Can You Get Student Loans for Online Classes?

Posted by Frank Gogol
Updated on May 17, 2022

Not every student can physically attend classes at University. Therefore, they choose to take online classes and thus stay at home while studying. But what do you do when you want a student loan? Can you get student loans for online classes? Let’s find out.

Are There Loans for Online Classes?

Yes, there are loans even for students who take online classes. Federal student loans represent one of the opportunities for a lot of distance students, as they allow them to deal with their tuition without having to look for a new job.

Although it seems hardly possible, you can just fill out an application online, and wait and see if you’re eligible for the loan. The loan may have good terms and a decent interest rate as well.

Nevertheless, you can also turn to private loans in case federal loans are not enough to deal with the tuition.

Before Your Turn to Loans

Before you decide to take out a loan, it’s more important to know what other options you have. It’s better to look at some funding options that are easier to handle before you jump into something that will require regular payments. Here’s what you should look into prior to sending your loan application:

Scholarships and Grants

Even though you are studying from afar, that doesn’t make you any less of a student. Your situation is just different and you are doing things differently. So, despite thinking you may not have the same rights, you can actually access scholarships and grants to help you deal with your payments.

If you’re a distance learning student, there are special scholarship opportunities that you can take. All you have to do to obtain a scholarship is look for available scholarships on the Internet, and if you find a good one and get accepted, then you can pay for your college.

Also, you should be aware that if you have an accredited distance learning program and you are working to get a degree in the future, you have the same rights as other students. You may not be a traditional one, but you still get to enjoy the same benefits.

Meanwhile, you also have access to grants, which are a one-time monetary award that you can receive for merit. The cool thing about grants, as well as scholarships, is that you don’t have to pay them back. You receive them and you can use them without thinking of any repayment date.

School-Funded Aid

There are also many schools that give their students financial aid so they can deal with the tuition. More often than not, you can find information about it on the school’s official website, but if not, you can always ask the financial aid office for it.

You should fill out some applications that are required to grant you access to the school funds.

Federal Loans for Online Classes

Believe it or not, student loans used to be unavailable for students in online programs. It would’ve been too difficult considering the things that come into play when giving out loans. However, things have changed and now, loans are also available for online degree program students.

Still, the eligibility is decided depending on the particular situation. Before you enroll each year, you need to go to the financial aid office of the school.

FAFSA for Online Degrees

The application process isn’t that different from the one that traditional students are going through. Even as an online program student, what you have to do is fill out the FAFSA, more specifically the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application is required for both federal and private loans.

You can either ask for a copy by mail or fill it out online, after which you print it and mail it to the rightful location. There is also more than one type of federal loan.

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans are the most common types of federal loans for students. But even with these, there are some subcategories to take into account.

Direct Plus loans are given to an undergraduate’s parents, but they can be given to a student or graduate’s parents too. They will be used to cover the amounts spent on education, which isn’t paid with other types of financing.

Direct Subsidized loans are for students that have financial needs and can prove this. Conversely, Direct Unsubsidized loans are for professional students, undergraduates, and graduates in financial need, except they don’t require proof of financial hardship.

And lastly, there is the Direct Consolidation Loan. This loan is for students who have acquired too much debt and find it hard to deal with separate loans. So, this will let them combine all of them into a single, larger loan, which only requires a single payment to a service per month.

Federal Perkins Loan Program

In case of great financial hardship and need of cash, a Perkins Loan may be granted. The advantage of this type of loan comes from a low interest rate. So, if you’re eligible, you’ll have a much easier life dealing with the payments. Just don’t expect every school to have this loan.

Private Student Loans for Online Classes

Sometimes, even with all the federal loans, you can get, you may not be able to pay your tuition. This will make you desperate, as you have no idea where to get the money to deal with your educational fees.

There is another scenario possible: where you are not eligible for any federal loan, and you are left wondering how to get the money.

But all hope is not lost, because both of these situations can be solved if you get a private student loan. Private loans are pricier than federal loans, but when you really need money, this may be the last concern.

With private student loans, there are various types to choose from, such as continuing education loans, standard private loans, and career loans. It’s better to check what each one involves, so you can decide which is the right one for you. Furthermore, you need to make the selection carefully, because not all lenders are all sunshine and rainbows. Some of them will have immense interest rates, and you want to avoid that at all costs.

Student Loans for Online Classes Tips

You should prepare yourself before getting a student loan so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises. You need to be responsible, as loans are no child’s play. So, here are some tips to help you when applying for your student loans for online classes.

Beware of Deadlines

There are a lot of deadlines to deal with. First of all, you have a deadline for the federal and state loans themselves, but then there is also the college deadline. It would be ideal if all of them had the same deadline so it would be easier to track them, but that’s rarely the case. So, you should always file your FAFSA before the first deadline that you have to deal with.

After the application, you usually get a financial aid offer from your school. It should also include federal student loans. Whether you accept them or not is up to you. Overall, it’s better to not accept federal loans if you still haven’t spent your scholarships and grants. But before doing so, be aware of how much cash you need to pay for your school.

Once you decide which funds to accept, you need to send a signed award letter back, so officials know what you have chosen. Keep in mind that a Mastery Promissory Note will also have to be signed before you are granted access to the loan.

Know the Loan Limits for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Even though you may be able to get multiple federal loans to deal with your tuition, there is still a limit to the amount of cash you can get.

For instance, for graduate schools, the maximum amount is $138,500, and it should be less in subsidized loans, respectively below $65,500.

Meanwhile, an independent undergraduate can get a maximum of $57,500, while a dependent one can get $31,000. However, the maximum amount for both of them in subsidized loans is $23,000.

As for the other school-based loan program known as the Perkins Loan, the maximum amount for graduate students is $60,000. For undergraduates, the amount is $27,500.

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Can you get student loans for online classes? You definitely can, but you need to know your options first. As you were able to see, you can be granted access not only to scholarship and grants, but also to federal and private loans, so take all the necessary measures needed to obtain the funding you need. In case you require some more information, don’t forget to check out Stilt, where you will learn more about student loans, F1 Visas, as well as personal loans and many others.

Need a Loan? Get One in 3 Simple Steps

If you are considering applying for a personal loan, just follow these 3 simple steps.


Apply online for the loan amount you need. Submit the required documentation and provide your best possible application. Stronger applications get better loan offers.


If your application meets the eligibility criteria, the lender will contact you with regard to your application. Provide any additional information if required. Soon you’ll have your loan offer. Some lenders send a promissory note with your loan offer. Sign and return that note if you wish to accept the loan offer.


The loan then gets disbursed into your U.S. bank account within a reasonable number of days (some lenders will be as quick as 2-3 business days). Now you need to set up your repayment method. You can choose an autopay method online to help you pay on time every month.


About Stilt

Stilt provides loans to international students and working professionals in the U.S. (F-1, OPT, H-1B, O-1, L-1, TN visa holders) at rates lower than any other lender. Stilt is committed to helping immigrants build a better financial future.

We take a holistic underwriting approach to determine your interest rates and make sure you get the lowest rate possible. 

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