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Student Loans

Student Loans Without a Cosigner

Private student loans without a cosigner are available if you’ve maxed out your federal student loans and need additional funding. Most no-cosigner lenders allow you to prequalify with a soft credit check to determine your eligibility before you submit a full application.

Company
Best for…
Rating (0-5)
Best for Undergraduates
4.7
Best for International Students
4.6
Best for Deferred Repayment
4.3
Best for Income-Based Repayment
3.9

Reviews of the best student loans without a cosigner

The following lenders are rated highly in our editorial team’s rating system, and each offers student loans that don’t require a cosigner. Instead of focusing solely on your credit profile to determine eligibility, these lenders also consider academic performance and future earnings potential.

  • Best for undergraduates: Funding U
  • Best for international students: MPOWER
  • Best for deferred repayment: Ascent
  • Best for income-based repayment: Edly

Funding U

Best for Undergraduates

4.7 /5
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Why Funding U is one of the best

Funding U specializes in offering student loans without a cosigner. Because of this, it has created a unique eligibility model that excludes your credit history since many students haven’t yet built one up.

Eligibility is determined by your academic success in college, your likelihood to graduate on time, your projected total student debt, and your projected earnings based on your major. Funding U will consider the historical data of other students who attend your school if this information is limited.

  • Academic success rather than credit score is a large factor in eligibility
  • All loans have fixed interest rates
  • 0.50% rate discount for making interest-only payments
  • Assigned a Loan Officer to help you receive your funds
  • Checking your rate doesn’t affect your credit score
  • Must be enrolled full-time at an eligible school
  • Only available in 38 states (see below)
Rates (APR)5.59%16.99%
Loan amounts$3,001 – $20,000
Repayment terms10 years
Eligibility requirements

Funding U has minimum GPA and graduation rate thresholds determined by various factors. Generally, students will not be approved for a loan with a GPA lower than 2.5.

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident over the age of 18
  • Enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student in a bachelor’s degree program at a Title IV-eligible four-year college (for-profit school not eligible)
  • Eligible states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
Repayment terms

All loans have a repayment term of 10 years with no prepayment penalty for paying off the loan early. In-school payment options include a $20 monthly fixed payment or interest-only payments. A full repayment schedule will begin six months following graduation; the monthly payments will include interest and principal.

MPOWER

Best for International Students

4.6 /5
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Why MPOWER is one of the best

MPOWER offers student loans for those studying at certain schools in the U.S. and Canada. These loans are available to international students and U.S. citizens. Not only does it not require a cosigner, but MPOWER doesn’t require a credit history.

Instead, MPOWER focuses on your future earnings potential to determine whether you’ll be approved. Its loans are available to students from over 190 countries, and borrowers can pay online from any location with any currency.

  • Provides Visa and career development support
  • Accepts borrowers enrolled half-time
  • Payments can be made from anywhere around the world
  • Checking your rate doesn’t affect your credit score
  • All borrowers receive the same high interest rate
  • Must make interest-only payments while enrolled
Rates (APR)16.99%
Loan amounts$2,001 – $100,000
Repayment terms10 years
Eligibility requirements
  • Undergraduate or graduate students within two years of graduating or about to begin a one- to two-year program
  • Attend one of 350+ MPOWER partner schools
  • International students, DACA recipients, U.S. citizens, refugees, or asylum-seekers
Repayment terms

Students will be required to make interest-only payments while in school, which will help the student begin building a U.S. credit history. Upon graduation, a six-month grace period applies before full principal and interest payments begin.

Ascent

Best for Deferred Repayment

4.3 /5
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Why Ascent is one of the best

Ascent is a student loan lender offering multiple types of loans with a 1% cash-back reward at graduation. The Ascent Non-Cosigned Future Income-Based Loan is available to juniors and seniors without a cosigner.

If you don’t meet the credit or income requirements, Ascent will use alternative factors to determine eligibility. These factors can include your school, program, graduation date, major, cost of attendance, and more.

  • Receive 1% cash back upon proof of graduation
  • Up to 1% rate discount for enrolling in automatic payments
  • Choose from five repayment terms
  • Option to defer payments until after school
  • 9-month grace period
  • Accepts borrowers enrolled half-time
  • Checking your rate doesn’t affect your credit score
  • Only available to juniors and seniors
Rates (APR)5.59%16.99%
Loan amounts$2,001 – $200,000
Repayment terms5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years
Eligibility requirements
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, DACA recipient, or U.S. temporary resident
  • Be a junior or senior
  • 2.9 GPA or higher and meet your school’s SAP requirements
  • At least 18 years old
Repayment terms

With the Ascent Non-Cosigned Future Income-Based loan, borrowers can choose between 5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years for their repayment term. However, if you choose a fixed rate, the only repayment term available is 5 years. You can pay off your loan early with no prepayment penalty. Remember: The variable-rate term repayment will result in fluctuating payments, which can be challenging when planning and maintaining your budget.

With the no-cosigned loan, you can defer repayment up to six months after leaving school. You can also request to enroll in the Graduated Repayment plan, which allows borrowers to start with lower payments after graduation that slowly increase to fulfill the loan term.

Edly

Best for Income-Based Repayment

3.9 /5
LendEDU Rating

Why Edly is one of the best

Edly is a newer company offering income-based repayment loans designed to be more accessible than traditional student loans. Edly has no credit, income, or cosigner requirements to be eligible. Eligibility is based on your school and program.

This type of loan prevents borrowers from beginning repayment with insufficient income, which could lead to late or missed payments.

  • $30,000 minimum income before repayment begins
  • In-school repayment is not required
  • Accepts borrowers enrolled half-time
  • Checking your rate doesn’t affect your credit score
  • Borrowing limits are restricted to a high minimum and low maximum
  • High-income earners could face higher payments
  • It’s unclear how the percentage of your income is calculated
Rates (APR)Based on income
Loan amounts$5,000 – $15,000
Repayment terms7 years
Eligibility requirements
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Juniors, seniors, or grad students at supported schools
Repayment terms

Repayment is tied to your income rather than a predetermined interest rate. This model allows borrowers to hold off on repayment until they can afford to make payments. The minimum annual gross salary for repayment to begin is $30,000. You won’t have to repay the borrowed amount if you can’t find a job over this minimum.

Payments aren’t required in school or during the four-month grace period after graduating or leaving school. The total amount you repay Edly will be capped at 2.25 times the borrowed amount or an amount that translates to a 23% APR.

How are non-cosigned student loans different from cosigned student loans?

As the name suggests, a cosigned student loan is taken out with a cosigner or another creditworthy borrower who agrees to take on a legal obligation to your debt. Adding a cosigner often gives borrowers better loan terms and lower interest rates than they could get independently. 

However, if you don’t have a willing cosigner or want to borrow independently, many non-cosigned student loan options exist, even if you have a limited credit history or income.

What are the eligibility requirements for a no-cosigner student loan? 

Non-consigned student loans tend to have more flexible loan requirements, especially regarding the borrower’s income and credit history eligibility. Since student borrowers may not work and likely haven’t had many years to build up their credit, these loans take into account other factors instead.

Depending on the lender and loan product, the eligibility requirements for a non-cosigner student loan may instead be focused on the borrower’s:

  • GPA
  • School
  • Program of study
  • Degree
  • Year
  • School cost

Steps for taking out a student loan without a cosigner

Before applying for student loans without a cosigner, follow these steps to ensure you take all the necessary actions to fund your education.

1) Maximize your federal student loan options.

Federal student loans do not require a cosigner and come with several benefits not available through private lenders, including low interest rates and access to income-driven repayment plans and forgiveness programs. To apply for federal financial aid, you must first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

2) Make sure you’ve considered all cosigner options.

Your approval odds for a private student loan will be higher if you can add a cosigner to your loan. Our statistics show the odds of being approved without a cosigner is almost five times lower than if you have one. It’s important to consider all your options for adding a cosigner to your loan. If you find a cosigner to add to your loan, check out the best private student loans to see whether you qualify for lower rates.

3) Improve your odds of approval.

To improve your chances of being approved for a private student loan, you should stay up to date on bills, lower your credit utilization, and ensure your credit report doesn’t have any errors.

4) Compare your options.

You should never apply for a student loan without comparing your options first. By comparing your options, you can see which company offers you the lowest rate, what repayment options you have, and whether fees apply. For a direct comparison of private options, click here.

5) Put together a plan for repayment.

Once you have settled on a lender and are approved for a loan, put together a budget that accounts for your student loan payments to ensure you stay on top of them.

How to choose the best student loan without a cosigner

There is no one-size-fits-all choice when it comes to non-cosigner student loans. What is best for you may not be the best choice for another student borrower. That’s why comparing your options is important before making a loan decision.

Here is a list of items to consider when shopping for a student loan without a cosigner:

  • Eligibility requirements: Always review the eligibility requirements for each company to ensure you aren’t wasting your time considering a loan you won’t be approved for. Factors such as credit score, income, GPA, age, and which state you live in may affect your eligibility.
  • Loan amounts: Each loan has its minimum and maximum amount. If you need to borrow less than the minimum requirement for a loan, you shouldn’t consider that option. If you need more than the maximum amount offered for a loan, check other options to see whether one will meet your needs so you don’t need to take out multiple loans.
  • Rates (APR): The APR of the loan is the annual interest rate on your current balance, including fees. With most loans, you can choose between a fixed and variable rate. A fixed rate stays the same during the life of the loan, while a variable rate can increase or decrease depending on market conditions. When comparing rates, a lower rate is better.
  • Discounts: Many companies allow you to lower your rate with specific interest rate discounts. These discounts can include an automatic payment discount, a loyalty discount for banking with the lender, and more. Ascent has the highest potential automatic payment discount.
  • Repayment terms: The two parts to the repayment of your loan are to decide whether you want to start repayment in school or defer your payments until after you graduate and determine how long you take to repay the loan. This can vary from five to 15 years. Remember, the longer you take to repay the loan, the more you’ll pay in interest.
  • Benefits: Many lenders offer benefits for borrowing. For example, Ascent will give you 1% cash back upon graduating from college, and other lenders offer rewards for good grades. Some lenders might also have extended grace periods, progressive repayment terms, or forbearance and deferment options like those on federal loans.

By considering everything above when comparing your options, you can increase your chances of finding the best student loan without a cosigner for your needs.

How to improve your approval odds for a no-cosigner student loan

The eligibility requirements for a non-cosigner student loan differ from those of a traditional cosigned student loan. Instead of relying on the borrower’s credit score, credit history, and income, non-cosigned loans consider the student borrower’s age, grade level, degree program, school costs, GPA, and more. These will affect whether you’re approved and the amount you can borrow.

To improve your approval odds for a non-cosigner student loan, you may want to:

  • Ensure your grades are good and that you’re meeting your school’s guidelines for satisfactory academic progress.
  • Take advantage of all available federal loans, grants, scholarships, and other funding options. This reduce your borrowing needs, improve your chances of being approved for your full financial  needs, and limit the overall cost of your student debt.
  • Wait to apply until you’re an upperclassman. Many non-cosigned loans are limited to juniors and seniors, so you may need to wait to apply until you’ve completed two years of college.

Recap of the best student loans without a cosigner

Company
Best for…
Rating (0-5)
Best for Undergraduates
4.7
Best for International Students
4.6
Best for Deferred Repayment
4.3
Best for Income-Based Repayment
3.9