How to get a student loan without your parents (2023)

It is possible to get a student loan without parental support, but it is important to understand the differences between how government student loans and private student loan programs work.

In general, students can almost always qualify for a federal student loan, but there are credit limits and you are usually required to include your parents' information on the Free Federal Student Aid Application (FAFSA). There are some exceptions if you can prove independent status. Private student loans allow you to borrow without a parent, but getting a student loan without a co-signer can be challenging.

How to apply for a student loan yourself

To qualify for a federal student loan, you must complete thisFree Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Almost all students who fill out this form are eligible for a federal student loan, but there are limits to what you can borrow depending on your school year and whether you are considered dependent or independent.

Admission Requirements

Whether or not a parent-less student loan will be approved depends on your personal situation, financial and credit status, and whether you have someone else who can co-sign for you. Here's how it breaks down for the different types of student loans.

While the majority of students are considered dependent (meaning your parents' income plays a role in your eligibility for financial assistance), you could be considered an independent student if you are any of the following:

  • 24 years or older
  • Married
  • In high school or in vocational school
  • A veteran or member of the armed forces
  • an orphan
  • A department of the court
  • Someone who is dependent on other than a spouse
  • An emancipated minor
  • Homeless or at risk of homelessness

In each of these cases, you will report your own information.

There are also a few special circumstances for which you can file a FAFSA without parental information, including:

  • Her parents are imprisoned
  • You no longer live at home due to an abusive situation
  • You have no contact with your parents
  • They are between 21 and 24 years old, unaccompanied and either homeless or self-supporting and at risk of homelessness

Dependent or independent status not only matters to the application, but also affects the amount of federal student loans you can borrow.

Annual dependent loan limitAnnual independent credit limits
year 15.500 $9.500 $
year 26.500 $10.500 $
year 3 and 47.500 $12.500 $
GraduateN / A20.500 $

Federal direct student loans (or Stafford loans) are the student's responsibility to pay upon graduation, whether or not the parent's information is on the FAFSA. Parent PLUS loans, on the other hand, are loans taken out by parents to help pay for their children's college expenses, and therefore they are responsible for repaying them.

Private Student Loans

Qualifying for a personal student loan can be more difficult if you are a student, as lenders expect you to meet income requirements and have a minimum credit history. These requirements can be difficult to meet as most students do not earn adequate income or have a solid credit history.

In the rare event that a student earns enough and meets creditworthiness requirements, it may be possible to self-qualify. However, in most cases, you will need to find someone else to get a no-parent private student loanready to sign for you. It could be a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or a good friend - but convincing them can be difficult as they will be hooked if you don't make your payments.

If you get a private student loan with a co-signer, choose a loan that gives you the option to remove the co-signer after a certain amount of time or after meeting certain requirements. Or you can checkstudent loan refinanceafter graduation, as soon as you can meet the loan criteria yourself.

Alternatives to student loans

The path to college affordability isn't just about taking out student loans. There are other financial assistance and funding options that can be combined to reduce your costs.


This is a donation that does not have to be repaid. Awards may come from the college itself (referred to as institutional aid) or from external organizations.Scholarships are usually awardedto students for merit, meaning they meet a specific academic qualification. There are also athletics and special ability scholarships, those linked to affiliation with organizations or employers, those aimed at students of specific ethnic groups, etc.


This is another form of gifting assistance, similar to grants. The main difference is that grants are usually based on financial need, among other requirements. Some colleges offer institutional scholarships, so be sure to inquire about how to apply. You may also be able to get grants through your state Department of Education. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators offers a handy resourceList of government financial assistance programs.

(Video) How To Get a Student Loan Without a Cosigner

Emergency Student Loans

If you have a short-term circumstance that may prevent you from affording college, you can work with your school's financial aid office to see if the school can offer you emergency aid funds as a loan. Availability and school policies vary, so make sure you understand the repayment obligations before accepting them.

Beyond these options, you could borrow directly from family members or opt for a full-time job while taking affordable tuition part-time at a community college.

Tips for dealing with student loan debt

Student loan debt management is important. Some strategies that can help you stay on track are:

  • Make interest payments while you're still in school. If you have the funds, a jump start before you graduate can help reduce your credit burden later.
  • Automate payments. By setting up your student loan payments to automatically be debited from your checking account each month, you can make sure you don't forget to pay. This protects you from paying late fees and keeps your credit score healthy as late payments can have a negative impact.
  • Pay more if you can. If you have the funds, try to pay more than the minimum amount owed. This way you can pay off your student loan faster and save some money on interest.
  • Know your credit options. There are several federal student loan repayment options, including those that allow you to pay less during periods of lower income or that extend the loan term to lower the monthly payment. These options can help if you're struggling to make payments, but be aware that they may result in you paying more over the life of the loan. If you're having trouble making payments with personal loans, contact the loan servicer to discuss your options.
  • Consider student loan consolidation. If you have multiple personal loans, once you have a job and have good credit, you can see if you can consolidate and refinance all of your loans into one. It can help simplify things by consolidating all loans into one payment, and if you can qualify for a lower interest rate, you can save money too.

Think twice before refinancing or consolidating federal student loans into private loans. If you do this, you will lose the ability to switch repayment plans, as well as other benefits such as:

Best Student Loans Without Parent

lenderAPR rangeloan amountsRemarks
financing andFest: 7,49 %-12,99 %Up to $20,000 per academic yearMinimum and maximum loan amounts vary by state
Iowa Student Loan (ISL) Education LoansFest: 8,19 %Up to $17,500 per academic yearFor students from Iowa and Illinois
SoFiFixed: 4.49% - 13.8% Variable: 4.99% - 13.07%no max; At least $1,000Co-signer release after 24 months of on-time payments
riseFixed: 4.62% - 16.24% Variable: 5.86% - 15.89%Up to $200,000 Undergrad; up to $400,000 graduateBorrower-only loans and co-signer loans with release after 12 months of on-time payments

What are the requirements for a student loan without parents?

For aprivate student loan, Lenders have income and credit qualifications that must be met either by the applicant himself or with a co-signer. If parents cannot or do not want to co-sign, you must show stable income and a proven credit history to qualify yourself. Qualifications vary by lender and loan type, and since the interest rate is usually dependent on creditworthiness, you may pay a higher interest rate depending on your status.

(Video) Abroad Education Loan without Collateral and Co Applicant | Study Abroad loan without a cosigner?

What Types of Student Loans Are Available Without Parental Involvement?

You probably qualify for federal student loans that are entirely in your name, but there are caps on the amount you can borrow. You must also include your parents' income information on the FAFSA, which is required for borrowing, unless you can prove independent student status.

Private student loans do not necessarily require the involvement of a parent, but either the student or another co-signer doesmeet creditworthiness. Since it is often difficult for a student to have enough income and credit on their own, it is likely that a co-signer will be needed.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a student loan without parents?

take out astudent loans- with or without parents - is a big decision with long-term financial implications. If you borrow yourself, you are obligated to repay and only your credit will be affected. The advantage is that you have full control over your finances and are not tied to another person. Consistent payments on time can help build your credit, unlike a parental loan that isn't in your name. If you have a co-signer on personal loans who is not your parent, you should be aware that the person is legally responsible, so if you miss payments, you will damage their creditworthiness and possibly your relationship with them.

(Video) Should you take an education loan? | Education Loans in India 2021 | Ankur Warikoo Hindi Video

Article Sources

(Video) 6 TIPS for Getting the BEST Education Loan

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  1. "dependency status."

  2. "My parents do not support me financially. Can I fill out the FAFSA form as an independent student?"

  3. "Subsidized and unsubsidized loans."

  4. "5 ways to pay off your student loans faster."



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