If you don’t have any credit history, (which is often the case with students and new borrowers), that does not mean you’re excluded from borrowing money. Having no credit history is much better than having a bad credit history. However, most institutions will require a co-signer.

There are several financial aid options for students with no credit history. Those include:

  • Federal Stafford Loans (unsubsidized and subsidized)
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Pell Grants
  • Private Grants
  • Scholarships

A credit history can be described as your financial profile. Lenders, employers and property owners will use your financial profile to find out more about your ability to manage money. Your credit report includes information like how well you’ve been paying your bills; how promptly you’ve paid off your loans and how much credit is available on your credit cards.

Students Loans That Require no Credit Check

Federal Loans

Perkins loans and Federal Stafford loans require no credit check. Therefore, it is wise to apply for these loans first. Federal Stafford loans and Perkins loans are long-term and low-interest loans.


Federal Stafford Loans are awarded to graduate and undergraduate students, through FFELP (Federal Family Education Loan Program). The interest on your loan will be paid by the Government (during your schooling, or during the 6-month grace period after your graduation – or anytime you have a forbearance situation). You will have to attend classes half time (minimum), regardless of the type of your degree-granting program.

Millions of students qualify for the unsubsidized loans. If you qualify for a subsidized loan, you can also be approved for an unsubsidized loan. The interest on the loan won’t be paid by the Government. The repayment will start once the loan is disbursed.

How to Apply forStaffordLoans

You have to fill out FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You can find these forms on the Internet, and you will need one of those for any kind of financial aid. A school can give you a “preferred lender” list, but you won’t be obliged to choose any of the lenders from the list.

Federal Perkins Loans

These are long-term and low-interest loans. Your loan will be disbursed through your college. To get this type of loan, you need to apply for financial aid very early. You will apply to a college, and your financial situation will be evaluated. These loans are designed only for students who are seriously financially challenged. Students who are awarded Pell Grants will be priority candidates for this type of loan.

How to Apply

The only way to apply is to use FAFSA. This can be done online, or you can print it and send it by mail.

Pell Grant is designed for students with low income. If you don’t qualify, you can still choose other options, like scholarship programs that don’t require credit checks. You can get more information from your state government.

Loans and Scholarships for Special Fields of Study

Many professional societies and organizations offer scholarships and grants for students. For example, there are special loans that require no credit check, for teachers and nurses. There are also similar programs for law students.

Private Student Loans

To get this type of loan, you will need a co-signer. A co-signer is a person who will be your co-borrower. Some students ask their parents to be their co-signers. However, your co-signer has to have a good credit! This will make interest rates lower (because the risk will be lower). If your parents don’t have good credits, you can choose someone else to be your co-signer.

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