Best Bad Credit Student Loans of June 2022

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Having bad credit shouldn’t stop you from getting a student loan. (Shutterstock)

Bad credit or a lack of credit history can make it difficult to get a private student loan. But taking out a private loan isn’t your only option.

If you must borrow for college, before considering private student loans, you must first exhaust all of your federal loan options. Most federal loans do not require a credit check.

Here’s what you need to know about taking out a student loan with bad credit.

Even with bad credit, you can find a private loan to fund your college education. Visit Credible for view your prequalified student loan rates from various private lenders, all in one place.

The best student loans for bad credit

To qualify for a private student loan with bad credit, you may need to apply to a co-signer. A co-signer is someone who agrees to be responsible for repaying your loan if you are unable to make the payments.

Some lenders allow you to release a co-signer after making a number of one-time payments. The release process varies by lender, but you usually need to submit a co-signer release request after making the required number of payments. Once submitted, a lender performs a credit check and reviews your income to assess your ability to repay the loan.

The following credible partner lenders are some of the best private student lenders to consider if you have bad credit.

1. Climb

Ascent offers student loans up to $200,000 if you need to get a credit check. For his no-credit loan, the maximum loan amount is $20,000. Ascent offers a wide range of payment terms, ranging from five to 20 years.

Plus, you can get interest rate discounts if you sign up for autopay and 1% cash back if you graduate within five years.

  • Minimum credit score: 660
  • Terms: 5, 7, 10, 12, 15 and 20 years old
  • Maximum loan amount: $200,000
  • Version of the co-signer: After 24 months

2. invested

If you are planning to attend school in Indiana or are already a resident, INvestED may be worth considering. You can borrow up to 100% of your school’s tuition, and InvestED’s repayment terms range from five to 15 years.

  • Minimum credit rating: 670
  • Terms: 5, 10 and 15 years old
  • Maximum loan amount: Up to 100% of your school’s tuition
  • Version of the co-signer: After 48 months



MEFA offers student loans to undergraduate and graduate students attending nonprofit colleges or universities across the United States for years.

  • Minimum credit rating: 670
  • Terms: 10 or 15 years
  • Maximum loan amount: Up to 100% of your school’s tuition (minus any financial aid received)
  • Version of the co-signer: After 48 months (15-year undergraduate loans)

Other Lenders to Consider

The following lenders are not Credible partners, so you won’t be able to easily compare your rates with them on the Credible platform. But they may also be worth considering if you’re looking for a student loan for bad credit.

1. Serious

Earnest offers student loans from $1,000 to $250,000. You can choose from a wide range of repayment terms ranging from 5 to 15 years. Plus, you’re allowed to skip up to one payment per year, which can help if you’re struggling financially.

  • Minimum credit rating: 650
  • Terms: 5, 7, 10, 12 and 15 years old
  • Maximum loan amount: Up to $250,000
  • Version of the co-signer: Unavailable

2. Funding U

Funding U only offers non-cosigner loans to undergraduate students. You can borrow up to $20,000 and the term of the loan is 10 years. There is no minimum credit score, but Funding U reviews your credit history. If you have collection accounts or missed payments on your credit reports, your loan application may be denied.

  • Minimum credit score: None
  • Terms: 10 years
  • Maximum loan amount: $20,000
  • Version of the co-signer: Only offers non-cosigner student loans


Credible rated private student lenders in 10 different categories to determine the best lenders for graduate student loans. This included interest rates, repayment options, terms, fees, discounts, customer service availability, as well as eligibility requirements and co-signer release options.


How to get a student loan with bad credit

If you think taking out a student loan is the right decision for your situation, follow these steps:

  1. Complete the FAFSA. To get started, complete and submit the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to help your school determine if you qualify for federal loans and other types of federal assistance, such as the federal work-study program, scholarships or grants. Federal loans provide access to benefits that private lenders do not, such as income-contingent repayment (IDR) plans and access to student loan forgiveness programs.
  2. Consider private student loans. Once you’ve exhausted your federal loan options, consider taking out a private loan to fill any funding gaps. Compare loan terms and rates offered by at least three to five lenders to get the best deal for your unique financial situation.
  3. Add a co-signer. If you have bad credit, you’ll likely find it difficult to qualify for a private student loan on your own. And even if you qualify, a lender will likely charge you a higher interest rate. You can increase your chances of approval and your chances of getting a lower interest rate by adding a co-signer who has good credit and a solid income.
  4. Improve your credit score. If you don’t need a student loan right away or can’t find a co-signer, building your credit before applying can increase your chances of qualifying on your own. You can do this by adopting good credit habits, such as paying off any debt you have and paying all your bills on time. Additionally, it’s also a good idea to review your credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for inaccuracies by visiting

If you’re ready to apply for a private student loan, Credible makes it easy to see your prequalified student loan rates from several lenders.

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