How to Get a Personal Loan with No Cosigner & Bad or No Credit

Updated on April 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • Options exist for obtaining a loan without a cosigner and with bad or no credit.
  • Online personal loan lenders consider factors beyond credit score, offering competitive rates.
  • Secured loans using collateral, credit unions catering to specific demographics, and online lenders like Stilt, Avant, and Badcreditloans.com provide alternative solutions.
  • Immigrants and students facing challenges in finding cosigners due to limited credit history can explore these diverse lending options.

Most traditional lenders require cosigners for loan applicants with bad credit or no credit history. A cosigner shares responsibility for repaying the loan and has to make payments if you fail to do so.

Students and immigrants, in particular, often have to depend on a cosigner, as they tend to have little or no credit history in the US.

Unfortunately, those who need a cosigner the most are often unable to find one. Students and immigrants might not know US citizens with good credit and are forced to find alternatives that don’t require a cosigner.

In this guide, we go over what types of loans you may be eligible for if you have no credit history and no cosigner, specific lenders to check out, and more.

4 Ways to Get a Loan Without a Cosigner & Bad or No Credit

If you are a student, immigrant, or anyone else struggling to find a cosigner while also having bad or no credit history, the task of getting a loan can be daunting.

But with research and the right help, you can secure a loan with no credit. Read on or click an option below to jump down:

Let’s dive in:

1. Online Personal Loan Lenders

There are online lenders (such as those highlighted below) that offer personal loans to those with no cosigner and limited/poor credit histories—such as students and immigrants.

Whereas banks often primarily consider your credit score, online lenders take into account other aspects of your life. They look at your income, employment status, and reasons for needing the loan while also offering competitive interest rates.

Online lenders have to compete with banks and other online lenders. If you do your research and find the right company, you could be surprised that you not only get a loan but one with a good interest rate and repayment terms.

2. Secured Loans

Although you may not have a cosigner, you may have something of value that can act as collateral for the loan.

Whereas a cosigner acts as extra protection to help you become eligible for a loan, a secured loan uses possessions like cars, boats, and motorcycles to make up for a lack of credit experience.

As an immigrant or student, for example, you may not have had time to form the trusting bonds that are required for someone to cosign for you. You may, however, have an item of value that you can risk to secure a loan.

In essence, this valued possession acts as a cosigner. It means you are willing to have that item repossessed if you default on your loan.

READ MORE: 5 Assets You Can Definitely Use for Secured Loan Collateral

3. Credit Unions Loans

Credit unions can be a direct antidote to those struggling with finding a cosigner. Credit unions are designed for people who share similar characteristics with similar financial interests to join a collective group that supports them.

If you are an immigrant of a certain ethnicity, there are credit unions across the United States that are designed to accommodate the financial handicaps that come with your circumstance.

If you apply and are accepted as a member, then you can receive financial assistance from a fellowship that shares common demographic characteristics.

4. Payday Loans

Payday loans are an option—but a very risky one—for those having trouble finding a cosigner.

Payday loan providers sell themselves as a quick and easy stop for cash on the spot, and there is some truth to that. With a driver’s license, Social Security card, and a post-dated check, you can leave with cash in hand.

However, with extremely high interests rates, relying on payday loans can be like stepping in quicksand. The quick fix option is exactly what they provide to hook you into further mounting debt.

If at all possible, you should avoid payday loans however you can.

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5 Online Personal Loan Lenders That Don’t Require Cosigners

If you choose to go the online lender route for getting a personal loan, you’ll have a few options, including:

  1. AmOne (Best for Okay and Good Credit)
  2. Spotlight Loans (Best for Bad Credit)
  3. Spring Loans (Best for Bad Credit or No Credit)
  4. First Premier Lending (Best for No Credit)
  5. Upgrade (Best for Good Credit)
  6. Avant (Best for Okay Credit)

Here’s a closer look at each:

1. AmOne (Best for Okay and Good Credit)

AmOne’s platform specializes in efficiently matching borrowers with suitable lenders. For individuals cautious about hard inquiries, AmOne can connect them with options that offer pre-approvals without affecting their credit score, allowing them to gauge potential offers risk-free.

AmOne Personal Loan

4.5
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

600

Fixed APR

3.99%-35.99%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Fixed APR: 3.99%-35.99%.
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000.
  • Repayment: 1 to 7 years.

Qualifications

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • While there’s no specific income requirement, a consistent source of income is essential for the applicant.

Pros

  • Suitable for individuals with lower credit scores.
  • No cost for the matching service.
  • Attractive loan rates.

Cons

  • Acts as an intermediary, not a direct lender.
  • Risk of multiple contacts from prospective lenders.
  • Lack of clarity on lender details.

2. Spotlight Loans (Best for Bad Credit)

Spotlight Loans distinguishes itself as a personal loan provider focused on delivering quick financial assistance through a variety of loan products, designed to support borrowers in achieving their financial goals or managing unforeseen expenses.

Spotlight Loans

4.8
Stilt rating
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

None

Fixed APR

6.63% and up

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: n/a
  • Variable APR: 4.99% and up
  • Loan amounts: $100 – $5,000
  • Repayment: Depends on choice of lender

Qualifications

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have a checking or savings account
  • Have regular income
  • Have a fair credit rating

Pros

  • Spotlight Loans is willing to work with individuals who have less-than-perfect credit, making it a viable option for those who may struggle to secure loans from traditional lenders​​​​.
  • Spotlight Loans offers same-day approval and funding, which is beneficial for those in urgent need of funds. This makes it a good option for emergency financial situations​​.
  • Unlike traditional payday loans, Spotlight Loans provides the option to repay the loan over a period of months, offering more flexibility in repayment planning​​​​.

Cons

  • One of the most significant drawbacks of taking a personal loan with Spotlight Loans is the potentially high interest rates. With APRs that can be much higher than traditional personal loan lenders, this can lead to substantial interest payments over time​​.
  • Spotlight Loans offers loan amounts that are relatively low, which may not be sufficient for all borrowers’ needs​​​​.
  • Spotlight Loans services are not available in all states, so it’s important to check if you reside in an eligible location before applying​​.

3. Spring Loans (Best for Bad Credit or No Credit)

Spring Loans emphasizes flexibility and borrower convenience. They offer a range of lending solutions, and their pre-approval process is designed to give potential borrowers insights into possible loan offers without initiating a hard credit pull, ensuring their credit remains untouched during the preliminary stages.

Spring Loans Personal Loan

4.2
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

None

Fixed APR

27.00%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: None.
  • Fixed APR: 27.00%
  • Loan amounts: $3,000.
  • Repayment: 48 months.

Qualifications

  • Demonstrate a recurrent income.
  • Minimum age prerequisite: 18 years.
  • Validate U.S. citizenship status with an SSN.
  • Provide a legitimate U.S. driver’s license or a state identity card.
  • Establish a functional bank account for incoming deposits.
  • Adhere to any specific demands by the loan provider.

Pros

  • Open to applicants with any credit background.
  • Four-year loan period aids in structured financial management.
  • The $3,000 offer addresses several short-term financial challenges.
  • Wide-reaching eligibility criteria invite a broad spectrum of applicants.
  • The focus on dependable income over job title benefits varied income sources.

Cons

  • The set 27% APR is higher than many alternatives.
  • Restriction to a $3,000 loan might not cover all financial outlays.
  • Possessing specific IDs is mandatory, sidelining some applicants.
  • A prerequisite for an ongoing bank account may limit certain users.

4. First Premier Lending (Best for No Credit)

First Premier Lending understands the importance of credit health for its borrowers. Their approach to pre-approvals is tailored to provide initial loan insights without a hard inquiry, allowing potential borrowers to explore their offerings without immediate repercussions on their credit score.

First Premier Lending Personal Loan

4.2
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

None

Fixed APR

27.00%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: None.
  • Fixed APR: 27.00%.
  • Loan amounts: $3,000.
  • Repayment: 48 months.

Qualifications

  • Maintain a consistent source of income.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Possess valid U.S. citizenship and a legitimate social security number.
  • Hold a current U.S. driver’s license or state-issued ID.
  • Keep an active bank account for direct deposit.
  • Satisfy any lender-specific criteria, such as credit rating, borrowing history, or place of residence.

Pros

  • No minimum credit score requirement allows accessibility for those with varied credit histories.
  • 48-month term provides clarity and allows for long-term financial planning.
  • Specific loan amount of $3,000 can meet many short-term financial needs.
  • Broad set of qualifications make the loan accessible to a wide range of people.
  • Emphasis on consistent income, not necessarily employment type, allows flexibility for borrowers.

Cons

  • A fixed APR of 27% is relatively high.
  • Loan amount is capped at $3,000, which might not cater to larger financial requirements.
  • Requirement of a U.S. driver’s license or state-issued ID could exclude some individuals.
  • Mandatory active bank account could be limiting for those who are unbanked.

5. Upgrade (Best for Good Credit)

Upgrade is dedicated to transparent and accessible lending. Their pre-approval process is structured to provide potential borrowers a clear picture of their eligibility and possible loan terms without the need for a hard credit inquiry, emphasizing a customer-centric approach.

Upgrade Personal Loan

5.0
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

560

Fixed APR

8.49% - 35.99%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: 560
  • Fixed APR: 8.49% – 35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment: 3 to 5 years (7 years on some larger loans)

Qualifications

  • Possess an active bank account.
  • Able to provide a legitimate email address.
  • Minimum age requirement: 18 years (19 for Alabama residents).
  • Credit score of 600 or higher.
  • Annual income of $25,000 or more.

Pros

  • Willing to accommodate borrowers with a credit score as low as 560.
  • Offers flexibility with a range of loan amounts from $1,000 to $50,000. This can be suitable for both small and large financial needs.
  • Provides options for repayment, allowing borrowers to choose a timeline that best suits their financial situation.
  • Once approved, borrowers can access funds in just one day, which is useful for urgent financial needs.

Cons

  • Origination fees can go as high as 9.99%, which might add a significant cost to the loan.
  • Apart from the origination fee, there are fees for late payments and failed payments, which can add up if one is not careful.
  • While there is an option to extend repayment for larger loans up to 7 years, it’s not standard for all loan amounts.

6. Avant (Best for Okay Credit)

Avant offers a seamless and straightforward pre-approval process. Recognizing the importance of maintaining credit health, Avant allows potential borrowers to check their loan eligibility and terms without a hard credit pull, fostering trust and ensuring a non-invasive preliminary experience.

Avant Personal Personal Loan

4.0
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

550

Fixed APR

9.95-35.99%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: 550.
  • Fixed APR: 9.95-35.99%.
  • Loan amounts: $2,000-$35,000.
  • Repayment: 1 to 5 years..

Qualifications

  • Strong credit and income may secure lower rates, but not mandatory.
  • Must possess a bank account in good standing under your name.
  • A valid Social Security number is required.
  • Bankruptcy should not be active.
  • Minimum credit score of 550; using FICO score version 8 and VantageScore version 3.
  • Minimum monthly net income: $1,200 from various sources including employment, alimony, retirement, child support, and Social Security payments.

Pros

  • A dedicated mobile app is available for loan management.
  • Offers a diverse selection of repayment terms.
  • Customer service is accessible seven days a week.

Cons

  • An origination fee might be applicable.
  • They don’t offer co-signed, joint, or secured loan options.
  • Direct payments to creditors aren’t available for debt consolidation loans.

Who Do People Typically Use as Cosigners?

A cosigner is a person assuming co-responsibility for your loan. He or she is liable to make payments to the bank or financial institution on your behalf, in case you fail to do so. In addition, his or her credit score can be damaged if you both fail to make payments on the loan.

With that being said, a cosigner almost always has to be someone you have a close relationship with.

Cosigners tend to be people you trust like family or friends; people who will take into account your situation, and be willing to take on a bit of risk so that you can be approved for a loan.

A cosigner with a strong financial background can help you secure a loan at a lower interest rate, qualify for a second personal loan, or become eligible for a higher loan amount. Their good credit score offsets your poor credit history (or lack thereof), and a lender takes into account both when they decide whether you are eligible or not as well as what loan options you qualify for.

Groups That Struggle to Secure Cosigners

Unfortunately, not everyone is able to easily secure a cosigner. Two of the groups who struggle the most include:

  • Immigrants
  • Students

If you fall into either of these categories, don’t feel bad—you’re not alone!

1. Immigrants

Immigrants are new to the United States and usually have not had time to create a network of people with strong credit reports.

They’ve just arrived to the States, have no credit history of their own, are attempting to set up a life, and have yet to create strong, trusting relationships with potential cosigners.

A cosigner has to be someone with a US credit history, while also being someone willing to take a risk on you. If you’ve only been in the US a short while then it’s quite possible you haven’t had a chance to socialize and network with people who may then become willing to cosign for you.

2. Students

Students tend to be young meaning they have had little time to build a credit history. Most teenagers are deemed too irresponsible or risky to be given loans or credit cards, making it hard to build up a FICO score.

Ironically, students tend to be in most need of a loan. They are training for their careers and are not pulling in much more than a part-time minimum wage. Students need cars, residences, and student aid which require payment plans.

If a student has not had to pay off any credit previously, then it will be hard to convince a lender that you will be able to hand the responsibility of a loan.

Luckily, there are international student loans without a cosigner that students can turn to that don’t require them to pass a credit check.

Read More

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I get a personal loan with no cosigner and bad or no credit?

Yes, it’s possible to get a personal loan without a cosigner even if you have bad or no credit. However, options may be limited, and loans may come with higher interest rates and less favorable terms.

What types of personal loans are available for individuals with bad or no credit?

For those with bad or no credit, available loan types may include secured loans (requiring collateral), payday loans, installment loans, and loans from credit unions or online lenders specializing in bad credit loans.

How can I improve my chances of getting a loan with no cosigner and bad credit?

To improve your chances:

  1. Provide proof of stable income or employment.
  2. Offer collateral if applying for a secured loan.
  3. Apply with a lender that caters to bad or no credit applicants.
  4. Consider smaller loan amounts.

Are there any online lenders that offer loans to people with bad or no credit?

Yes, several online lenders offer loans to individuals with bad or no credit. These lenders often use different criteria than traditional banks to assess creditworthiness.

What is a secured personal loan?

A secured personal loan requires collateral, such as a car or savings account, which the lender can seize if the borrower fails to repay the loan. These loans are often easier to obtain for those with bad credit.

What should I consider before taking out a high-interest loan?

Before taking out a high-interest loan, consider:

  1. The total cost of the loan, including fees and interest.
  2. Your ability to make timely repayments.
  3. The impact on your financial situation if you fail to repay.
  4. Alternative financing options.

Can credit unions be a good option for personal loans with no cosigner?

Credit unions can be a good option as they often have more flexible lending criteria and lower interest rates compared to traditional banks, especially for their members.

How do payday loans work?

Payday loans are short-term, high-interest loans intended to be repaid with the borrower’s next paycheck. They are typically for small amounts but come with very high fees and interest rates.

What risks are associated with payday loans?

Risks of payday loans include extremely high fees and interest rates, the potential of falling into a debt cycle, and the possibility of affecting your credit score negatively if you fail to repay on time.

What alternatives can I consider instead of a high-interest personal loan?

Alternatives to high-interest personal loans include borrowing from friends or family, seeking assistance from community organizations or nonprofits, and looking into lending circles or peer-to-peer lending.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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