How to Get a Private Student Loans Without a Cosigner

How to Get a Private Student Loans Without a Cosigner

So, you are an immigrant who has been accepted to a university in the United States. You have a school lined up and are preparing for the move, now the challenge is finding funding. For immigrants and noncitizens, accessing student loans can be extremely difficult. One reason is the inability of many immigrants to find a cosigner with good credit.

However, there are various lenders which offer loans that do not require a cosigner. The following article breaks down nine of the most prominent lenders that offer private student loans without a cosigner. Also, this article explores other options that borrowers can explore if private loans are not possible.

Private Student Loans Without a Cosigner for School

Some lenders require a cosigner for all borrowers, while others encourage a cosigner for the best interest rate. The following section lists some of the most prominent, well-known lenders that offer private student loans without a cosigner.


Stilt is a lender based in San Francisco, California, which aims its services specifically at the immigrant and noncitizen community. Stilt does not focus on credit score, but instead takes a broader approach, considering education, work history, and skills. This inclusive criteria gives immigrants a chance of qualifying, and qualifying for a loan with Stilt does not require a cosigner.

At a glance:

  • Interest Rate: 7.99% to 15.99%
  • Max. term length: 2 years
  • No prepayment penalties

Commerce Bank

Commerce Bank offers loans without a cosigner, along with the option of releasing a cosigner if you make 12 consecutive months of payments on time. Commerce also offers a range of helpful features, including fixed or variable interest rates and multiple repayment options.

At a glance:

  • Interest rate: 5.74% to 11.85% fixed for undergraduates, or 6.25% to 9.16% for graduates
  • No origination fee
  • Deferred repayment, fixed repayment, or interest repayment

Citizen’s Bank

Citizen’s Bank offers competitive rates and enough funding to cover the cost of your full four years of university. Borrowers with Citizen’s Bank can access loans without a cosigner. However, applying for a loan with Citizen’s Bank requires a Social Security number, which will disqualify many immigrants.

At a glance:

  • Interest Rates: 6.61% to 12.21%
  • Max. Loan Amount: $100,000
  • No application, origination, or disbursement fees

Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae is one of the largest lenders offering private student loans, and borrowers can qualify for a loan without a cosigner. As with other major lenders, Sallie Mae offers competitive rates, and borrowers can choose between fixed and variable rates. Sallie Mae also offers multiple repayment options, including deferred repayment and fixed repayment.

At a glance:

  • Interest rates: 5.74% to 11.85% fixed APR, or 4.37% to 11.23% variable APR
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction upon setting up autopay
  • No origination fee or prepayment penalty

Discover Bank

Discover Bank disburses private student loans without cosigner. However, Discover only loans to borrowers with good credit scores, so many immigrants without a credit history cannot qualify. Another unique feature that Discover offers is a cash reward program for students that meet certain GPA requirements (3.0 or better).

At a glance:

  • Interest Rates: 4.49% APR – 12.49% APR fixed, or 5.99% APR – 13.49% APR variable
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction when you enroll in autopay
  • No application, origination, or late fees

College Ave

College Ave is a lender that specifically offers student loans and refinancing. Borrowers can qualify for a College Ave student loan without a cosigner, though College Ave notes that including a cosigner provides the best chance at acceptance. College Ave offers features like a range of repayment options and loan terms lengths that borrowers can choose from.

At a glance:

  • Interest rates: 4.07% – 11.32 variable APR, or 5.29% – 12.78% fixed APR
  • 4 repayment options: full principal & interest payments, interest-only payments, flat payments, & deferred payments
  • Max. Loan Amount: 15 years


Lendkey is a different kind of lender, pooling together funds from a community of lenders. While having a cosigner is not necessary to qualify for a loan with LendKey, they suggest using a cosigner for private student loans to obtain a lower rate. However, Lendkey also offers extremely competitive interest rates and other helpful features.

At a glance:

  • Interest rates: 5.29% to 14.73% APR fixed, or 3.94% to 13.13% APR variable
  • Qualify for a 1% reduction in interest rate after paying off the first 10% of your student loans
  • Max. Loan Term: 20 years

Funding University

Funding University provides private student loans with no cosigner, and services borrowers with poor or minimal credit history as well. While Funding University only offers fixed rate loans, borrowers can obtain up to $10,000 per year.

At a glance:

  • Interest rates: 11.49% to 11.99%
  • No cancellation or origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties

How to Get a Private Student Loan Without a Cosigner

To qualify for a loan without a cosigner, you should first find a lender that has eligibility criteria that you can meet. For immigrants and visa holders, this means a lender that does not require a Social Security number, or a credit history.

Once you have found a lender with criteria that you can meet, you fill out an application. This can typically be done quickly and involves providing important financial and personal information and authorizing a soft credit-pull. You will receive a decision on your application quickly, and, if you are approved, you will qualify for an interest rate, amount, and term length.

You only have to sign a promissory note agreeing to the loan offer, and then the funds should be disbursed into your account within days.

Personal Loans for F1 Visa Holders!

Check Loan Options

Loans for up to $25,000. No cosigner required. No prepayment penalty.

Other Options if You Can’t Get a Loan

If you have explored numerous lenders and cannot find one that has eligibility criteria that you can meet, it may be time to start considering other options. The following section lists some other ways that you can fund your schooling as an immigrant in the United States.

Apply for Scholarships and Grants

The best way to pay for school is through scholarships and grants. These essentially amount to free money, but they are also usually merit-based, or based on the student’s financial circumstances. Grants are available to students from low-income families, or you can apply to numerous scholarships that may be based on grades, extracurricular activities, or contests like essay writing.

Considering a Less Expensive School

The cost of tuition and housing can vary greatly. Private schools are much more expensive, and the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition can be substantial. See if you qualify for in-state tuition from a public university, as this will be the most affordable option.

Work While in School

Earning income while you study can go a long way towards covering your educational costs. If your visa status allows you to work, a part-time job can cover major expenses like books or housing. Also, if you don’t want to take time away from your studies, you can work in the summer or over holidays.


For international students in the United States on a visa, perhaps the biggest challenge is finding a lender willing to tender a private student loan with no cosigner. The best you can do is explore various lenders, investigate their eligibility criteria, and see if you can qualify for a student loan.

Personal Loans for F1 Visa Holders!

Check Loan Options

Loans for up to $25,000. No cosigner required. No prepayment penalty.
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