Whether you’re trying to purchase your first car or need private funding for college, it can be difficult to get a loan when you’re under 18 years old. You haven’t had the chance to establish a credit history, so lenders view you as a big risk. While it may take a bit longer and will require a few extra steps, you should be able to find a financial institution willing to grant you a loan.
Explain why you need the loan to your parents or legal guardian, as you will be required to have a co-signer. The only type of loans to people under age 18 that don’t require a co-signer are federal student loans, as these are exempt from the legal defense of infancy.
Make an appointment with a loan officer at a bank where your parent or guardian primarily does her banking. Since your family already has a history with the institution, they may be more likely to grant you a loan. Your lender may also grant you a better interest rate.
Complete the loan application. The bank may ask you to do this in person at the bank or online at home.
Review the terms of the loan application if your request is accepted. Sign and return the paperwork to the lender if you and your co-signer are satisfied with the arrangements.
Keep trying if the first few lenders turn you down. If your co-signer has a strong credit history, you should be able to find a financial institution to lend you money.
- Justice Federal Credit Union: When Are You Ready for a Loan?
- FinAid: FAQs about Financial Aid
- Polytechnic Institute of New York University: Frequently Asked Questions
- Experian. "7 Things Lenders Look at Besides Your Credit Score." Accessed June 5, 2020.
- Experian. "Debt-to-Income Ratio." Accessed June 5, 2020.
- Experian. "What Is a Rapid Rescore? Is It Something I Should Consider?" Accessed June 5, 2020.
- Experian. "What Is Peer-to-Peer Lending?" Accessed June 5, 2020.
- First Alliance Credit Union. "The Basics for Needing a Cosigner on a Loan." Accessed June 5, 2020.
- Federal Student Aid. "Federal Student Loans: Basics for Students," Pages 2-3. Accessed June 5, 2020.
- GovLoans.gov. "Stafford Loans for Students." Accessed June 5, 2020.
- Wells Fargo. "Cosign a Private Student Loan." Accessed June 5, 2020.
Laura Woods is a Los Angeles-based writer with more than six years of marketing experience. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Robert Morris University.