Lenders want to be confident they will be paid back from borrowers. If you do not have a decent credit score, it can be difficult to obtain a student loan unless you strictly apply for federal loans. You can be the most responsible person in the world, but if you have no financial track to prove this, then a cosigner is usually required. Lenders must have credit history when you apply for loans. Typically to borrow without a cosigner, you should have a credit score of around 650.

However, this rule may be stretched a bit with the introduction of companies like Meet Earnest Loan Consolidation and Personalloans.com.

MeetEarnest.com is fast becoming the go-to company for those with little credit. The reason is Earnest uses a ‘merit-based’ lending. It is a new way to qualify borrowers and create a personal lower interest rate. Known as an innovative algorithm, the system uses between 80,000 to 100,000 data points to assign eligibility for potential borrowers. Earnest has multiple benefits, and easy eligibility requirements.

Personalloans.com is an online service which matches you to a variety of lenders. Their peer-to-peer loans (P2P) ensure that borrowers are paired to investors ready to offer the loan themselves. Your loan reason is disclosed for investors to review in the lender system. Eligibility requirements require a bank account, income verification, some credit restrictions, and being over age 18. Before you apply for loan with personalloans.com make sure you meet the criteria.

These two companies are new and changing the way the loan game is played. They are not working as predatory lending, but in the best interest of the borrower. Before giving up, try to see if you are eligible for a loan from one of the lenders. This is your best bet for trying to secure a private student loan.

Other ways to get a student loan without a cosigner may not be so advisable, but can be a soluble route to a loan. Collateral loans still exist, but you have to think long and hard about whether you are willing to sign over lien rights on assets. If for some reason you are unable to pay, you will lose that asset. It all comes down to what is ‘acceptable risk’ in your long term financial plans.

You could also hit the subprime market for a personal loan. A bank like Citizen’s bank will take on those with little or no credit, even some with bad credit. The problem here is loans like these come with very high interest rates; as well you cannot borrow enough usually to make it worth it. If you are in a somewhat desperate situation and absolutely have to have some cash, then measure the pro’s and con’s hitting up private loan markets.

Try to improve your credit enough to obtain a loan. There are a number of ways to do this. Become an authorized user on a family member’s credit card. This practice is known as piggybacking and will enhance your credit score as long as they make on-time payments and aren’t using up most of their credit line. Be sure not to take advantage of such a generous gesture. You could also try to get a credit card in your own name. Companies like First Premiere, cater to people with little or poor credit. The initial credit line is low, but they do report your payments regularly. Within 6 months, you should see your credit score rise.

Having a consistent job with a steady income increase your chances of obtaining a loan. This shows payback potential and dependability to lenders. Another way to get approved easier without a cosigner is the amount you wish to borrow. If you can minimize this amount, you will have a better chance of getting approved.

Whatever you do, don’t give up on a higher education. Even if times are tough, there are still many resources to be found. Check out scholarships and grants for added aid. Speak to your financial aid office professionals for information on work-study, and other incentive programs. If you want to go to college, you can now more than ever.