easy to get student loans

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Most students are familiar with student loans, but they often have a lot of questions when it comes to actually applying for one.

Are there different types of student loans? What are the pros and cons of each one? How do I know which one is right for me?

Here are some quick answers:

  1. There are two main types of student loans: federal and private. Federal loans are funded by the government, while private loans are funded by banks or other private institutions. The pros and cons of each will be discussed below.
  2. There are several types of federal student loans, such as Perkins Loans, Subsidized Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans (for graduate students), Parent PLUS Loans (for parents), Consolidation Loans, and more! You can learn more about these options here [link].
  3. Private lenders have their own set of pros and cons that you can read about here at College Learner.

The easiest loans to get

When you’re looking for a loan, you want one that’s going to be easy to get. You don’t want to have to jump through hoops and deal with tons of paperwork—you just want a loan that will get you the money you need without hassle.

Luckily, there are plenty of loans out there that are just as simple as they come. Here are some of the easiest loans to get:

● A personal loan is an unsecured loan that you can use for any purpose. It usually has lower interest rates than other types of loans, and it doesn’t require collateral or a credit check.

● A car title loan is another relatively easy way to get quick cash. You put up your car title as collateral (which means if you don’t pay back the loan on time, they’ll take your car), then borrow some money against it—it’s fast, convenient and easy!

● A payday loan is another quick option for getting cash quickly when you need it most—but be careful! These loans often have high interest rates and fees attached because they’re so short-term in nature.

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You can get approved for some loans, such as emergency loans, payday loans, and bad-credit or no-credit-check loans, even if you don’t have the best credit or stable income. They can provide you with the funds you need to pay for any expense that may come your way.

But just because these loans are easy to get, doesn’t mean they’re right for you. Some come with sky-high interest rates and fees that can take a serious toll on your finances.

Easiest loans and their risks

If you’re searching for loans to cover an unexpected expense, you might consider taking out an emergency loan, a payday loan or a bad-credit or no-credit-check loan. While these types of loans are usually easy to get, each has risks.

Emergency loans

An emergency loan is a personal loan used to cover unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or car repair bills. Lenders typically let you borrow $1,000 or more; some lenders even deposit the funds into your account the same day you sign the loan agreement. The interest rate you get on an emergency loan depends on several factors, such as your credit score, income and debt-to-income ratio.

Expect to pay between 5.99 and 35.99 percent in interest. The lower your credit score, the higher the interest rate. If the lender charges origination fees, you’ll generally pay between 1 and 8 percent of the loan amount.

Risks: If you don’t have a good to excellent credit score (at least 670) and a solid income, your loan may come with high interest rates and fees.

Payday loans

Payday loans are short-term loans designed to be paid back by your next pay period or within two weeks of taking out the loan. Because most payday lenders don’t check your credit, these are easy loans to get. However, they come with serious drawbacks in the form of steep interest rates and fees.

In fact, the average interest rate on a 14-day, $300 payday loan is more than 650 percent in some states. If you’re unable to repay the loan by the due date, you could incur what’s referred to as rollover fees (assuming payday loan rollovers are permitted in your state).

Risks: Since these loans come with excessive fees, they’re best used as a last resort. If you can’t afford to repay the loan by the next pay period, you risk digging yourself into a deeper hole financially.

Bad-credit or no-credit-check loans

bad-credit loan is a personal loan for borrowers who have less-than-stellar credit or minimal credit history. Although minimum credit score requirements vary by lender, you’ll typically need at least a 580 credit score to qualify. If you don’t meet the lender’s minimum credit score requirement, an alternative is getting a no-credit-check loan. The downside to a no-credit-check loan is similar to a payday loan — it comes with high APRs and fees.

Risks: If you have a really low credit score, you risk being charged a high interest rate and fees — some personal loan lenders have maximum interest rates as high as 35.99 percent.

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Alternatives to easy loans

If you want to avoid the borrowing costs associated with the loans discussed above, here are some alternatives to consider.

Local banks and credit unions

If you’re a member of a local bank or credit union, contact it to see if you can qualify for a personal loan. Since you have a relationship with the institution, you may qualify for better rates and terms. For example, PenFed Credit Union offers personal loans with no origination fees and APRs as low as 4.99 percent.

Local charities and nonprofits

Check with your local chamber of commerce or library or dial 211 to see if there are grants available in your area. Depending on your income level, you may qualify for federal or state rental assistance or food assistance programs. If you need help paying for rent, you can use the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s database to search for rental assistance programs in your area.

Payment plans

If you can’t afford to pay for a phone bill, medical bill or another bill in full, ask the company if you can set up a payment plan. Although you’ll probably be charged an additional fee or interest, it might cost less than getting a loan. Furthermore, you won’t have to submit a formal application or undergo a credit check.

Paycheck advances

If you need to pay for an expense immediately but don’t get paid until a week from now or later, ask your employer for a paycheck advance. You’ll be borrowing money from yourself, which prevents you from racking up debt and having to repay interest and fees to a lender.

Loan or hardship distribution from your 401(k) plan

If you need more money than you could get with a paycheck advance or your employer doesn’t offer them and you have a 401(k), consider asking for a 401(k) loan or hardship assistance. There’s no credit check, and you can access the funds quickly in most cases.

But you can expect to pay interest on the loan amount even though you’re borrowing from yourself. These funds are deposited back into your retirement account but on a post-tax basis.

Borrow money from family or friends

If you want to avoid taking out an easy loan or pay minimal interest, ask a family member or friend to borrow money. This option lets you avoid the formal process of applying for a loan, and you may have more flexible repayment options. Also, the person who loans you money might not charge you interest. Get the terms of the loan agreement in writing and repay the loan as promised to avoid damaging your relationship with the lender.

Next steps

Before you take out an easy loan, make sure you explore all of your borrowing options. Doing so can help you pay the least amount of interest possible or get the best terms. If taking out an emergency loan is your only option to access cash quickly, prequalify for a personal loan to compare rates, fees and terms from multiple lenders. If you have a membership with a credit union or bank, contact it to see if you qualify for a personal loan.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to get the loan funds?

Every lender is unique. Many lenders, however, offer fast funding, especially those who operate online. You may be able to receive the money via direct deposit within a few business days, 24 hours, or even the same day you apply.

Do I need any documents to apply for a loan?

In most cases, you will have to provide some documents to apply for a loan. These may include a government-issued ID like your driver’s license or passport that proves your identity as well as pay stubs and tax forms that reveal your financial situation.

What can I do to secure a loan with better terms?

To get approved for a loan with a low rate and favorable terms, boost your credit score. You can do so if you pay your bills on time, lower your debt levels, limit how often you apply for new accounts, and dispute any errors or inaccuracies on your credit reports.

8 Best Student Loans Without a Co-Signer of June 2022

Always opt for federal student loans before choosing a private student loan. Cecilia ClarkMay 25, 2022

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8 student loans without a co-signer:

  1. Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Ascent Private Student Loan
  3. Funding U Private Student Loan
  4. A.M. Private Student Loan
  5. MPOWER Private Student Loan
  6. Prodigy Private Student Loan
  7. Stride Funding Income Share Agreement
  8. Avenify Income Share Agreement

Federal student loans don’t require credit history or a co-signer. They’re also the most flexible when it’s time to repay, so use them first.

But to afford college, some students may need private student loans, which are credit-based. A small number of private lenders offer student loans without a co-signer. You’ll pay higher interest rates as a result.

Review our picks and instructions for how to shop for a student loan without a co-signer.

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Best Student Loans Without a Co-Signer

LenderNerdWallet ratingMin. credit scoreFixed APRVariable APRLearn more
Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan5.0/5Best for All student loan borrowers as their first optionNone3.73-5.28%N/AREAD REVIEW
Ascent Independent Student Loan5.0/5Best for Upperclassmen with no credit, income or co-signerVaries7.71-14.96%4.37-11.56%CHECK RATEon Ascent’s website
A.M. Money Private Student Loan4.5/5Best for Students with a strong GPANone7.08-8.85%N/AREAD REVIEW
MPOWER Private Student Loan4.5/5Best for International studentsN/A7.52-14.98%N/ACHECK RATEon MPOWER’s website
Prodigy Private Student Loan4.5/5Best for International graduate studentsN/AN/A7.52-12.00%READ REVIEW
Stride Funding Income Share Agreement4.5/5Best for Income share agreementsNoneN/AN/ACHECK RATEon Stride’s website
Avenify Income Share Agreement5.0/5Best for Income Share Agreement for Nursing StudentsNoneN/AN/AREAD REVIEW
Funding U Private Student Loan5.0/5Best for Students with a strong GPANone7.49-12.99%N/ACHECK RATEon Funding U’s website

Our pick for

All student loan borrowers as their first option

Federal loans are preferable to private ones because they’re eligible for income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness.READ REVIEW

Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan

5.0NerdWallet rating

Min. credit scoreNone

Fixed APR3.73-5.28%

Variable APRN/A

View details 

Our pick for

Upperclassmen with no credit, income or co-signer

Future income-based: You’ll be evaluated based on your future earning potential, rather than your current income or credit.CHECK RATE

on Ascent’s website

Ascent Independent Student Loan

5.0NerdWallet rating

Min. credit scoreVaries

Fixed APR7.71-14.96%

Variable APR4.37-11.56%

View details 

Our pick for

Students with a strong GPA

Approval is primarily determined by your GPA.READ REVIEW

A.M. Money Private Student Loan

4.5NerdWallet rating

Min. credit scoreNone

Fixed APR7.08-8.85%

Variable APRN/A

View details 

Our pick for

International students

You must be from one of the 180 countries MPOWER works with. DACA students do not need a Social Security number.CHECK RATE

on MPOWER’s website

MPOWER Private Student Loan

4.5NerdWallet rating

Min. credit scoreN/A

Fixed APR7.52-14.98%

Variable APRN/A

View details 

Our pick for

International graduate students

Considers future income, rather than current income or credit score, to make lending decisions.READ REVIEW

Prodigy Private Student Loan

4.5NerdWallet rating

Min. credit scoreN/A

Fixed APRN/A

Variable APR7.52-12.00%

View details 

Our pick for

Income share agreementsCHECK RATE

on Stride’s website

Stride Funding Income Share Agreement

4.5NerdWallet rating

Min. credit scoreNone

Fixed APRN/A

Variable APRN/A

View details 

Our pick for

Income Share Agreement for Nursing StudentsREAD REVIEW

Avenify Income Share Agreement

5.0NerdWallet rating

Min. credit scoreNone

Fixed APRN/A

Variable APRN/A

View details 

Students with a strong GPACHECK RATE

on Funding U’s website

Funding U Private Student Loan

5.0NerdWallet rating

Min. credit scoreNone

Fixed APR7.49-12.99%

Variable APRN/A

View details 

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How to shop for a student loan without a co-signer

  1. Take out federal student loans first. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to get access to federal loans, grants and scholarships. Federal loans should be your first stop: They offer lower interest rates and come with income-driven repayment plans and forgiveness programs.
  2. Build credit before you apply for a private student loan. While undergrads generally don’t have the credit history required to get a loan in their own names, graduate students over age 21 might. You’ll have the best shot at a private loan with competitive interest rates if your credit score is 690 or above. Strengthen it before applying for a loan by fixing errors on your credit report, paying all bills on time and using as little of your credit limit as possible.
  3. Compare loan features. When shopping for a private loan without a co-signer, compare offers to get the lowest interest rate you qualify for. Note whether the lender will postpone payments in case you have difficulty affording them, and for how long. Find out if there are origination, prepayment or late fees, and how easily you can reach the lender by phone, email or live chat if you encounter a billing or customer service issue.
  4. Opt for a fixed interest rate. Given the choice, a fixed interest rate is a safer bet than a variable interest rate. It won’t increase over time.
  5. Keep an eye on the bottom line. Use a student loan calculator to see what kind of payment you’ll face after borrowing for multiple years.
  6. Consider refinancing in the future. Once you’re out of school and have built a credit profile, you may be able to refinance private student loans to a lower interest rate. You’ll generally need solid income, a credit score of 690 or higher and a history of on-time debt payments.

Student loans that don’t require a co-signer

LenderType of loanAvailable to
Federal direct student loanRequires no cosigner or credit historyAll student loan borrowers as their first option
AscentBased on future incomeJuniors and seniors
AscentBased on credit historyBorrowers with 680 or higher credit scores and adequate income
Funding UBased on academic record and future potentialUndergraduates at eligible schools
A.M. MoneyBased on GPAUndergraduates at a limited list of schools
MPOWERBased on earnings potential and positive payment historyInternational students
Prodigy FinanceBased on earnings potentialInternational grad students
StrideIncome share agreementPrimarily health care and STEM grad students; juniors and seniors may also qualify
AvenifyIncome share agreementNursing students nearing graduation


Our survey of more than 29 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

We consider 40 features and data points for each financial institution. Depending on the category, these include the availability of biweekly payments through autopay, minimum credit score and income requirement disclosures, availability to borrowers in all states, extended grace periods and in-house customer service.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

The easiest student loans to get are the ones you never have to pay back.

Seriously, though—if you’re a student, the best thing you can do is just not take out any loans at all. You don’t need them! Don’t let anyone tell you that you do. You can go to school without loans. You can even find ways to pay for your education without taking on debt.

But if you’re determined to take on loans, there are some options that are better than others. For example, if you want a loan that’s easy to get and won’t cost too much money, consider looking into federal Perkins loans or subsidized Stafford loans. These are both low-interest and low-cost options for students who qualify for them, and they’re relatively easy to get approved for.

If you want a loan that requires less work but still has reasonable interest rates and costs associated with it, consider looking into private student loans or unsubsidized Stafford loans. Both of these options require less paperwork than federal loans but still come with reasonable interest rates (which means they’ll cost less over time) and manageable fees (which means they won’t hurt too much when it comes time to pay

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