Exceptional Guide About Student Loans for Bad Credit Scores

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student loans for bad credit

Students face various issues while studying. The examinations, tight deadlines, and lack of financial support are among them. In this post, we are going to explore student loans which are the aid programs for helping those students who are financially unable to support themselves during their academic lives. There are two primary sources where student loans for bad credit can be possible. The first one is the federal government, and the second one is private lenders.

One of the main reasons why students decide to take the loan is the lower interest rates and flexible repayment plans that those lenders offer. To fill the financial gap, some students take the loan from both federal and private lenders. There is a criterion for eligibility while you decide to apply for a student loan. Most of the time, federal loan lenders enable student loans for bad credit which is the primary reason why those students who could not get the private loan are headed towards federal ones. Let’s discover the matter in more detail.

Details about Student Loans for Bad Credit

It is hard to find a private student loan lender that does not consider credit score as an essential measure for eligibility. There are cases where the student uses cosigners for approval and increases their chances of getting the loan. It is possible with the cosigner that has a considerable credit score and enough resources. Though student loans for bad credit exist and you should not be demotivated about getting the loan if your FICO score is not enough. In some cases, the private lenders may look at your payment history, grades at university, and experience in the workforce to identify whether or not you are capable of dealing with the loan debt. Let’s separately discuss the case from both private and public loan lenders’ perspective and see your chances of obtaining the student loans for bad credit.

Federal Loans

Federal loans are advantageous for students with bad credit scores because they do not require credit checks. In that case, the downside for the student will be higher interest rates. If your credit score is high, you have a high chance of getting the loan with the lowest interest rate and vice versa. To meet educational expenses, students may apply for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Besides them, there are various forms of aid programs depending on your branch and financial needs. For instance, the subsidized direct loans which are need-based are great opportunities for students because, during their academic life, the federal government will pay the interest rate of this type of loan.

Private Student Loans

Private student loans for bad credit is also an option for those students who could not get governmental aid. The most important criteria are the cosigner for this case. The cosigner is the person that takes full financial responsibility for your loan. He/she needs to be qualified for being a cosigner by having a high credit score. The cosigner can be your friend, family member, or any other person unless they have a low FICO score. Some of the private loan lenders offer cosigner services too, but in general, it is not affordable for students to utilize that option. 

How to Get a Student Loan with Bad Credit?

Starting with Federal Loans

student loans for bad credit

You need to fill out an application for FAFSA and show that you need financial help for studying if you want to get a federal student loan. By filling this form, you will not only apply for a federal student loan, but also, you will be able to have a chance for getting the free scholarships, grants or work-study programs by the federal government. Keep in mind that federal student loans provide you with various forgiveness or student loan consolidation opportunities. Besides that, you will manage to get into the income-driven plans as soon as you get a full-time job.

Finding a Cosigner

Let’s say that you were not able to get a federal loan. In that case, you may apply for private student loans with a cosigner. As we already mentioned, cosigners are the people that have enough credit score and financial resources to take responsibility for your loans. What if you want to get student loans without a cosigner? Imagine that you could not find the candidate for a cosigner, what will happen next, and what are the available options? To get student loans for bad credit without a cosigner, you need to think about options that can be completed independently. For instance, the future-income potential of the candidate is one of the measures that can bail you out. You can get lower interest rates if you have future potential, which is excellent news for those students who are currently unable to get a cosigner.

If you have a bad credit score, the chances are very low that you will be able to get a good deal in terms of interest rates and annual payments. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on available options and choose the one that can help you in the long run. You need to research to find out which lender postpones the loan payment in case you have difficulty in paying (accidents, unemployment, etc.). If you find the lender, then ask them how long they will postpone it. Besides that, you need to have information about origination fees, late fees, and compensations regarding the loan.


Our recommendation is to choose the lender that is available through telephone or email at any given day/time because you need to contact them regularly in case something happens. It is advisable to go with the fixed-rate loans if you have bad credit because, with variable-rate student loans, you would not be able to predict what will happen next. So, the situation may get even worse in that case.

Keep in mind the options such as Student loan consolidation and student loan refinancing for the future. Once you graduate and get a stable income, your credit score will get higher. So, you would be eligible for programs like student loan consolidation and refinancing. The lower credit score for applying these programs is considered as 690 with stable income. 

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Student Loans for Bad Credit Score.

What is the Process for Those Students that Have Bad Credit?

For those students who have a lower credit score, there are other options such as need-based governmental programs. To apply for those programs, you need to enter FAFSA.ed.gov and find application forms, deadlines, etc. Those programs have considerably easier criteria for eligibility.

What Are the Student Loans for Bad Credit Options that are Available in 2020?

The bad credit student loan options that are currently available include Parent PLUS, Direct Student Loans, GradPLUS loan, and other specification-related loans such as teacher loan forgiveness, nurse loan forgiveness, public service loan forgiveness, and more.

Is There any Hope for Students with Bad Credit Scores?

There are two distinct options for this type of case. The first one is applying for federal loans with fixed interest rates, and the second one is building up your credit score, which we will discuss later in the article. So, there is no reason to lose hope, even if your credit score is low.

What are the PLUS Loans and How They Can Help You?

GradPLUS is a federal aid program that is designed to support students who cannot afford basic needs. Those loans can cover up a wide range of costs, including housing, school fees, books etc. 

What is Deferment, and Why is it Essential for Students with Bad Credits?

Deferment is a process that allows the student to stop paying for the loan when they face harsh financial circumstances. It is a crucial matter for all the students with bad credits because in case if something wrong happens to them, they need to utilize this option as well as forbearance. Keep in mind to check the loan specification while you are applying with lower credit scores. The deferment is not included in most of those contracts; that is why it is important to check.

Are Federal loans the Only Choice for Students with Bad Credit?

Most of the time, federal loans do not ask for a credit check that is why they are a more favorable option for those students with lower credit scores. No matter how unprivileged you are for studying, the role of the government is to guide you and help you to achieve your goals. When it comes to private lenders, the case is a little bit different. Credit histories are significant for private banks. The reason for that is, as they are private agencies, their main focus is making a profit. For students with bad credit scores, the chances of repaying the money are lower as well. Therefore, private banks do not want to give money to those that would not afford to pay it back. The student loans for bad credit is a financial risk that most of the private banks do not want to deal with.  

What about Personal Loans?

Personal student loans are mainly provided by private lenders such as banks. These loans are just like any other private student loan are credit-based and are given to those students who have a solid credit history. If you do not have that, using a cosigner can help you with personal loans too.

Possible Ways to Boost Your Low Credit Score

With a higher credit score, it is possible to get a better deal in terms of interest rates and monthly payments. That is why, for those students who are unable to use options like a cosigner, the best solution is to increase their credit scores. By getting a higher credit score such as 660, you will manage to get into programs like student loan refinancing. Through these programs, you will get a better deal regarding the interest rate and pay for all the loans by combining them into one. If your credit score is bad and you cannot get a student loan, follow these steps for improvement. 

Check your current FICO score.

FICO score is the measurement that helps private banks to evaluate your case. By doing so, they estimate if you are able to pay back the borrowed money. By entering FicoScore.com, you can check your current score. It is also possible to compare the results with the minimum scores by private lenders. Another useful website is Credit Karma which can also help you to learn your credit score. 

There are two crucial aspects that you need to learn about credit scores. 

The first one is:

Not every company has the same evaluation and calculation criteria for credit scores.

The second one:

Your Vantage score and FICO score may slightly vary. So, learn both of them to see your chances of getting student loans for bad credit

Improving Credit Report

student loans for bad credit without a cosigner

Credit reports need to be carefully written to get a chance for acquiring student loans. You need to mention details such as 

  • past addresses
  • an overview of the previous loans
  • history of payments 
  • and bankruptcies if any. 

The private lender that checks this report should be convinced about results. If they found any incorrect information, you will not be able to get a loan from that company. You need to check this report regularly and fix the errors to increase your chances. How to access credit reports? 

You can get a copy of the credit report from sources such as Transunion, Experian, and Equifax. If you find any errors after checking the report, it is better to contact the FTC, so that they can work on the case. 


Payment deadlines are crucial for having an outstanding credit score. The payment history is contributing around 35 percent for the overall credit score. Thus, making all the payments on time can change the situation for you. You need to strictly follow the due dates and try never to miss a payment deadline. While doing so, your credit score will substantially increase over time.  

Credit Utilization and its Impact on Bad Credit Scores

It is another crucial factor that you need to focus on building up your credit score. The credit utilization measures how much you spend from your available credits at any given period. For instance, let’s say that you have two credit cards, and each of them has 5000 dollars in the balance. The sum of those cards balances is 10.000 dollars. Imagine that you spend 6000 dollars this month. For that month, your credit utilization score would be 40 percent as the 4000 dollars left in the bank account. For improving your credit scores, you need to have a credit utilization score of around 25 percent or below. Paying your credit card debts is an excellent way for increasing overall credit scores which will be helpful while you apply for student loans.

So, How to Put Yourself in an Ideal Position?

It is recommended not to spend much with your credit cards for overriding. Meaning that, if you have intentions such as buying a new car, remodeling your house, or purchasing luxury goods with your credit card, it is not a good idea in this specific case. Besides that, private student loan lenders analyze your past payments. If they found out that you bought the latest cellphone or any other luxury item, they will not grant you with a student loan.

Each month, focus on paying at least a minimum amount so that your credit history can improve. It is also an excellent option to configure your credit cards on autopay. This eventually will help you to pay for the debt even if you forget the deadline.

For those of you who would like to apply for a student loan with bad credit, it is essential to keep your credit utilization as low as possible. So, if you are about to send your documents to the officials regarding the procedure, twice a month, try to pay down your credit card balance as much as possible so that your utilization score can go down as well. 

Final Thoughts

To sum up, having a lower credit score does not disqualify a student from getting a loan. It is true that, the lower the credit score, the chances of you getting approval are becoming harder but not impossible. There are a variety of options that you can utilize for getting student loans for bad credit. As we mentioned earlier in the article, the first option is applying for federal loans.

If that does not work out for you, try getting a cosigner who can help you. If you cannot find it, do not worry because there are options for getting student loans for bad credit without a cosigner too. Those options may include the private lenders who offer independent loans by checking the academic success and future profitability of the student. If none of these options is available for you, try to build up a solid credit score by utilizing our tips.