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.

Cecilia ClarkJuly 31, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Funding U student loans are best for high-achieving undergraduates with small funding gaps who don’t have a cosigner.

Funding U Private Student Loan
Check Rate

on Funding U's website

Fixed APR

7.99 - 14.99%

Min. Credit Score

None

Pros & Cons

Pros

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

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

  • DACA students with a work-eligible Social Security number can qualify.

Cons

  • Loans aren't available in 22 states.

  • Payment required while in school and during the grace period.

  • Maximum funding amount is less than most lenders.

Compare to Other Lenders

Funding U Private Student Loan
Stride Funding Income Share Agreement
Check RateCheck Rate
Fixed APR

7.99 - 14.99%

Fixed APR

N/A

Variable APR

N/A

Variable APR

N/A

Min. Credit Score

None

Min. Credit Score

None

Full Review

Funding U, also known as Funding University, was founded in 2016. It 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.

FUNDING U STUDENT LOANS AT A GLANCE

  • 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 $10,000 is less than most lenders.

HOW FUNDING U COULD IMPROVE

Funding U could improve by:

  • Offering  more than one repayment term.

  • 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: 10 years.

  • Loan amounts: $3,001 up to $10,000.

  • 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: No minimum, but borrowers must demonstrate they can make $20 monthly in-school payments.

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 650.

  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Funding U looks at salary and student loan data to project post-graduation DTI. The maximum ratio is 20.8%.

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

Other

  • 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 Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia.

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

  • Types of schools served: Borrowers must attend nonprofit colleges that meet the following six-year graduation rate requirements:

  • 90% graduation rate for freshmen.

  • 70% graduation rate for sophomores.

  • 50% graduation rate for juniors and seniors.

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

Many lenders are offering relief related to COVID-19. Check this list of private loan relief options to see what this lender offers.

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 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.

  • In-school deferment: Yes, up to 24 months.

  • Military deferment: Yes, up to 24 months.

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

  • Co-signer release available: No cosigner allowed.

  • Death or disability discharge available: Funding U discharges loans in the event of the death of the borrower. In cases of disability, Funding U offers up to 24 months of deferment for temporary disability and up to 60 months deferment for total disability.

  • 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: No.

  • Loan servicer: Scratch.

  • 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: 3 days.

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.

Student loans ratings methodology

NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s student loan ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.