When you and your family cannot afford to pay for your college education, student loans can help delay the financial burden until after you finish schooling. Because students do not generally have much credit history to prove their reliability to repay the loans, many lenders require that a student have a cosigner, who is someone who agrees to be held jointly responsible to repay the loan. If you do not have a cosigner, you have a few options for loans without cosigners.
Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early in the calendar year in which the school year begins. You will need to include financial information for your family to help determine what grants and loans you qualify for.
Include the school you plan to attend in the appropriate section of the FAFSA. This will send the information to the school's financial aid office.
Look over the financial aid package your school sends you, usually in May for a school year beginning in August or September. It will probably include some federal student loans, including Perkins and Stafford loans. These loans do not require a cosigner.
Ask your school's financial aid office if there is a state agency that provides student loans and does not require a cosigner. If your state of residence is different from the one in which you will be attending school, tell your financial aid officer to look into loans in that state as well.
Ask your financial aid officer to give you information about PLUS loans if you are a graduate student. This type of loan only requires a cosigner if you have adverse credit history.
Apply for a private student loan on your own if you have been managing credit well for at least a few years. You will also need to have income to qualify for a private student loan without a cosigner. The lender will evaluate your application and decide whether it is willing to lend to you without a cosigner.