Regardless of your credit history, you can still get the education you need. Even borrowers with bad credit student loans can get loans. You may not even need a cosigner; however, having someone with good credit on your side can help you get approved and lower your interest rate.
This guide will show you everything you need to know when you have student loans with bad credits.
Bad Credit Student Loans: Federal Loans To Check Out
When evaluating eligibility for most federal student loans, your credit score isn’t considered. Instead, the federal government will check to determine if you fit some fundamental criteria, such as being a qualified non-citizen, U.S. citizen, or attending an approved college.
You must fill out the FAFSA to determine your eligibility. With that said, we’ll look at federal student loans with bad credit.
1. Direct Unsubsidized Loans
This type of loan is comparable to the Direct Subsidized Loan, except that the government doesn’t pay interest on these federal loans at any stage, and graduate students are qualified.
While undergraduate interest rates stay unchanged, unsubsidized loan borrowing capacity has increased. Limits differ by grade and dependence status.
2. Direct Subsidized Loans
The U.S. Education Department offers exclusively undergraduate students Direct Subsidized Loans. Undergraduate students with financial needs can apply for these.
Subsidized loans are advantageous since the government covers the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time and during the deferment or grace periods. The maximum annual borrowing limit for subsidized loans varies by grade level.
3. Direct PLUS Loans
Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS can use Direct PLUS Loans to assist pay for their children’s education. PLUS Loans resemble private student loans more than other federal loans. However, these loans require a credit check, and their interest rates and costs are greater than those of other federal loans.
Although the Direct PLUS Loan requires a credit check, the standards are sometimes less strict than those for private loans. The government wants to ensure the applicant doesn’t have any bad credit history, such as bankruptcy or 90-day late payments (delinquency).
Bad Credit Student Loans: Private Loans To Check Out
Ascent has affordable interest rates and offers student loans to undergraduate borrowers without a cosigner. If you’re an undergraduate senior or junior, or even a graduate, you can apply for non-cosigned student loans through Ascent.
This includes a “future income-based student loan” for undergraduates with a two percent interest rate savings when you register for automatic payments at the highest offered rate. Rates on cosigned loans, on the other hand, may be higher.
When you join autopay, you get a 0.25 percent interest rate savings on both types of loans. If you have a cosigner, after 24 months of on-time payments, you can discharge them from the loan.
- one percent cash back on graduation
- Graduated repayment
- Options for non-cosigner student loan
- There are no loans available specifically for parents.
- Reduced student loan limits
- There are no student loan consolidation possibilities.
You might be eligible to borrow $1,000 from Citizens up to the cost of attendance at your institution (aggregate limits might apply). Citizens have a high minimum requirement for credit scores. So you might be eligible if you apply with a creditworthy cosigner.
If you currently have a Citizens account, you may be eligible for a 0.25 percent rate reduction, plus an additional 0.25 percent if you sign up for automatic payments.
- 0.25 percent off with autopay
- 0.25 percent discount for loyal customers
- Parent and student loans are available.
- There are just three repayment options available.
- The cosigner release period is 6 months, which is long
- For parent loans, cosigner release is not accessible.
6. Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank gives its clients some of the lowest interest rates among the top student loans. You can apply for several loans with potentially low-interest rates after registering in autopay and opening an additional Citizens Bank account, such as a savings or checking account.
Interest rates differ depending on whether you’re a student or a parent and a freshman or a senior.
Multi-year approval makes it easier to get other student loans after taking out your first Citizens Bank loan. Citizens Bank student loans have five, ten, or fifteen years. You can borrow anything from $1,000 to $350,000 throughout that time. But it’ll depend on your level of education, degree, and whether or not your parents are cosigning.
- People with Citizens accounts and autopay receive a 0.50 percent rate reduction.
- Graduates and parents have several options.
- Borrowing over time is easier with a multi-year approval.
- Without a cosigner, there are no specific possibilities for loans.
- The lowest rates demand a cosigner as well as discounts.
You can borrow $1,000 up to the cost of attendance at your school with EDvestinU. But remember that the total amount you can borrow is limited to $200,000. You could also earn a 0.50 percent rate discount if you register for autopay, which is larger than the standard autopay discount offered by many other lenders.
EDvestinU has a high requirement for credit scores, like Citizens Bank. So even if you have bad credit, applying with a cosigner with good credit may boost your qualifying chances.
- You can get an autopay discount of 0.50 percent.
- Options for forbearance and deferment are available.
- EDvestinU can potentially pay your entire attendance fee.
- For students or cosigners, a minimum salary of $30,000 is necessary.
- Minimum credit score required.
- The cosigner release period is 36 months, which is lengthy.
SoFi has some of the best graduate student loans, such as law school MBA loans. SoFi’s lowest rates include 0.25 percent autopay and 0.125 percent SoFi membership discounts. SoFi can help you discover more about what rates are available to you.
Furthermore, SoFi offers excellent membership advantages, like free career counseling and financial planning, which can benefit graduate students.
If you lose your job, which is not your fault, the Unemployment Protection program will suspend student loan payments for 12 months. Student loan refinancing is also available through SoFi.
So if you’re searching for bad credit student loans that work for you, consider SoFi.
- Built-in unemployment insurance
- Career guidance and financial planning are provided at no cost.
International students are excluded.
MEFA loans are offered to public and nonprofit university students. These loans begin at $1,500 for public school students and $2,000 for private school students, and they may be enough to cover your school’s tuition (minus any other financial aid you’ve received).
- No charges
- Payments could be deferred for up to five years.
- There are three repayment options available.
- Only undergraduates who took out a 15-year loan, delayed payments and made 48 consecutive on-time payments were eligible for cosigner discharge.
- No discounts available
- No variable rates are available.
10. Sallie Mae
Because of its flexible alternatives and precise requirements for cosigners, the Sallie Mae loan lender for cosigners also provides cheap loan rates for undergraduates who enroll in autopay and choose in-school repayment.
Sallie Mae’s private student loan for students, the Smart Option Student Loan, has the quickest repayment requirement to be eligible for the cosigner release. After only 12 months of on-time, complete payments, you can petition to have your cosigner released.
If you cosign a Sallie Mae student loan, you’ll have your login to manage, access, and pay your account. U.S. citizens who meet the criteria can also cosign for international students.
- FICO Scores are available for free.
- There is no maximum loan amount indicated.
- International students are welcome to apply.
- Refinancing student loans is not an option.
How to Get a Bad Credit Student Loans
If you have bad credit, you should be cautious about the student loans you apply for. Because applying for multiple loans can harm your credit score, only apply to lenders you believe are the best choice for you.
Before applying for private loans, look into your federal student loan choices. Federal loans include more repayment flexibility, lower interest rates, and forgiveness alternatives than private student loans.
Here’s how to get student loans with bad credit:
1. Determine The Amount Of Money To Borrow
Estimating your educational costs, such as accommodation, fees, tuition, food, and books, will help you figure out how much you should borrow.
In addition, the one-year cost of attendance at your institution should be included in your financial assistance award letter. If it doesn’t, you can get this information from your school’s financial aid office.
2. Get All The Information You Need For Your Application
Online applications are available for both federal and private student loans. Personal information, such as your residence, Social Security number, etc., and references will be required.
If you’ve only been at your present address for a year or less, you may need to include your former address. The application may also inquire about your school and degree and any anticipated financial aid or scholarships.
Prepare to offer details about rent payments or monthly mortgage, investments, or bank accounts by having your federal tax information or tax records ready.
3. Apply For Federal Student Loans
To be considered for scholarships, federal loans, or work-study awards, you must complete the FAFSA application on the official website.
Because financial aid is limited, be sure you fulfill the federal and state, and college FAFSA deadlines. The FAFSA website has most state deadlines, but you should also check your school’s website.
A financial assistance award letter should arrive around the same time as your acceptance letter.
4. Consider Applying For Private Student Loans
If you’ve exhausted your federal loans, try applying for a private loan with a solid credit cosigner if federal loans aren’t an option. A cosigner can help you receive a better interest rate from a respectable lender.
Regardless, still do your research to find the best deal. The payback time and interest rate are the most crucial elements to consider when applying for private student loans with bad credit.
Although many private student loans must be paid while enrolled in school, some lenders may allow you to postpone payments. So it can be the best option for bad credit student loans.
5. Wait For Your School Certification
School certification is the following step for all private and government loans if your loan is accepted. The school checks your financial assistance eligibility, cost of attendance, and other loan data during this procedure.
Your school will also verify that your loan amount doesn’t exceed the total cost of attendance, excluding any student loans or other financial aid you’ve received. Your school’s certification will contain a deadline for receiving the funds.
However, remember that the time of year and your institution determine the length of time this process takes.
How To Refinance Bad Credit Student Loans
Refinancing may be good if you have current student loans and want to change the terms or reduce your interest rate. Refinancing and consolidation are frequently mixed, but the distinction is crucial.
The federal Direct Consolidation Loan is the only option for consolidating student loans. In addition, specific repayment arrangements and forgiveness programs may require consolidation.
Your credit score won’t matter in this scenario; your consolidation loan’s interest rate will be a weighted average of your existing loans plus a modest percentage.
Refinancing is only possible through private lenders. Because refinancing entails taking out a new loan from a private lender and utilizing the cash to pay off your existing debts, it’s not for everyone.
It also implies that your credit score influences whether or not you are approved. The same rules apply when applying for private loans.
Bad Credit Student Loans: How To Improve Your Credit Score
If you don’t have a cosigner or have some time before applying for a student loan, it’s essential figuring out how to improve your credit score. Below are some ways to do it:
1. Pay Your Bills On Time
The essential aspect affecting your FICO Score is your payment history. Late payments hurt your credit score, but paying all of your obligations on time or early can help you improve your score over time.
2. Pay Off All Other Debts
Your credit usage, which accounts for 30% of your FICO Score, decreases as you pay down debt. Therefore, focus on high-interest debt and unsecured debt, such as credit cards, first if you have different types of debt.
3. Clear Off Your Accounts In Default Or Collection
Before qualifying for a student loan, pay off any past-due accounts. Collection accounts can stay on your credit record for up to seven years, lowering your chances of getting a loan.
4. A New Credit Card Can Help
Sign up for a new credit card if you don’t already have one. You’ll create healthy credit habits and your credit history at the same time if you use your credit card to make small purchases and pay them off each month.
5. Check Your Credit Report For Mistakes Regularly
It’s essential to check your credit reports regularly and challenge any errors that could harm your credit score.
Other Options For Bad Credit Student Loans To Consider
If you don’t have a creditworthy cosigner or a good credit score or don’t want to go with any above options, consider the following.
Grants, like scholarships, are not repaid. However, they are frequently based on financial needs. As a result, the government, colleges, nonprofits, state governments, and other private groups frequently offer grants.
Applying for scholarships before taking out student loans is usually a good idea, regardless of your credit score. These are not reimbursed and are given out based on accomplishments (such as athletic or academic), financial need, or personal background (such as location, ethnicity, or interest).
3. Student Personal Loans
If you urgently need money to pay for school, you might be able to receive a student-specific personal loan. However, you should only use these as a last choice because they will undoubtedly have extremely high-interest rates, especially if you don’t have a strong credit score.
4. Work-Study Programs
These programs provide students with part-time work to help pay for their education while in college. Your work schedule will be decided by your academic progress, class schedule, and work-study grant amount.
Your credit score is a letter grade that lenders use to determine how likely you will repay borrowed money. Lenders are more inclined to cooperate with you if you have a higher credit score. Regardless, even if you have bad credit student loans, you can still acquire a loan for your education. Start your search for a student loan with a bad credit score by filling out the FAFSA. If you require private student loans, try applying with a cosigner to boost your chances of approval and a cheaper interest rate. Prequalifying with a few lenders before moving forward is the only way to ensure the best rate for your situation.