Best Student Loans for Bad Credit of 2024

By John V

January 12, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Undoubtedly, there are different student loans for borrowers having bad credit. But wait! It doesn’t mean everyone can qualify to avail the opportunity. You have to check lender requirements.

Anyone who needs a load with bad credit will come across multiple options to choose the right one. Let’s get right into our picks with flexible repayment options and Excellent APR ranges.

Overview: Best Student Loans For Bad Credit

LenderAPR RangeLoan TermMin. Loan AmountMax. Loan Amount
Ascent3.15 - 11.48%5 - 20 years$2,001$200,000
EarnestStarting at 2.94%Not Specified$1,000100% total cost of attendance
Credible2.94% - 12.99%5 - 20 years$2,000100% total cost of attendance
Sallie Mae3.5% – 12.6%10 – 20 years$1,000100% total cost of attendance

Student Loan Lenders For Bad Credit: Detailed Insight 

Ascent: Best Private Student Loan

Fixed APRVariable APRLoan AmountMore Details
4.62% – 15.18%5.31% – 14.07%$2,001 – $200,000Click Here

Obtaining a student loan without the need for a custodial account might be tough if you really need money for education, however, Ascent Student Loans hopes to alter that. It provides university students with college federal loans and enables consumers to apply without the need for a cosigner or a payment history.

Ascension offers one of the most generous remission periods. If you’re having trouble paying your bills, you can be given forbearance for between one to three months at a time. You are not required to make any installments on the student loans throughout this period. You can request for up to four forbearance intervals in a row, for a total of 2 years forbearance during the life of the mortgage.

Borrowers who don’t have a credit score or who don’t meet the minimal income criteria might still qualify for a loan based on other considerations including their school, program, and prospective compensation (i.e. future income) after graduation.

To customers without cashier’s checks, Ascent provides lending and long-run financing. The periods accessible for credit-based loan debt without a co-signer are five, seven, ten, twelve, or fifteen years. You can utilize Ascent’s preapproval program by following four small instructions.

↳ Best Feature?

To be eligible for a student loan account, several lenders require either a solid credit background or a custodial account. Ascent, on the other hand, lets freshmen, seniors, and recent graduates without appropriate credit histories to loan money with no need for a cosigner.

Students may be entitled for Ascent’s 1% payback graduating incentive if you complete your program within 5 years of receiving your credit. You will get 1% of your initial principal amount in the form of a direct payment or a cheque. If your loan balance was $10,000, for instance, you’d receive a $100 incentive.

↳ Who is it Best For?

A referral scheme is available— you may earn up to $525 per referral if you recommend a friend to Ascent and they apply for a federal loans and get accepted. You have no limit to the number of referrals you may make.

Any undergraduate or graduate students looking for Student loans, with or without a co-signer will find this platform beneficial.

Click Here to Know More About Ascent Student Loans.


Earnest: Best Credit Score Requirements

Fixed APRVariable APRLoan AmountMore Details
Starting at 2.94%Starting at 0.99%$1,000 to 100% total cost of attendanceClick Here

In April of this year, Earnest, a major student loan refinancing provider, began offering private student loans. Earnest used 300 hours of user research with students, co-signers, and financial aid departments to create their loan procedure in order to make it as creative as feasible.

As a result, there are more flexible in-school repayment options, a wider selection of loan maturities, and a three-month grace period than the industry standard. Students who are having financial difficulties have a number of alternatives for making changes to their automated payments.

Earnest provides both eligibility and a rate check. To quickly verify your eligibility, enter some basic personal information, school information, and an estimated credit score to determine whether you qualify and if having a co-signer might be beneficial.

Earnest provides a student loan refinancing referral program that will pay you $200 if you refinance your student loan using your unique referral link or code. The corporation also sponsors a $5,000 scholarship program for 50 undergraduate students each year.

↳ Best Feature?

Earnest will do a soft credit inquiry from Experian before filling out a complete application to display projected rates without harming your credit score. Borrowers can obtain a one-month forbearance once every 12 months without submitting an application. Earnest’s loan categories all include a nine-month grace period, which is three months longer than the industry usual.

Earnest does not impose any lending costs, including late fees. Earnest student loans can be obtained by full-time undergraduate students on their own or with the help of a cosigner. Students studying full-time in a qualifying graduate, MBA, medical, or law school program can apply for Earnest’s graduate student loans.

↳ Who is it Best For?

Earnest is an online lender that provides personal loans, as well as student loan refinancing and private student loans. Its refinancing loan is ideal for borrowers who wish to tailor their repayment plan in order to pay off debt quickly. Borrowers who seek flexible payback can use its private student loan rates.

Earnest offers a number of choices for borrowers who are experiencing financial difficulties and need financial aid. The most basic is the ability to skip a payment once every 12 months without having to apply for forbearance. Earnest’s student loan application is mobile-friendly and available online. It considers a borrower’s earning potential as well as whether or not the application is complete.

Click Here to Know More About Earnest Student Loans.


Credible: Best Repayment Term

Fixed APRVariable APRLoan AmountMore Details
2.94 - 13.09%0.94 - 11.98%$2,000 to 100% total cost of attendanceClick Here

With a credible loan marketplace, you can compare terms and rates from many lenders at a time. Students get a lot of help and save time by the pre-qualification tool, which allows them to personal rates by almost eight lenders with only one application. Although there are a few lenders whom it doesn’t check, therefore, it is not the tool you can use.

It doesn’t partner with lenders who fine origination fees, payment penalties, and application fees. All the repayment terms and options depend upon the lender of your choice, although many provide four in-school repayment terms as well as options from 5 – 20 years.

Many Credible lenders partner and offer tolerance of almost nine months and about 24 months as long as the loan exists. It is a marketplace to refinance student loans. The forbearance also depends upon the lender of your choice. Many partners provide a forbearance of almost nine months to 24 months, depending on the loan’s life, plus all of this discharge loan if the borrowers die.

You can also have a comparison among interest rates by many student loan private lenders. This doesn’t originate a loan. Everyone is allowed to use credible. However, you must meet the qualifications for a lender over the platform. For instance, if you don’t possess a huge credit history, you will probably have to apply with co-signers.

↳ Best Feature?

Credible show pre-qualified offers that are next to each other, to you. With credible, you don’t need to waste time filling different pre-qualifications for all lenders; instead, one is enough for all lenders.

There aren’t any types of charges on this platform because it makes money by the referral commissions when you are applying to a lender by its website. Another plus point is that there is also no fee-laden loan by credible. Keep in mind that credible doesn’t partner with the lenders who fine prepayment penalties, origination fees, or application fees over student loans.

↳ Who is it Best For?

Like any other refinance marketplace for student loans, you have to fill one form for checking that you can qualify for many lenders and receive rate estimates.

Credible narrows options for you if you want the surety about which loan is best suited for you. The pre-qualification tool keeps you entering your information again and again on many websites and your credit score is also not affected.

Click Here to Know More About Credible Student Loans.


Sallie Mae: Best Payment History

Fixed APRVariable APRLoan AmountMore Details
3.5% – 12.6%1.13% – 11.64%$1,000–100% total cost of attendanceClick Here

Sallie Mae offers you wide vast loan options as compared to every other lender. It offers you loans for medical, residency, career training, and bar study. With multiple loan options, such as loan terms and repayment plans, you can customize your loans according to your needs. The direct plus loans will be offered on poor or fair credit and great origination fees.

Sallie Mae provides you with a wide range of professional loans, student loans, bar exam loans, and residency loans. Sallie Mae’s Career Coaching Option Student Loan is a go-to loan for students attending school to acquire a certificate in trade or for professional training like a technical school or a culinary school.

Sallie Mae offers you the Sallie Mae parent loans for graduate, undergraduate, and certificate education, which are highly convenient. The loan amounts can cover 100% certified cost of school’s attendance. Most federal student loans include beneficial options for credit reports and student loan rates with loan forgiveness and cost of attendance.

Sallie Mae’s money market is profitable and has its loan service. The yearly report provided by the private education loan protection bureau has left out Sallie Mae in its compilation of complaints regarding the private student loan lenders.

↳ Best Feature?

In addition, Sallie Mae Bank offers you a vast range of loans with several repayment choices for students of every category. It also includes discharge and loan forbearance programs that contrast well with the federal loan discharge policies.

It enables you to appeal as a consigner release only in 12 months, making it approachable compared to other lenders. However, as a drawback, Sallie Mae bank does not permit you to receive a rate quote beforehand you apply, due to which a hard credit inquiry is essential to look at your rates.

↳ Who is it Best For?

For students who want rewards for making payments still in school, Sallie Mae’s student loans are top-notch for them. For example, it offers low-interest-rate to mortgagors who do not earn much and make only $25 payments while in school.

The relocation and medical residency loans provided by Sallie Mae bank can be utilized to pay the cost of your board examination, moving expenses, and travel.

Click Here to Know More About Sallie Mae Student Loans.



What is a student loan for bad credit?

Student loans for bad or no credit is a personal loan that helps you pay to pay college fees; however, it doesn’t have strict credit criteria like other loans. The best student loan for poor credit also enables you to get creditworthy cosigners if you get a student loan. Other student loan options include a federal student loan because most loans do not perform any credit checks.

Basically, student loans are direct subsidized loans from private lenders or the government for paying college debts. It isn’t one of the direct unsubsidized loans but subsidized loans; it has to be paid back right after graduation with interest. This loan can be used for covering room and board, books, tuition, or any other expense related to school. These loans aren’t like grants or scholarships because these loans are paid back.

A federal loan should be applied for first and exhaust your resources before you apply for a subsidized loan because it is expensive. Though, if a private loan can only help you study, then it is worth the price due to its help to get educated and an experience of four years.

Nevertheless, federal loans possess borrowing limits. For filling gaps in college charges, you might take a personal student loan from an online lender, credit union, or bank. Many private lenders require that your score should be 690 or more.

How does a private student loan for bad credit works?

Generally, an undergraduate loan for bad credit works like a regular one for poor or fair credit. In addition to this, you can get a cosigner who will pay increased interest rates to cover up your FICO scores. However, some private loan lenders base all lending decisions on the credit histories and scores, but different college students will require a parent to cosign the loan reliably.

It is essential to consider getting a private loan for educational purposes, and that’s a great deal for users. Different lenders offer students credit check features and student loan options to provide users with an exclusive experience. Moreover, they should also check file the free application from FAFSA to help qualify them for grants and other student aid.

For Undergraduate students 

Students must compare costs with the different federal loans as the loan is less expensive with increased repayment terms. Moreover, Grad students can also get the most exclusive graduate student loan rates with credit-based loans and effective loan terms. Many student loans with bad credit include interest rates of 2.0%-0.50% with no origination fee.

However, the rates are only available to borrowers having increased credit or a credit-worthy cosigner. Many qualifiers can get the best rates with effective loan terms and online lenders to encompass about 20% of the borrowers. Unfortunately, a student loan with bad credit varies significantly while offering lower interest rates.

Who qualifies for student loans for bad credit?

The very first step is filling out the FAFSA. It determines whether you are eligible for the loan, most of which don’t require a credit file. FAFSA is available from 1st October for school years like the following: the FAFSA for 2021-2022 opened on 1st October 2020.

A few borrowers require funds more than what the federal loans offer. If something like this occurs, you should get a private student loan geared towards students who have an adverse credit history. You can also qualify for other characteristics or circumstances like potential post-graduation income, academic history, or school year.

If you trust a person in your life, who can cosign a personal student loan for you, that can help you with qualifying a loan with less student loan debt and monthly payment. But the cosigner must pay the loan if, unfortunately, you cannot.

If you are a graduate student who needs more cash for your school than what the unsubsidized loans give, you may want graduate PLUS loans. Thus, this loan needs a credit check, although the government looks for particular m negative points.

What are the types of Private Student Loans?

There are multiple types of student loans to choose from. Understanding each loan is necessary to find out which one is an ideal choice for you.

Degree-specific loans

On the primary level, most of the lenders offer graduate and undergraduate loans. However, some of them may have a list of particular degree loans for business, dental, medical and law programs. You can sometimes also get a loan for a bar exam or the time you spend at a community college.

International student loans

International students may face difficulties while getting qualified for a credit when they are in need. If you are a resident or have a specific visa, maybe that’s all you need to get a student loan. But if you are not, some lenders offer loans to international students who won’t get approved for a normal personal loan.

Bad-credit loans

If you need student loans and your credit history is poor or nonexistent, your best bet is federal student loans because they typically don’t require a credit check.

Bad credit loans are for people who have no credit history, and their credit report is less than spotless. Typically these loans offer high-interest rates and have too many restrictions compared to other loans as it assures the lender by reducing the risk of you not repaying them.

State-specific loan programs

Most of the states provide private student loans through a particular state agency. For instance, the Iowa student loan education lending, Bank of North Dakota, and the Rhode Island Loan Authority. These loans are generally designed for students going to colleges within the city’s borders and for residents who study in different states. The eligible requirements change from state to state.

Income share agreements

Income share agreements have different functions as compared to traditional student loans. Instead of a fixed monthly payment that is based on the loan balance and interest rates, you will have to pay an average percentage of your income over a fixed period of many years.

How to Apply for student loans for bad credit?

Here are the ways that will help you shop for a student loan when you have bad credit or no credit:

Apply for a federal student loan

Firstly, you have to fill the application required for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA that helps you apply for federal student loans and qualify for different free aids like scholarships, grants, and work-study. They offer low-interest rates and have a plus benefit of forgiveness programs and income-driven repayment plans.

Look for a co-signer who has good credit.

To get the most competitive rates while you are borrowing a loan with a co-signer, they must have a steady income and a good credit score. If you borrow a loan with a co-signer, they will be responsible for repaying the debt if you can’t.

You can’t look for a co-signer, then you can opt for independent loans

Some of the lenders do offer private school loans that don’t consider credit scores. Instead, they usually factorize the future income potential. The higher your earning potential will be, the more competitive rates you will receive.

Comparing of loan features

While shopping for a private loan, you can compare the offers for getting the lowest interest rates you qualify for. Take a note that for how long the lender will postpone your payments if you have trouble affording them, that’s really important. Find out whether there are any origination, late fees, or prepayments and how conveniently you can contact your lender over the phone, live chat, or email if there is a customer service issue.

Choose fixed interest rates

Always opt for a fixed interest rate as it is a much safer and more reliable option than a variable interest rate. It won’t keep increasing over time.

Keep a check on the bottom line.

You should use a student loan calculator to check which payment types you will be facing after borrowing for several years.

Refinance in the future

Once your school is over and you have made a credit profile, you will have access to refinance private student loans to a relatively low-interest rate. Generally, it requires a solid income, a history of on-time payments, and a credit score of 690 or above.

Private Student Loan vs. Federal Student Loans

Many federal student loans typically ensure flexibility in different areas than other private loans with different credit score requirements. When using federal loans, the borrowers don’t require any credit check to consider. However, private student loans will aid you in paying for college even after you get scholarships and different grants.

The federal student loans will provide income-driven undergraduate students with adverse credit history to get reliable repayment plans based on the borrower’s salary. Here the repayment rate is regarding the borrower’s salary. In contrast, Private student loans provide you a chance of variable and fixed loan terms as fixed rates give you highly predictable monthly payments.

Besides this, Federal student loans offer the borrower to change the repayment plan even after taking the loan. On the other hand, private student loans include multiple repayment plans allowing users to make different payments and track the credit health with FICO credit scores. Private student loans provide increased flexibility to the student, parent, and individual.

Final Verdict

Anyone with a fair or bad credit score of less than 670 compared to the FICO scoring model will help users take out federal student goals without requiring a credit check. Moreover, it offers flexible automatic payments and loan with bad credit from different online renders. You can also get repayment terms when you work in public or get specific repayment plans.

You can easily qualify for a bad credit student loan with a co-signer having strong credit and income. Have you got that? People who don’t have access to co-signer with poor credit and unreliable credit history can help you get the benefit of these student loans options.

Federal student loans are our top choice known to offer automatic payment discount with on-time payments and interest rates even if you have bad or no credit. It works with different student loans debt with payment history and the effective origination fee and loan terms.


Can you get student finance with bad credit?

If you have bad credit, it won’t disqualify you from getting approved for a student loan. There are other options, such as the federal student loans that don’t count the credit history. But if the federal student loan is not enough to pay the college fees, you need to look for a private student loan.

Can I get a student loan with a 550 credit score?

Generally, you will need a good or excellent credit score to be approved for a personal loan that means it will be quite harder to qualify for the loan if your credit score is 550.

What credit score does Sallie Mae require?

There is no actual minimum credit score requirement for Sallie Mae. In 2020, the maximum number of applicants approved for the student loan had a score of 670 or higher when the loan’s originated.

What is the minimum credit score for a Discover student loan?

The minimum credit score required ranges from 670 and above, which is considered good credit. So borrowers who want to qualify for the student loan should have a good credit score. But if you want to receive Discover’s lowest rates, then your credit should be approximately in the mid 700s.

John V

John is a digital marketing master's student who enjoys writing articles on business, finance, health, and relationships in his free time. His diverse interests and ability to convey complex ideas in a clear, engaging manner make him a valuable contributor to these fields.

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