How to Get a Student Loan Without a Job 

VD February 02 2022

A 2020 Student Unemployment study found that more than 3 percent of high school graduates and 2% of undergraduate students are unemployed. With more businesses closing down and restraining further investments, students considering higher education are challenged financially. 

More and more students are now wondering whether it's worth attending school with the rising student debt crisis. However, student loans do not need to be expensive. They are also not as hard to secure as some may believe. 

With the help of the right knowledge about willing institutes and private lenders, you can secure a favorable loan agreement even if you don't have a job. Below are three types of loans for students with no income and ways to secure one.

Can You Get a Student Loan Without a Job or Cosigner?

It is possible to get a student loan even when you don't have a job. More and more private lenders are now willing to make the school payments for you if you have a financially stable co-signer. 

A student loan cosigner is someone who guarantees to pay off the loan payments in case you default on one. While finding a cosigner and persuading them to commit to such an agreement can be difficult, you will have multiple good options. Your parents or guardians will be the most suitable option as they can rely on you more easily. 

While having a cosigner will help you secure a good deal with a private lender, you should still have a plan to make the payments on time. It is also important to note that private lenders don't have a high-risk tolerance like banks. For this reason, they will charge you significantly higher interest rates or even offer a shorter loan payback period.

Financial aid for students that don't have employment or good credit history may be restrictive and limited due to the higher risk involved. While private lenders are more willing than banks or federal loans, they carry higher risks for the borrower. Fortunately, you can still secure more affordable federal aid if you qualify and fulfill the eligibility requirements. 

How Can I Qualify for Private Lender Student Loans?

Even though private lenders are more willing to give out loans when the government or banks wouldn't, there are still high requirements. Private lenders may be stricter in their requirements regarding the loan duration, the interest rate, and eligibility. 

One way to smoothly deal with all these restrictions is to have a highly stable co-signer with high income, credit history, and other valuable assets. Below are some of the things private lenders look for in the co-signer:

  • A good credit score; 600 or higher
  • A discretionary income of at least 8-10 percent; is enough to make the monthly payments.
  • A low debt to income ratio; 15 percent or less 

All these requirements and acceptable credit scores and income will vary with different lenders. A lender with high-risk tolerance may allow even a less favorable credit score and lower income. However, there will also be private lenders that may have their risk tolerance too low and demand you to pay out the total loan in a short period. Therefore, it is best to do your due diligence and weigh up different private lenders before settling on a deal that proves too expensive in the future.


How do I get Federal Student loans without a job?

More students prefer federal loans and aid due to their lower interest rates, favorable loan durations, and feasible requirements. What makes Federal student loans stand out is that they don't look at your credit score income and don't require a co-signer in most cases. 

The U.S Department of Education is the main organization handling all the student loans and aid. The organization provides Stafford loans that are needs-based rather than based on your current ability to make loan payments. 

However, all these benefits come at a cost, and you must qualify for multiple eligibility and qualification requirements. Below are two types of student loans that the federal government currently offers:

Direct Subsidized loans

This is a federal loan for undergrad students only. To qualify, you may need to demonstrate financial need. It does not always have a minimum or maximum income limit, and it's best to apply without worrying about your overall household income. The federal government will pay out the pre-set fixed interest rate for the loan duration.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

This type of loan does not require proof of financial need. It is available to both undergraduate and graduate students. Like subsidized loans, these also come with a fixed interest rate which the student loan borrowers must pay, making them more affordable for all students. You will also get more favorable payment options that private lenders and banks often lack. This takes out the extra financial burden of making bigger payments every month so you can focus on your education more freely. To apply, simply fill out an application for FAFSA and send it out to the eligible financial institution. 


How do I qualify for Private Student Loans Without a Job?

If you are not eligible or qualify for a federal loan, there are still multiple options you can depend on. Some private banks may also be willing to give out student loans other than private lenders. Citizens Bank and Sallie Mae also provide private students loans that are less burdensome than private lenders.

However, you may still need a co-signer, especially in a bad credit history or current debt. Other private banks and lenders may focus on your potential to pay for the loans in the future rather than your current income. Banks will be more willing to pay for high-demand careers and even offer lower interest rates and favorable loan durations. 


If it's your first time considering taking out a loan, it can seem overwhelming and like a huge responsibility. However, you can get a student loan with low-interest rates and a favorable payback period with some due diligence. It is best to apply for a federal loan first and consider any other student aid and scholarships available before applying for private lending. Even if private lenders are your only option, always seek out multiple lenders and try out negotiation before hurrying into an agreement.