any help. That said, non-cosigned student loans are often more difficult to qualify for.

How is the interest rate on a non-cosigned loan determined?

Interest rates on non-cosigned student loans are based on the qualifications of the applicant, and may include their credit score, the length of their credit history, their income, and more.

Is it better to have student loans with or without a cosigner?

There are pros and cons that come with getting student loans with a cosigner or without one. However, having a cosigner can make it easier to qualify for the loans you need with the best rates and terms.

What credit score do you need to get a student loan without a cosigner?

Having a good credit score, or a FICO score of 670 or above, can help improve your chances at getting approved without a cosigner. A credit score in the mid-700's can increase your approval odds even further.

Can I get a student loan with no cosigner if I have bad credit?

If you have a low credit score and plenty of issues on your credit report, you are unlikely to be approved for a student loan without getting a cosigner involved.

Do student loans affect a cosinger’s credit score?

Student loans can absolutely affect a cosigner's credit since they are legally responsible for repayment alongside the primary borrower. If a payment is late or the private student loan goes into default, this will cause considerable damage to the credit scores of both parties.

What options are there if you can’t get a student loan without a cosigner?

If you can't get a student loan without a cosigner, consider alternatives such as income-share agreements (ISAs), employee tuition assistance programs, other types of loans, and scholarships or grants. Also make sure you haven't exhausted federal student loans available to you since most federal loans don't require a credit check.

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Holly Johnson

Holly Johnson

Award-Winning Personal Finance Contributor

I’m a professional writer who is obsessed with money, travel, and budgeting.

More about me