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Student Loans without a Cosigner: Steps to Finding a No Cosigner Loan

People often ask, Can you get Student Loans without a cosigner? You might have noticed the term “cosigner” popping up everywhere when in search of international loans. What exactly is a cosigner? Unfortunately, a cosigner is more than just a second signature on your loan application.

Student Loans without a cosigner

Getting an international student loan without a cosigner may seem impossible, but there are options. Some private lenders offer no cosigner student loans – and our loan comparison tool can help you find one.

A cosigner is usually in need when an individual is applying for a loan but doesn’t have strong enough credit or income. According to our student debt statistics, 90% of all private student loans are cosigned. Having a creditworthy parent or guardian cosign for you can help you get approved and possibly qualify for a lower interest rate. But what if you can’t get a cosigner for your student loans?

Fortunately, there are a variety of student loans available without a cosigner, including both federal and private options.

Private Student Loans Without a Cosigner

Unlike federal student loans, private student loans are offered through non-government banks and lenders. There are many private lenders in the industry, each with their own eligibility requirements.

If you don’t have a strong credit score or a creditworthy cosigner, you likely won’t be eligible for most lenders. There are, however, some private lenders offer student loans to borrowers without a cosigner.

Before choosing a lender, it’s important to shop around first to find the lender that will offer you the lowest interest rate. Use our private student loan comparison tool to get rate estimates from the leading student loan companies all in one place.

Here are some lenders that offer student loans without a cosigner:


FundingU is a private student loan company specialized in lending to students who do not have a cosigner.

Rather than look specifically at credit score or income to determine eligibility, FundingU looks at things like major, class hours completed, internship experience, and academic record.


The Ascent non-cosigned option is a loan that is geared toward independent students. This is specific for college juniors or seniors, and graduate students who do not have a cosigner.

The applicant will still need to meet certain eligibility requirements and other factors in order to get approved for a student loan without a cosigner.

Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae is one of the most popular student loan lenders in the nation. Students may be approved for a loan without a cosigner. However, Sallie Mae’s website says applicants are four times more likely to be approved with one.

If you have already had a chance to build your credit, Sallie Mae may be a good option for you.

Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank might consider issuing student loans to borrowers who don’t have a cosigner. But you have a better chance if you have a good credit score and a minimum annual income of $12,000.

It also offers a cosigner release option after 36 months.


LendKey does not charge loan application fees, and borrowers can apply for loans through its online portal. Because LendKey’s loans are funded by credit unions and community banks, they tend to charge lower rates.

It ultimately comes down to the individual credit union or bank that approves the loan, but an applicant should expect to show at least three years of credit history and a minimum income to be considered without a cosigner.


Sixup offers student loans without requiring a cosigner to help bridge the gap between financial aid and the cost of attendance. Borrowers do not need a credit history, but it will be considered if they have one. And in certain cases, a cosigner might be required.

Federal Student Loans Without a Cosigner

Federal Student Loans Without a Cosigner

Filling out the FAFSA is a necessary step for students to maximize their federal financial aid options including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans.

Federal student loans should always be used before borrowing private student loans. They offer several benefits including typically lower interest rates, loan forgiveness programs, and income-driven repayment plans.

All federal student loans do not require or allow for a cosigner. The most popular types of federal student loans are Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and PLUS Loans. Here’s a brief overview of each of these student loans.

Direct subsidized loan

These loans provide students with flexible repayment terms along with low-interest rates. These loans are provided to students based on their financial need, and the government pays the interest accrued on these loans while the student is in school.

Direct Unsubsidized loan

Contrary to a direct subsidized loan, direct unsubsidized loans do not require you to demonstrate your financial need to get the loan.

However, here, you will need to pay the interest accrued while you are in school. This will not be paid by the government as is the case with the direct subsidized loan.

PLUS Loans

PLUS Loans are offered to parents of students (Parent PLUS Loan) and graduate/professional students (Grad PLUS Loan).

These loans have higher interest rates (7.08%) and origination fees (4.236%) for the 2019-20 school year as compared to the loans listed above. That being said, PLUS Loans often have lower rates than private student loans.

PLUS Loans are issued without a cosigner and are not awarded on the basis of creditworthiness. There is a credit check, but only to make sure there is no adverse credit history such as bankruptcy.

Steps to Finding a No Cosigner Loans

To get started on your search for a loan that doesn’t require a cosigner you can follow these simple steps:

  • Use our Loan Comparison Tool above
  • Compare lenders
  • Apply for a loan directly through the lender

Before applying for a loan without a cosigner, gather each document needed for the application. Common documents that you will need to have on hand when applying for a loan Include:

  • Resume
  • University Transcripts (past and current)
  • Standardized Test Scores
  • University Invoice or Financial Summary
  • Employment Letter or Pay Stub
  • Address Verification
  • Your I-20 or Financial Plan

After you’ve follow these steps and have been approved for a loan your funds will be automatically disbursed to your university.

The time frame will vary from one lender to the next, with a lender like MPOWER it takes less than a week to receive a full approval, and offers are typically made within 1 business day.

Advantages of Having a Cosigner

It’s a good idea if you find a friend to cosign the private student loan application with you. There are two main advantages:

1. You Increase Your Chances of Qualifying for a Loan

The vast majority of private student loans issued to borrowers have cosigners. Having a cosigner decreases the lender’s risk. However, these make them more likely to issue you a loan so you can complete your education.

2. You May Qualify for a Lower Interest Rate than You’d Get on Your Own

If you can qualify for a loan on your own, you may get stuck with a higher interest rate. This is because of your credit score or income.

However, by adding a cosigner with good credit and a stable income, you can get a lower interest rate on your loan. Over time, that lower interest rate will help you save thousands in interest charges.

Disadvantages of Having a Cosigner

If you don’t pay those student loans, your parent or guardian is on the hook. Even more your relationship could suffer if you can’t pay off your loans.

Even if things do turn out well in the end, you could end up feeling guilty that you had to draw your cosigner into your financial drama.

This all depends, of course, on your relationship with your cosigner. It may be that that cosigning a student loan won’t weaken your bond at all.


1. Can You Get a Federal Student Loan Without a Cosigner?

The short answer is yes. The first step in qualifying for a federal financial aid package is to fill out the FAFSA. You’ll submit your financial information and your parents’ information too, if you’re a dependent.

2. Can You Get a Private Student Loan Without a Cosigner?

Even with federal loans, grants, and scholarships, you may still need to take out a private student loan. This can actually fund your education. 

3. Are there other Ways to Help Finance Your Education?

There are many grants and scholarships available that you can apply for that you do not need to repay.

Final Say

Final Say

As an international student, loans will be hard to come by in the United States. Especially if you don’t have a cosigner. But that doesn’t mean that you have no options. Armed with the information above, you should be able to secure a loan.

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