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Published 20 September 2022
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Can You Get a Student Loan with Bad Credit?

You can get a student loan with bad credit to cover tuition fees and maintenance costs. Find out how you can access funding.

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You can get a student loan with bad credit. Unlike personal loans, student loans don’t take your credit history into account. That’s because student loans work differently from other types of borrowing. The government-backed Student Loans Company provides loans to cover university or college tuition fees and help with the cost of living. The terms of these loans will vary depending on the academic year the student studied, course fees, as well as a student’s financial circumstances.

Can a student get a personal loan?

Yes, it is possible for students over the age of 18 to apply for a personal loan in the UK. However, options for students tend to be limited. While each lender has its own eligibility criteria, students may be considered high-risk borrowers especially if they are unemployed or have a limited credit history.

Without a regular income, a student may find it difficult to keep up with the loan repayments. Similarly, a limited credit history may imply that you have less experience with borrowing and have no record of how you manage repayments.

» MORE: What to do if you have no credit history

Other ways of borrowing money as a student

Some lenders offer borrowing options specifically designed for students, these include student overdrafts and student credit cards. However, these facilities are usually subject to specific lending criteria, so they may not be available to those with bad credit.

Student overdrafts

Most student bank accounts offer an interest-free, arranged overdraft. While student overdrafts vary between banks, most typically offer up to £3,000. You’ll have to repay the money in your student overdraft by a fixed date just before or after you graduate from your course. However, it’s important to note that you may be charged interest if you borrow more than your arranged overdraft.

Student credit cards

Some providers offer student credit cards, which are designed to help you to borrow money while also offering an opportunity to build up your credit rating through managing repayments. Typically, student credit cards will have a lower credit limit to avoid borrowers getting into too much debt.

It’s really important to pay off your student credit card in full and on time each month.

Clearing the balance in full means you will avoid paying interest and improve your credit score.

Missed or late student credit repayments will negatively affect your credit score and may damage your chances of borrowing in the future. Missed or late repayments are recorded in your credit file for six years.

» MORE: How do credit cards work?

What to do if you’re a student struggling with money

Managing your money as a student can be tricky, especially if it’s the first time you are financially independent. But there are several options available if you’re struggling to keep up with expenses:

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Dive even deeper

Student Loans: What You Need to Know

Student Loans: What You Need to Know

There are two main types of loan, and you repay yours only when you stop studying and only when you earn above a certain salary threshold.

Student Maintenance Loans: What to Know

Student Maintenance Loans: What to Know

A student maintenance loan can help you pay your living expenses while you study.

Can I Get a Student Credit Card?

Can I Get a Student Credit Card?

Although your options might be limited, it is possible to get a student credit card in the UK. Used responsibly, they can help you cover unexpected expenses, while also building a credit history for when you’ve left university. Find out more below.

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