Before considering private student loans, make sure you exhaust all of your federal student aid options. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible to ensure you get all the financial aid you’re entitled to receive.
For undergraduate loans, federal student loans do not have minimum credit score or income requirements, making it an excellent choice if you don’t have steady income or an established credit history.
If you use all of the available federal aid and still need help paying for school, you can shop around for the best private student loans. Each lender operates independently from one another, and they have their own credit and income requirements.
As a college student, you can improve your chances of qualifying for a loan—and getting a competitive interest rate—by adding a cosigner to your loan application. A cosigner is usually a friend or relative with good credit and reliable income who applies for the loan with you. If you can’t keep up with the payments, the cosigner is responsible for them, instead.