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The cost of college is high, and many students have to take out loans to cover the cost. However, not every student loan borrower has the ability to obtain a cosigner for their student loan, making many types of student loans unavailable to them.
Compare interest rates on private student loans
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Fortunately, there are several lenders that do not require a co-signer for their loans. *although our ratings may 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 interest rates and more options for the term of the loans. However, many of these options require a cosigner or a solid credit history, making them inaccessible to some borrowers.
Direct subsidized federal loan
The government pays interest on these loans while you are in college. It also covers interest during a six-month grace period after you graduate before you have to start repaying your student loans. You need to prove financial neediness to qualify for these loans. Only undergraduate students are eligible to participate.
In terms of student loans, this is the best option on the market.
What to look for: low loan maximum. For first-year students, you may only borrow up to 3.Borrow $500 in subsidized loans for your first year, and you only qualify for the maximum, depending on your financial need. The amount increases with each school year, but is still significantly lower than other private lenders.
Read more about subsidized loans.
Direct unsubsidized federal loan
Interest accrues on unsubsidized loans while in school and during grace periods. If you are able to do so, you should try to pay back this interest every month to prevent it from being capitalized. These loans are not based on financial need. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are eligible.
What to look for: interest capitalization. The federal government doesn't cover your interest while you're in school, as it does with subsidized loans. Any unpaid interest will be capitalized or added to your loan balance after periods of nonpayment, including forbearance, deferment and after your grace period has expired. This will increase your total loan balance, and you will pay interest on that higher amount later, increasing the total cost of your loan.
Read more about unsubsidized loans.
Ascent non-cosigned credit-based loan
This loan may be the right choice for you if you have an established credit history and are looking for some of the best interest rates on a loan without a cosigner. With this type of ascent loan, you can borrow up to 200.Borrow $ 000 for one academic year, and you must have a minimum income of 24.000 USD in order to qualify.
Pay attention to: credit history required. You must have more than two years of credit history and achieve a minimum undisclosed credit score to qualify for a non-signer credit-based ascent loan. Other lenders on our list do not consider credit.
Read more about advancement.
Ascent non-cosigned outcomes-based loan
Instead of making credit decisions for this loan based on credit, ascent considers your school, program, graduation date, major, grade point average and cost of attendance, among other factors. This could be a good choice if you have limited credit history. You must be a college junior or senior to qualify and have a GPA of 2.9 or higher.
Pay attention to: low loan maximums. With this ascent loan, you can only borrow up to 20.Borrow $ 000. This is a higher maximum than government-subsidized loans, but you pay a much higher interest rate.
Read more about ascent.
Funding U student loans
Funding U does not make lending decisions based on credit score alone. Factors such as your academic performance and future potential career success are also considered when deciding to offer you a loan.
Watch out for: no variable loan options. If you want to borrow from funding U, it must be a fixed-rate loan. While this means you'll likely start with a higher interest rate than some variable options at other lenders, your interest rate won't fluctuate over the life of your loan.
Read more about financing U.
Mpower financing student loans for undergraduates
Mpower lends to international students and does not require a cosigner, one of the few lenders that does both.
You can get a discount of up to 1.5% on your interest rate by signing up for automatic payments, making six on-time payments and providing proof of graduation and employment. Each of these three requirements qualifies you for a 0.5% discount or up to 1.5% in total.
Watch out for:fees. You pay a 5% processing fee on your student loan, which is deducted from your loan proceeds. If you are behind on your payments, you will also pay an undisclosed fee.
Read more about mpower.
Chicago student loans from AM money
AM money is the only private lender on our list that offers an income-driven repayment option. Income-based repayments can help lower your payment for up to three years if you are in financial hardship, as defined by AM money. If the calculated monthly payment in your regular plan is higher than the monthly amount calculated according to IBR, then you qualify.
Look out for:only one term. AM money sets your repayment period at 10 years, so you don't have the flexibility to decide when to repay your loans.
Prodigy finance student loan
Prodigy offers loans to borrowers in 18 countries, and you can see if your country is eligible. Prodigy only gives loans to students studying abroad. So if you need a loan in your home state, you're out of luck.
What to look for: offers student loans only. If you are an undergraduate student in need of a student loan, you will need to select another of the lenders on our list.
Stride funding student loans
Stride works differently than the other lenders on our list because the "loan" in this case is an income-sharing arrangement. How it works: your payments are tied to your income, and in months when your income is below a minimum income level, you pay nothing. You pay a percentage of your income with rates based on what you expect to earn.
Watch out for: compared to a standard loan, you may be paying too much. If you exceed your expectations, using stride may cost more because your payments are a percentage of your income. Income sharing agreements are also difficult to refinance.
Other student loans without cosigners we have considered
Some more prominent lenders also offer loans without a cosigner, but they generally require good credit, high minimum incomes and proven credit histories to qualify. For many students, these requirements are not easy to meet.
These lenders include:
All of these lenders appear in our best guide to private student loans because they offer excellent interest rates and many options for the length of repayment terms. However, because they are not accessible to many borrowers who want to obtain a loan without a cosigner, we have chosen not to include them in our best tips in this guide.