Funding U Review: Private Student Loans

Funding U offers student loans to undergraduate students without credit or a co-signer at eligible four-year colleges.
Last updated on May 20, 2024
Written by 
Assistant Assigning Editor
Karen Gaudette Brewer
Edited by 
Fact Checked
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
Cecilia Clark
Written by 
Assistant Assigning Editor
Karen Gaudette Brewer
Edited by 
Fact Checked
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked

Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

  • 35+ student loans lenders reviewed and rated by our team of experts.
  • 10+ years of combined experience covering higher education and student loans.
  • Objective, comprehensive star-rating system assessing 43 categories and 40+ data points across student loan origination and student loan refinance.
  • Governed by NerdWallet's strict guidelines for editorial integrity.
NerdWallet's student loans content, including articles, reviews and recommendations, is produced by a team of writers and editors who specialize in consumer lending. Their work has appeared in The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Nasdaq, MSN, ABC News, MarketWatch and many other national and regional media outlets. They also have appeared on NerdWallet's “Smart Money” podcast, as well as local TV and radio.

Our Take


NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

Funding U student loans are best for high-achieving students who don’t have a cosigner. But only students who attend a qualifying school are eligible.

Jump to:Full Review
Funding U Private Student Loan
Funding U Private Student Loan

Min. credit score
Fixed APR
on Funding U's website
Top Private Student Loan Lenders
2024 Best Private Student Loan Overall
College Ave Private Student Loan
NerdWallet rating
College Ave Private Student Loan
Fixed APR
Variable APR
Min. credit score
on College Ave's website
on Credible’s website
Sallie Mae Undergraduate Student Loan
Fixed APR
Variable APR
Min. credit score
on Sallie Mae's website
on Credible’s website


  • You don't need a co-signer or credit to get a loan.

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


  • Loans aren't available in 12 states.

  • Payment required while in school.

Compare private student loans
Fixed APR
Min. credit score
Variable APR
Sallie Mae Undergraduate Student LoanSallie Mae Undergraduate Student Loan
GO TO LENDER SITEon Sallie Mae's website
on Sallie Mae's website
COMPARE RATESon Credible’s website
on Credible’s website
4.15- 15.49%
5.37- 15.70%
College Ave Private Student LoanCollege Ave Private Student Loan
3.99- 17.99%
5.59- 17.99%
Ascent Credit-based Student LoanAscent Credit-based Student Loan
3.79- 15.41%
Low-Mid 600s
5.99- 15.85%
Custom Choice LoanCustom Choice Loan
4.24- 14.14%
5.44- 14.91%
Education Loan Finance Private Student LoanEducation Loan Finance Private Student Loan
4.50- 14.22%
6.00- 14.22%

Full Review

Funding U, also known as Funding University, offers loans to students without a cosigner in a limited number of states.

Funding U doesn’t rely on credit scores in their lending decisions. Instead, they assess borrowers based on academic success, likelihood to graduate on time, projected total student debt and projected earnings after graduation. They lend only to borrowers who attend colleges that meet their graduation rate requirements.

While freshmen and sophomores can qualify for a Funding U loan, they have stricter approval requirements. Juniors and seniors are more likely to be approved.

Only full-time students who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents or DACA recipients with a work-eligible Social Security number can apply. You must also attend an eligible school, be in a qualifying year for your school, be a resident of an applicable state and meet the GPA minimum.


  • No credit required or co-signer allowed.

  • In-school payments are required, but multiple options are available for borrowers who run into trouble with repayment.

  • Maximum loan amount of $20,000 is less than many lenders.


Funding U could improve by:

  • Allowing borrowers to fully defer payment until after graduation.

  • Providing loans to students from all 50 states.

Funding U private student loan details

    • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.

    • Loan terms: Five and 10 years.

    • Loan amounts: $3,001 up to $20,000.

    • Application or origination fee: None.

    • Prepayment penalty: No.

    • Late fees: None.

    Compare Funding U's range of interest rates with other private student lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate Funding U will offer you, apply on its website.

  • Financial

    • Minimum credit score: No credit required, but borrowers can’t have a history of delinquency.

    • Minimum income: Did not disclose.

    • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

    • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.

    • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

    • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: No.


    • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or DACA recipient with a work-eligible Social Security number.

    • Location: Available only to residents of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

    • Must be enrolled half-time or more: Full-time only.

    • Loan can be used for past due tuition: Yes, under certain circumstances.

    • Types of schools served: Nonprofit, four-year bachelor’s degree-granting institutions. Funding U also has minimum GPA and graduation rate thresholds for borrowers and institutions depending on the student's class year.

    • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: No co-signer allowed.

  • In-school repayment options:

    • Fixed repayment: Pay $20 every month while enrolled in school and during the grace period.

    • Interest-only repayment: Pay interest every month you’re in school and during the grace period.

    • Full in-school deferment: No.

    • Full repayment: There’s no official full principal and interest repayment option, but borrowers can opt to pay more than what’s required.

    Post-school repayment options

    • Grace period: 6 months.

    • Income-based repayment option: Temporary income-based payments are limited to 12 months over the life of the loan.

    • Interest-only payments: Yes.

    • Paused or decreased payments for temporary disability: Did not disclose.

    • Military deferment: Did not disclose.

    • Forbearance to return to school: Yes.

    • Administrative forbearance: Borrowers are eligible for 24 months of forbearance, in 90-day increments, if they have an economic hardship, or are affected by a natural disaster.

    • Co-signer release available: No cosigner allowed.

    • Death or disability discharge available: Yes.

    • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: No co-signer allowed.

    Repayment preferences

    • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

    • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: Yes.

    • Loan servicer: Launch Servicing LLC.

    • In-house customer service team: Yes.

    • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

    • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Yes.

    • Average time from application to approval: Preapproved immediately.

    • 0.5% interest rate discount for ACH autopay.

    • Receive up to a $200 Amazon Gift Card through the Graduation Reward Program.

Before applying for a Funding U student loan

Before taking out a Funding U student loan or any other private student loan, exhaust your federal loan options first. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply.

Compare your private student loan options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.

If you aren’t eligible for a Funding U student loan

If Funding U denies your student loan application, the lender will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other lenders or, if you haven’t already, try applying with a co-signer.

If you don’t have access to a co-signer — or still aren’t eligible with one — consider other lenders that don’t require co-signers or specialize in bad or no credit student loans.


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.

on Funding U's website

Find the Right Student Loan

Private student loansStudent loan refinancingCalculate monthly paymentsGraduate school loansStudent loan interest rates
NerdWallet Pixel