Yes, you can get a personal loan as a student if you are at least 18 years old, you meet the lender’s credit score requirement, and you have enough income or assets to afford the loan. Lenders don’t consider education status in the approval process, so both students and non-students can get personal loans. Just bear in mind that many lenders prohibit you from using a personal loan to pay for college tuition.
5 Steps to Get a Personal Loan as a Student
Check your credit score. Checking your credit score gives you a better understanding of which loans you can qualify for. You can check your credit score for free on WalletHub. Even if you don’t have a credit score yet, as is the case with many students, you can still get a personal loan since there are lenders that will consider applicants with no credit history. Some won’t even do a credit check.
Pre-qualify, if possible. Some lenders may let you pre-qualify before you officially apply. Pre-qualifying lets you see which lenders may approve you and what rates you may get. You can pre-qualify with multiple lenders using the free pre-qualification tool on WalletHub.
Compare lenders. You’ll need to compare lenders based on a number of factors. Some factors to consider include APRs, fees, repayment periods and loan amounts.
Apply for the loan. You may be able to apply for the loan online, over the phone or in person. The lender will ask for some personal information, like your name and date of birth. They will also ask for some financial information, such as your employment status and income. If you have no income from a job while you’re in school, you can use supplementary income or assets, like an allowance from your parents or your own savings. You could also get a cosigner to help you repay the loan if you’re unable to.
Wait for a decision and funding. You could get a decision the same day you apply or up to a few business days after. You should then get your funds within a few business days of getting approved.
Now that you know how to get a personal loan as a student, you can start comparing your options. For your convenience, below is a comparison of WalletHub’s picks for the best personal loans for students.
It’s wise to consider some alternatives to conventional personal loans for students, as well. Some good alternatives include using a student credit card, getting a personal loan with a cosigner, or getting a loan from a friend or family member.
You can get a loan without a job by providing an alternative source of income, putting up collateral or finding a cosigner. Lenders won’t discriminate against you just because you don’t have a job, but they will require you to demonstrate the ability to repay what you borrow somehow. Below, you can find some detailed tips on the various ways to get a loan without a job.… read full answer
How to Get a Loan Without a Job
Find an alternative source of income
This can include benefits like unemployment, retirement, disability, alimony or child support. You could also draw from assets such as a savings account, trust fund or investments. And you’re allowed to put down a spouse/partner’s income that you have reasonable access too, among other sources of income.
Get a cosigner
If you get a cosigner for a loan, that person assumes responsibility for repayment if you fail to pay. During the approval process, the lender bases their decision on the cosigner’s credit and income.
There are plenty of secured loans that require you to put up something valuable as collateral in order to receive the loan. If you default, the lender can take possession of the collateral to recoup their loss. Because the lender has an alternative way to get paid, they care less about your income.
Lower your debt-to-income ratio
The less debt you have relative to your total income, the less risky you are as a borrower, even if your income does not come from a job. So if possible, focus on paying down any existing debts (or increasing your income) before applying for a loan.
Increase your credit score
The higher your credit score is, the more likely you are to be approved for a loan. This can help offset not having a job, as long as you do have some form of income. The good news is that there are several easy steps you can take to improve your credit score.
Use a home equity loan/HELOC
If you are a homeowner, you can get a loan or line of credit based on the value of the house minus the amount you have left to pay on the mortgage. It may be difficult to qualify for a home equity loan or HELOC with no job, but it is possible. Just keep in mind that the loan or line of credit is secured by your house, so you could face foreclosure if you can’t repay what you borrow.
Borrow from a friend/relative
Someone close to you may be willing to help you out even if you don’t have a job at the moment. But it’s important to have a written plan for repayment – you don’t want to ruin your relationship with that person by not paying them back.
Take out an auto title loan or pawnshop loan
These options are should only be an extreme last resort. Avoid them at all costs. An auto title loan is secured by your car and could cost you up to 25% of what you borrow. Pawnshops charge 2% to 25% per month in interest and you risk losing your valuables if you can’t pay them back.
Get a cash advance
If you have a credit card, you can use it to withdraw money from an ATM, up to a limit listed on your monthly statement. But cash advances don’t fall under your credit card’s grace period, so interest starts accruing right away. The average cash advance APR is over 21%.
Borrow from a retirement account
You can take money out of your retirement fund early, but you’ll have to pay it back within five years or you’ll owe a penalty. You’ll also pay interest on this loan, but the interest goes into your retirement account to help make up for the time the money wasn’t being invested. Even if you can pay the loan back within five years, this option is still not a great idea because it causes you to pay extra out of your own pocket rather than have your investments naturally increase in value.
Risks of Getting a Loan Without a Job
Just bear in mind that it can be dangerous to get a loan with no job because if your alternative source of income dries up, you risk missing payments and therefore damaging your credit. In addition, you might not be able to get good interest rates, a long repayment period or low fees.
Alternatives to Getting a Loan Without a Job
A few less ideal ways to get a loan with no job include taking out an auto title loan, pawning an item or getting a credit card cash advance. In order to pick which method you should use to get your loan, you’ll need to compare all your options and know their pros and cons.
At the end of the day, not having a job won’t prevent you from getting a loan. But it will make the process more difficult. If you have another steady source of income or a cosigner, though, you should be fine. Of course, exactly how much income you’ll need depends on big of a loan you’re trying to get. Your income will need to be sufficient to make your monthly payments on top of your other expenses.
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