If a debtor does not have the credit history or means to repay a debt, he may have to get someone to co-sign the loan. Co-signers are equally responsible for the loan and can be held liable if the debtor defaults on the debt. Federal student loans usually do not require a co-signer and may represent an opportunity for students to build credit of their own.
Federal Student Loans
Most federal student loans do not require a cosigner. Federal students loans are meant to help all students access education; thus, students do not need a cosigner to get these loans even if they have no credit or poor credit. If a student already has a student loan that is in default, he cannot get another student loan until he resolves this situation. In this case, the student cannot get a loan even with a co-signer.
If you get a student loan without a cosigner, it can positively affect your credit if you pay it back in a timely manner following your graduation. However, if you do not pay back your student loans, they have severe negative consequences for your credit. Unlike most loans, student loans cannot be discharged if you file for bankruptcy. You do not need a co-signer to get federal grants or other aid that you do not have to pay back, something to explore before taking on student debt.
Private lenders offer loans without co-signers to debtors who have high credit . Private loans often have higher interest rates attached to them than federal student loans or other government-subsidized loans. In most cases, students will not be able to get a student loan without obtaining a co-signer, as most students do not have any credit history yet and are not employed full-time due to their status as students.
Applying for Loans
Students can apply for federal student loans by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Students under the age of 24 must provide their parents' financial information as well as their own to establish eligibility for student loans, although parents do not have to co-sign these types of loans. Students interested in private loans can get them by visiting a branch of any bank.