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Best Student Loans Without a Cosigner of November 2022

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Insider’s experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our our partners, however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

The cost of college is expensive, and many students need to take out loans to pay for it. However, not every student borrower has the option to enlist a cosigner for their student loan, making many types of student loans unavailable to them.

Insider’s Featured Student Loan Companies

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APR

Variable: 2.99% – 14.86%, Fixed: 3.99% – 14.96%

Editor’s Rating

4.5/5

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APR

Variable: 4.00% – 14.34%, Fixed: 3.75% – 13.72%

Editor’s Rating

3.25/5

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APR

Variable: 3.39% – 11.89%, Fixed: 4.12% – 14.81%

Editor’s Rating

3.5/5

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Luckily, there are several lenders that don’t require cosigner for their loans.

Best student loans without a cosigner

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Editor’s Rating

5/5

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Up to $23,000 cumulatively, different limits each year in school

APR

Undergraduates: 4.99%

Editor’s Rating

4.75/5

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Up to $31,000 cumulatively, different limits each year in school

APR

Undergraduates: 4.99%, Graduate and professional students: 6.54%

Editor’s Rating

4/5

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APR

Fixed: 9.93% – 15.75%, Variable: 7.73% – 13.65%

Provide more than two years of credit history and meet undisclosed minimum score

Editor’s Rating

3.5/5

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APR

Fixed: 13.21% – 14.01%, Variable: 10.99% – 12.97%

No credit history required

Editor’s Rating

2.5/5

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APR

Fixed: 7.49% – 12.99%

Editor’s Rating

2.5/5

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$2,001 — $100,000 lifetime

APR

Fixed: 8.49% – 10.91%

Editor’s Rating

2.75/5

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APR

Fixed: 7.53% — 8.85%

Editor’s Rating

2.75/5

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$15,000 — Cost of attendance

APR

Variable: starts at 9.54%, average loan from Prodigy is at 13.23%

Editor’s Rating

3/5

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$5,000 — $25,000 per year, $50,000 lifetime

APR

Rates based on your income

Will decline based on major credit issues

Learn more


On Federal Direct Subsidized Loan’s website

Learn more


On Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan’s website

*While our ratings might seem a bit low for a “best of” guide, that’s because our methodology rates these companies using the same system we use for other student loan lenders with lower rates and more options for loan term lengths. However, many of those options require a cosigner or a solid credit history, making them inaccessible to some borrower

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan


APR

Undergraduates: 4.99%

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan


APR

Undergraduates: 4.99%

On Federal Direct Subsidized Loan’s website


APR

Undergraduates: 4.99%

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 The government pays interest on these loans while you’re in college. It also covers interest during a six-month grace period after you graduate, before you must begin repaying your student loans. You’ll have to demonstrate financial need to qualify for these loans. Only undergraduate students are eligible. 

As far as student loans go, this is the best option out there.

What to watch out for: Low loan maximum. For first-year students, you may only borrow up to $3,500 in subsidized loans for your freshman year, and you’ll only qualify for the maximum depending on your financial need. The amount increases each year you’re in school, but is still much lower than with other private lenders. 

Read more about subsidized loans.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan


APR

Undergraduates: 4.99%, Graduate and professional students: 6.54%

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan


APR

Undergraduates: 4.99%, Graduate and professional students: 6.54%

On Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan’s website


APR

Undergraduates: 4.99%, Graduate and professional students: 6.54%

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Interest will accrue on unsubsidized loans while you’re in school and during your grace period. If you’re able, you should try to pay off that interest each month to prevent it from capitalizing. These loans aren’t based on financial need. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are eligible.

What to watch out for: Interest capitalizing. The federal government doesn’t cover your interest while in school like it does with subsidized loans. Any unpaid interest is capitalized, or added onto your loan balance after periods of nonpayment, including forbearance, deferment, and after your grace period. This will increase your overall loan balance, and you’ll later pay interest on that higher amount, upping the total cost of your loan.

Read more about unsubsidized loans.

Ascent Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan

Ascent Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan Ascent Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan

Ascent Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan


Fees

Undisclosed late fee


APR

Fixed: 9.93% – 15.75%, Variable: 7.73% – 13.65%

Ascent Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan Ascent Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan

Ascent Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan


Fees

Undisclosed late fee


APR

Fixed: 9.93% – 15.75%, Variable: 7.73% – 13.65%

On Ascent Non-Cosigned Credit-Based Loan’s website


APR

Fixed: 9.93% – 15.75%, Variable: 7.73% – 13.65%


Fees

Undisclosed late fee

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This loan may be the right choice for you if you have an established credit history and are looking for some of the best rates on a loan without a cosigner. You’re able to borrow up to $200,000 for an academic year with this type of Ascent loan, and you’ll need to meet a minimum income requirement of $24,000 to qualify.

Watch out for: Credit history required. You need to have more than two years of credit history and hit an undisclosed minimum credit score to qualify for an Ascent non-cosigned credit-based loan. Other lenders on our list don’t take credit into account.

Read more about Ascent. 

Ascent Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan

Ascent Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan Ascent Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan

Ascent Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan


Fees

Undisclosed minimum late fee


APR

Fixed: 13.21% – 14.01%, Variable: 10.99% – 12.97%

Ascent Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan Ascent Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan

Ascent Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan


Fees

Undisclosed minimum late fee


APR

Fixed: 13.21% – 14.01%, Variable: 10.99% – 12.97%

On Ascent Non-Cosigned Outcomes-Based Loan’s website


APR

Fixed: 13.21% – 14.01%, Variable: 10.99% – 12.97%


Fees

Undisclosed minimum late fee

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Instead of basing lending decisions on credit for this loan, Ascent takes into account your school, program, graduation date, major, GPA, and cost of attendance, among other factors. This could be a good choice if you have limited credit history. You need to be a college junior or senior to qualify and must maintain a GPA of 2.9 or higher. 

Watch out for: Low loan maximum. You’re only able to borrow up to $20,000 with this Ascent loan. That’s a higher maximum than federal subsidized loans, but you’ll pay a substantially higher interest rate. 

Read more about Ascent. 

Funding U Undergraduate Student Loan

Funding U Funding U Undergraduate Student Loans

Funding U Undergraduate Student Loans


APR

Fixed: 7.49% – 12.99%

Funding U Funding U Undergraduate Student Loans

Funding U Undergraduate Student Loans


APR

Fixed: 7.49% – 12.99%


APR

Fixed: 7.49% – 12.99%

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Funding U doesn’t make lending decisions solely based on creditworthiness. It will also consider factors like your academic performance and future potential career success when choosing to offer you a loan. 

Watch out for: No variable-rate loan options. If you want to take out a loan with Funding U, it will have to be a fixed-rate loan. While this means you’ll likely start out with a higher rate than some variable options with other lenders, your rate won’t fluctuate over the life of your loan. 

Read more about Funding U. 

MPower Financing Undergraduate Student Loan

MPower Financing MPower Financing Undergraduate Student Loan

MPower Financing Undergraduate Student Loan


Fees

5% origination fee and undisclosed late fee


APR

Fixed: 8.49% – 10.91%

MPower Financing MPower Financing Undergraduate Student Loan

MPower Financing Undergraduate Student Loan


Fees

5% origination fee and undisclosed late fee


APR

Fixed: 8.49% – 10.91%

On MPower Financing’s website


APR

Fixed: 8.49% – 10.91%


Fees

5% origination fee and undisclosed late fee

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MPower lends to international students and doesn’t require a cosigner, one of the only lenders to do both of these things.

You can get up to a 1.5% reduction on your interest rate by signing up for automatic payments, making six on-time payments, and reporting proof of graduation and employment. Each of these three requirements will qualify you for 0.5% off, or up to 1.5% total.

Watch out for: Fees. You’ll pay a 5% origination fee on your student loan, which will be deducted from your loan proceeds. Additionally, if you’re late on your payments, you’ll pay an undisclosed fee. 

Read more about MPower. 

Chicago Student Loans by AM Money

Chicago Student Loans by AM Money Chicago Student Loans by AM Money

Chicago Student Loans by AM Money


Fees

4.5% origination fee


APR

Fixed: 7.53% — 8.85%

Chicago Student Loans by AM Money Chicago Student Loans by AM Money

Chicago Student Loans by AM Money


Fees

4.5% origination fee


APR

Fixed: 7.53% — 8.85%

On Chicago Student Loans by AM Money’s website


APR

Fixed: 7.53% — 8.85%


Fees

4.5% origination fee

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AM Money is the only private lender on our list to offer an income-based repayment option. Income-based repayments can help lower your payment for up to three years if you are facing financial hardship, as defined by AM Money. If the calculated monthly payment in your regular plan is higher than the monthly amount calculated under IBR, then you qualify. 

Watch out for: Only one repayment term. AM Money sets your repayment term at 10 years, so you won’t have flexibility in deciding when you want to pay off your loans. 

Prodigy Finance Student Loan

Prodigy Finance Student Loan Prodigy Finance Student Loan

Prodigy Finance Student Loan


Fees

$25 late fee, 5% admininstration/origination fee


APR

Variable: starts at 9.54%, average loan from Prodigy is at 13.23%

Prodigy Finance Student Loan Prodigy Finance Student Loan

Prodigy Finance Student Loan


Fees

$25 late fee, 5% admininstration/origination fee


APR

Variable: starts at 9.54%, average loan from Prodigy is at 13.23%

On Prodigy Finance Student Loan’s website


APR

Variable: starts at 9.54%, average loan from Prodigy is at 13.23%


Fees

$25 late fee, 5% admininstration/origination fee

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Prodigy offers loans to borrowers in 18 countries, and you can see if your country is eligible. Prodigy only issues loans to students studying abroad, so if you need a loan in your home country, you’re out of luck. 

What to watch out for: Only offers graduate loans. If you’re an undergraduate student in need of a student loan, you’ll need to pick another one of the lenders on our list. 

Stride Funding Student Loan

Stride Funding Student Loan Stride Funding Student Loan

Stride Funding Student Loan


APR

Rates based on your income

Stride Funding Student Loan Stride Funding Student Loan

Stride Funding Student Loan


APR

Rates based on your income

On Stride Funding Student Loan’s website


APR

Rates based on your income

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Stride functions differently than the other lenders on our list because the “loan” in this case is an income-share agreement. Here’s how it works: Your payments are tied to your income, and you’ll pay nothing during the months when your income is below a minimum threshold. You pay a percentage of your income with rates based on what you are expected to earn.

Watch out for: You may end up overpaying compared to a standard loan. If you outearn expectations, it may cost more to use Stride because your payments are a percentage of your income. Income share agreements are also difficult to refinance. 

Other student loans without cosigners we considered

Some more prominent lenders also offer loans without cosigners, but they generally require good credit scores, high minimum incomes, and proven credit histories to qualify. For many undergraduate students, these requirements aren’t easy to reach. 

These lenders include:

All of these lenders appear in our best private student loans guide because they have great rates and many options for repayment term lengths. But because they are inaccessible to many borrowers looking to get a loan without a cosigner, we chose not to include them in our best picks in this guide. 

Which lender is the most trustworthy?

The Better Business Bureau, a non-profit organization focused on consumer protection and trust, measures businesses using information like their responsiveness to consumer complaints, truthfulness in advertising, and transparency about business practices. Here is each company’s score:

Most of the companies on our list are not rated by the BBB — this isn’t because they are untrustworthy businesses, but instead because the BBB doesn’t have enough information to give a grade. The BBB grade for the Department of Education is not applicable because the DOE is not a business.

It’s important to note that a good BBB grade doesn’t guarantee you’ll have a good relationship with your lender. Ask family and friends about their firsthand experience with the company before signing on the dotted line, or read online customer reviews. 

How did we pick the best student loan refinancing companies?

Personal Finance Insider’s mission is to help you make the best, most informed decisions with your money. To do that, we combed through many student loan companies, comparing interest rates, terms, and fine print so you don’t have to. We also compared our findings to other personal finance sites. We looked for several factors in determining the best student loans without cosigners, including: 

      • Interest rates: We looked for lenders offering competitively low interest rates, and we prioritized lenders with the lowest interest rates for both fixed and variable loans. 
      • No credit history required: We tried to pick lenders that didn’t require a lengthy credit history to qualify.
      • Variety of term lengths: We picked lenders that offered term lengths that fit many borrowers’ different situations. 
      • No or few fees: We looked for lenders that charge minimal fees.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, you can get a student loan without a cosigner, though many private lenders do require one for students without credit histories. All the companies we’ve listed above don’t require a cosigner. Federal unsubsidized and subsidized loans never need a credit check. 

Getting approved without a cosigner usually includes factors outside of your credit score. Lenders may take into account GPA, major, projected future earning potential, and more when making approval decisions. 

Take school affordability into account when applying for colleges; many state schools cost less than out-of-state schools. You might also consider starting at a community college for a couple of years to lower your overall cost of attendance. 

Additionally, you may consider taking on a side job if you’re able. Federal aid packages may also include grants and work study, which is money you don’t need to repay.

Prioritize federal loans before looking at private student loans, as federal loans often have lower interest rates and more protections, plus direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans don’t require a cosigner. 

No, your parents do not have to cosign your federal direct subsidized and unsubsidized student loans, which are the federal options we have listed above. This means you will be entirely responsible to repay any money you take on.

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