8 Best Student Loans That Don’t Require a Cosigner in 2021

Read about the latest student loans that don’t need a cosigner, including private student loans without a cosigner and no credit history.

Updated by Martin Paul on 1st September 2021

It’s difficult to get approved for a student loan without a cosigner. The average student loan debt for graduates in 2017 was about $26,000 — that’s a lot of money to lend to someone who might not be working, or otherwise living a modest student life. Whenever an individual seeks credit or a loan without the required credit score or history, the lender usually requires a cosigner. This makes it for people to get student loans without a cosigner. Due to the rising costs of higher education in the U.S., many students ask their parents or other family members to cosign their student loans. 90% of all private school student loans were cosigned in the 2019/2020 academic year. Students with a cosigner are usually more likely to be approved, and benefit from lower interest rates and lower costs over time.  

But, not everybody has the luxury of a cosigner — luckily, private student loan agencies, as well as the federal government, recognize that fact, and offer some student loans that don’t need a cosigner. 

If you’re wondering, “can I get a student loan without a cosigner,” the answer is yes! Read on to learn about student loans without a cosigner. 


Table of Contents


Top 8 Private Student Loans That Don’t Require a Cosigner


1. U-Fi from Nelnet

Nelnet was founded 40 years ago to support students’ educational pursuits - U-Fi was founded to continue that support into student loans, including student loans that don’t require a cosigner. A cosigner is required if students don’t meet requirements for credit, age, or income; however, borrowers can release cosigners after making 24 consecutive payments. 

Min Loan Amount - $1,000

Max Loan Amount - $125,000

Fixed APR - 3.59% - 12.37%

Loan term - 5-15 Years

Contact: support@u-fi.com or 844-307-3451


2. Ascent Funding

Ascent Funding offers a variety of private student loans, including student loans that don’t require a cosigner. They offer non-cosigned loans for undergraduate students that are either credit-based or outcome-based. However, you must be a US citizen or DACA recipient to apply without a cosigner. Ascent assesses the following for outcome-based loans: school, program, graduation date, GPA, cost of attendance, and academic performance. While Ascent looks at credit scores, they take a holistic approach in reviewing loan applications without a cosigner. Moreover, they offer outcome-based loans even to students who have no credit score, provided that they meet certain requirements, like being a US citizen or permanent resident, and maintaining a 2.9 GPA.

Min Loan Amount - $1,000

Max Loan Amount - $200,000

Fixed APR - 5.62%+

Variable APR - 4.10%+

Loan term - 5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 Years

Contact: help@ascentfunding.com or 877-216-0876

Learn more: Ascent Student Loans Reviews


3. Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank offers student loans that don’t require a cosigner, but only if the applicant has the required credit score and history. For students that have a cosigner, Citizens Bank offers cosigner release after 36 months of consistent payments. 

Min Loan Amount - $1,000

Max Loan Amount - $150,000

Fixed APR -  3.23% - 10.83%

Variable APR - 1.03% - 10.24%

Loan term - 15 Years

Contact: 1-800-708-6684 for applications, and 1-866-259-3767 for student loans. 

Learn more: Citizens Bank Student Loan Reviews


4. Commerce Bank

Commerce Bank offers student loans that don’t need a cosigner, but the interest rates are higher and approval is more difficult. Students without a cosigner can apply, but they have a much better chance with a cosigner. Moreover, students who apply with a cosigner are eligible for cosigner release but only after they graduate. In addition, borrowers who apply for cosigner release must demonstrate adequate income to cover the loan payments. 

Min Loan Amount - $1,000

Max Loan Amount - Total Cost of Attendance

Fixed APR - 3.50% to 12.60%

Variable APR - 1.13% to 11.23%

Loan term - 10 - 15 Years

Contact: 800-666-3910 or money101@commercebank 

Learn: Commerce Bank Review


5. LendKey

LendKey does not charge any loan application fees, and borrowers can apply for loans through its online web portal. Since LendKey’s loans are funded by community banks and credit unions, they tend to charge lower rates. However, LendKey does not offer merit-based loans. While students don’t require a cosigner, LendKey bases approval on credit history and score, as well as income. 

Min Loan Amount - Not specified

Max Loan Amount -  Total Cost of Attendance

Fixed APR 3.99%+

Variable APR 1.49%+

Loan term - 20 years

Contact: 888-549-9050, or customer.care@lendkey.com

Learn more: LendKey Student Loan Reviews


6. Sixup

Sixup is a private lender that advocates for bridging the gap between financial aid and tuition costs. Borrowers do not require credit history to apply for their student loans, but if they have one, Sixup will consider it. Their loan approval process considers academic merit, and costs actually decrease each year if you demonstrate academic progress.

Min Loan Amount - $2,500

Max Loan Amount -  $15,000 

Fixed APR - 6.45% – 9.029%

Variable APR  6.243% – 9.065%6.243% to 9.065

Loan term - 10 years

Contact: (866) 669-9750 or hello@sixup.com

Learn more: Sixup Student Loan Reviews


7. MPower Financing

MPower Financing specializes in student loans for international students, and also provides loans to US citizens and permanent residents. They offer student loans with no cosigner, credit history, or collateral to both undergraduate and graduate students. 

Min Loan Amount - $2,001

Max Loan Amount -  $50,000

Fixed APR - 10.91% to 14.98%

Loan term - 11 years 

Contact: +1-202-417-3800 (U.S.) and +1-647-503-4607 (Canada)

Learn more: Mpower Student Loan Reviews


8. Earnest

Earnest offers a variety of student loans for both undergraduate and graduate students, with or without a cosigner. Applicants without a cosigner could be eligible as independent student borrowers, but must meet certain criteria, including a minimum credit score and income proof. 

Min Loan Amount - $5,000

Max Loan Amount -  $25,000

Fixed APR - 0.99%+

Variable APR - 2.99%+

Credit score - 650

Contact: Website or (888) 601-2801

Learn more: Best private student loans


Federal Student Loans Without Cosigner

Most federal student aid doesn’t require a cosigner. Financial aid may include scholarships, grants, and federal student loans. Students should take full advantage of the lower interest rates and the possibility of loan forgiveness offered by the federal government and only look to private lenders after applying for federal aid. 

You can apply for the following federal student loans without a cosigner:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans

Learn more: Federal Student Loans


How to Get Student Loans Without a Cosigner? 

Many private lenders and corporations offer student loans that don’t need a cosigner, as shown in the list above. However, each lender has specific requirements in lending to a borrower to allow them to apply without a cosigner. Some lenders focus on merit, while others focus on income and credit. 

Here are some common criteria to be approved for student loans without a cosigner:


1) Good Credit Score and Credit History

Most private student loan companies and lenders seek borrowers with a good credit score, starting at 600. For students with little or no credit history at all, this might be quite a challenge, as some lenders might require a cosigner in this case. However, students can start building credit before entering school. Some banks offer student credit cards with very low spending power. If you pay your bill on time each month, you can slowly build your credit.  


2) Income

Most private banks these days are willing to lend to those borrowers who earn at least $25,000 annually. Summer jobs also count as income, although most students don't earn that much during summer or academic year jobs. 


3) U.S. Citizenship

Unfortunately, most private financing institutions are not willing to offer student financing without a cosigner to non-citizens of the U.S. However, many private lenders also offer loans to DACA recipients and permanent residents. For international students that don’t have permanent residency, MPower Financing is a great lender. 

Worried about your college tuition? Find the best student loans for you.


Drawbacks of Student Loans Without Cosigner 

As we can see, it’s certainly possible to apply for student loans without a cosigner. However, there are few disadvantages:

  • Higher Interest Rates
  • Stricter Income and Credit Requirements
  • Heavy Debt Load Without Support


 Photo of a student holding a backpack



So if you’re still wondering, “can I get a student loan without a cosigner,” don’t fret! Many student loans don’t need a cosigner, and there are even some private student loans without a co-signer and no credit history! Take a look at this list of best student loans without a cosigner and explore your options. It’s definitely possible to go to college and obtain a student loan without a cosigner. 

Other Blogs you may be interested in

Student Loans for Bad Credit

Student loan affect on credit score

Building Credit for First Time

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1.What loans can a student get without a cosigner?

    Thankfully, you still have options to get private student loans without a cosigner. For federal student loans, you do not need a co-signer(expect for PLUS loan). For private loans, you need to have a good credit score, which many high school graduates don't have.

  • 2.Can I get a student loan without my parents?

    Yes provided you have a good credit score. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to build good credit at an early age. While some students can qualify for private student loans without a co-signer if they have income and good credit, most students will need to rely on parental help to qualify for private loans. Still, getting help from your parents isn't always an option.

  • 3.How can I pay for college without a cosigner?

    Federal loans normally don't require a credit check or a cosigner (PLUS loan expectation), making them the easiest student loans to obtain without a cosigner. You simply need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • 4.Can a student apply for FAFSA without parents?

    Students can't submit the FAFSA without their parents' information. For financial aid purposes, the U.S. Department of Education classifies students as either “dependent” or “independent” of their parents. Independent students file their FAFSA without their parent's financial information.

  • 5.Does Sallie Mae need a cosigner?

    Yes. A cosigner is responsible for a student loan until it's paid in full. However, with some Sallie Mae loans, like the Smart Option Student Loan, the borrower can apply to have their cosigner released after meeting certain requirements.

  • 6.Do All Private Student Loans Require a Cosigner?

    Luckily, not all private understudy credit money lenders expect you to have a cosigner. Of the 12 moneylenders we took a gander at, just one—Common Bond—expected borrowers to have a cosigner to fit the bill for a loan. The other 11 banks urged borrowers to add a cosigner to their application; in any case, on the off chance that you meet their credit and salary necessities, you can get an advance all alone.

  • 7.How Can You Get a Student Loan Without a Cosigner? 

    If you have to get cash yet you don't have a cosigner, you should initially ensure you exhaust the entirety of your government monetary guide alternatives, including understudy advances.    In contrast to private advances, government understudy advances don't need a credit check, nor do they have the least pay prerequisites. As an understudy without a setup record as a consumer or compensation, government advances can be your most ideal alternative. 

  • 8.How You Can Strengthen Your Application With a Cosigner?

    Although it is conceivable to get a private understudy credit without a cosigner, it's troublesome. As an undergrad, you're probably not going to meet the banks' salary or credit prerequisites, and including a cosigner improves your odds of getting an advance and fitting the bill for a low financing cost. 

  • 9.Does Sallie Mae require a cosigner? 

    You must apply with a cosigner on the off chance that you are an unfamiliar occupant or don't meet the time of lion's share (18 in many states). If you don't meet all requirements for the advance all alone, you may reapply with a reliable co-signer. A parent, grandparent, or any other individual who has built up a decent record might be an appropriate cosigner. 

  • 10.What occurs if you don't have a cosigner for an understudy credit?

    Some state advances don't need cosigners, yet the borrower must have awesome financial assessments. Little nearby banks and credit associations don't need a cosigner for individual or mark advances. If you default on a government or private understudy advance, the moneylender can't repossess your instruction.

  • 11.Does find understudy credits require a cosigner? 

    Private understudy advances are credit-based. Understudies may have the choice to apply for a Discover understudy advance with a reliable co-signer. By applying with a reliable cosigner, you may improve your probability for advance endorsement and may get a lower financing cost.