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Last Minute Student Loan Lenders for No Credit, No Co-signer or Quick Release Cosigner Loans

Federal loans don’t require a co-signer or credit history. If you still need a student loan, they're a great option.

But federal loans have borrowing limits. If you have a tuition gap after maxing out federal loans, you may need a private loan from a bank, credit union or online lender.

Most private lenders require you or a co-signer to have a credit score of 690 or above. But you have options if you don’t have credit or your credit history is thin.

Review offers, from our partners, for private loans you can get with no credit score or no co-signer. Then keep reading for more information on how to find the right student loan for you.

Excellent for

Fast co-signer release

If you have access to a co-signer — but they're wary about being responsible for your debt — lessen their risk with a loan they could be released from in as little as 12 or 24 months.

SoFi Private Student Loan
Check Rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi Private Student Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi Private Student Loan

Fixed APR

4.13 - 11.52%

Variable APR

1.78 - 11.89%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Check Rate

on SoFi's website


Variable APR

1.78 - 11.89%

Key facts

Best for flexible repayment options and no fees.

Pros

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

  • Multiple in-school repayment options available, including interest-only and flat-fee, and deferred for undergrad and grad students.

  • Additional perks like career planning, job search assistance and entrepreneurship support available.

Cons

  • Does not offer bi-weekly payments via autopay.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 700+.

  • Minimum income: No minimum.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 minimum.

Available Term Lengths

5, 10 or 15 years

Disclaimer

UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.23% to 11.26% annual percentage rate ("APR") (with autopay), variable rates from 1.88% to 11.66% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.13% to 11.37% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.78% to 11.73% APR (with autopay). MBA AND LAW SCHOOL LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.30% to 11.52% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.95% to 11.89% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.60% to 10.76% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.88% to 11.16% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, the variable interest rate is derived from the one-month LIBOR rate plus a margin and your APR may increase after origination if the LIBOR increases. Changes in the one-month LIBOR rate may cause your monthly payment to increase or decrease. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Information current as of 11/04/2020. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. SoFi Lending Corp., licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).
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CommonBond Private Student Loan
Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

CommonBond Private Student Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
CommonBond Private Student Loan

Fixed APR

3.99 - 10.99%

Variable APR

4.13 - 9.64%

Min. Credit Score

660

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website


Variable APR

4.13 - 9.64%

Key facts

Best for students who are already planning to use a co-signer and value customer support.

Pros

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

  • You are assigned a dedicated Money Mentor.

Cons

  • Loans aren't available in Nevada and Mississippi.

  • Co-signer required.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.

  • Minimum income: No set minimum.

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to the total cost of attendance. Maximum $500,000.

Available Term Lengths

5, 10 or 15 years

Disclaimer

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. If you choose to complete an application, we will conduct a hard credit pull, which may affect your credit score. All AnnualnPercentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of0.14% effective Dec 1, 2020 and may increase after consummation.
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Excellent for

Refinancing student loans for co-signer release

If you can qualify for a lower interest rate on your own, student loan refinancing is generally a great option for co-signer release — it’ll remove your co-signer and save you money.

Earnest Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Earnest's website

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

2.98 - 5.79%

Variable APR

1.99 - 5.64%

Min. Credit Score

650

Check Rate

on Earnest's website


Variable APR

1.99 - 5.64%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who want to customize their repayment schedule to pay off debt fast.

Pros

  • Customizable payments and loan terms.

  • Option to skip one payment every 12 months.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • You can’t apply with a co-signer.

  • Loans aren't available in Kentucky and Nevada.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 760.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $500,000.

  • Must have a degree: No, but must be within six months of graduation and have income or a job.

Available Term Lengths

5 to 20 years

Disclaimer

Specific Annual Percentage Rate (APRs) offered within these ranges will depend on a variety of factors including your creditworthiness and other application details. Annual percentage rates (APRs) reflect 0.25% discount for optional enrollment in autopay. Your approval for an Earnest Loan is subject to the full underwriting of your loan application. Read more about qualifying for a loan with Earnest here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility
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Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Education Loan Finance's website

Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

2.79 - 5.99%

Variable APR

2.39 - 6.01%

Min. Credit Score

680

Check Rate

on Education Loan Finance's website


Variable APR

2.39 - 6.01%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who value good customer service.

Pros

  • You are assigned a personal loan advisor.

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

Cons

  • Payment postponement isn’t available for borrowers who return to school.

  • The minimum amount to refinance is more than many lenders require.

  • No co-signer release available.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 774.

  • Loan amounts: $15,000 up to your total outstanding loan balance.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least a bachelor’s degree.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. https://www.elfi.com/terms/
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PenFed Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Purefy's website

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
PenFed Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

2.99 - 5.15%

Variable APR

2.19 - 4.49%

Min. Credit Score

670

Check Rate

on Purefy's website


Variable APR

2.19 - 4.49%

Key facts

Best for married couples who want to refinance their student loans into a single one.

Pros

  • Married couples can refinance student loans into a single loan.

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Estate is still responsible for the loan if the borrower dies.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 773.

  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $300,000.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least a bachelor’s degree.

Available Term Lengths

5, 8, 12 or 15 years

Disclaimer

Rates and offers current as December 15, 2020. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.99% APR to 5.15% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.19% APR to 4.49% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
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SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi Student Loan Refinance

Fixed APR

2.99 - 6.88%

Variable APR

2.25 - 6.43%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Check Rate

on SoFi's website


Variable APR

2.25 - 6.43%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who want plenty of benefits with their refinanced student loan.

Pros

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

  • Additional perks like career planning, job search assistance and entrepreneurship support available.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.

  • Loan size minimum is higher than most lenders.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 700+.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000, up to your total outstanding loan balance.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, an associate degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.88% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.43% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.15% plus 2.35% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the interest savings are applied to the principal loan balance, which may help pay the loan down faster. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score.Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
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Shopping for a student loan when you have bad or no credit:

  1. Start with federal student loans. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA to apply for federal student loans as well as qualify for free aid such as grants, scholarships and work-study. Federal loans offer lower interest rates and come with income-driven repayment plans and forgiveness programs.

  2. If you can’t find a co-signer, consider loans you can get independently. Some lenders offer private student loans without factoring in credit scores. Future income potential is usually considered instead. The higher your earning potential, the more likely you are to get competitive rates.

  3. Compare loan features. When shopping for a private loan, compare offers to get the lowest interest rate you qualify for — especially if you have no or thin credit. Your rates will likely be higher. Also note whether the lender will postpone payments in case you have difficulty affording them, and for how long. That’s important. Find out 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.

Have access to a co-signer?

Co-signing a private student loan is a big deal. Your co-signer will be just as responsible for repaying the loan as you are. But by opting for a loan with a fast release, you'll can let your parent, relative or friend off the hook sooner.

Almost all private student loans have a co-signer release option, but requirements vary — make sure you know all the fine print. Generally, you must:

1. MAKE AT LEAST 12 ON-TIME PAYMENTS

Depending on the lender, you must make 12, 24, 36 or 48 on-time payments before applying for a co-signer release. Often, those payments must be consecutive and without periods of forbearance. If you made fixed or interest-only payments during school, those may not count.

2. MEET THE INCOME AND CREDIT REQUIREMENTS

When you take out a student loan with a co-signer, you qualify based on their credit history and financial profile. To remove the co-signer, you must meet those requirements on your own.

You'll need good credit — a FICO score in the high 600s, at least — and enough income to afford your debt payments and other expenses. Most lenders also require that you graduate first and have U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.

3. SUBMIT A CO-SIGNER RELEASE APPLICATION

Some lenders and servicers, including Sallie Mae, have co-signer release applications available online. Otherwise, contact your lender or servicer to request one.

You may need to disclose financial information including your income, housing payment and other debt payments. Your lender may also check your credit report and ask for income verification.

Release co-signers by refinancing student loans

If you can qualify for a lower interest rate on your own, student loan refinancing is generally a great option for co-signer release — it’ll remove your co-signer and save you money. You can refinance student loans in your own name if you have good credit, sufficient income and a track record of on-time payments.

If you can’t get a better interest rate through student loan refinancing, or you want to avoid the hassle of comparing interest rates and switching lenders, pursue a co-signer release.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Last Minute Student Loan Lenders for No Credit, No Co-signer or Quick Release Cosigner Loans