Things That Might Prevent You From Qualifying For a Private Student Loan

Over one million college students receive a student loan from a private source each year. There is a litany of individual reasons that these students prefer private loans to the US Government’s federal loan program (FAFSA). However, there is one common thread. Private loans, compared to FAFSA, are often seen as easier to obtain. As long as your finances are in order and companies see you as a valid person to which to loan money, you’re good to go. However, there are certain impediments one could face when applying for a private loan. It’s best to prepare for them as best as you can. Here are some things that could prevent you from qualifying for a private student loan:

A gray background with red text that says "denied."

Lack of Certification

In all likelihood, this is the roadblock you’ll be least likely to encounter when applying for a student loan. Most students hoping to enroll in college courses will have already obtained a high school diploma or an equivalency certificate (GED). However, if you are unable to provide either, you’ll have a hard time getting a private loaning house to approve you. Yes, it is possible, without a GED or high school diploma, to get into an institution of higher learning. However, this doesn’t directly apply to private loan companies. Loans are conducted on a case-by-case basis. But loaners will hesitate to approve you if you do not have a GED or diploma. However, as long as you complete your high school diploma or equivalency course beforehand, this should be a non-issue.

Criminal Record

In some cases, a prior criminal conviction can preclude one from obtaining a private student loan. It may seem, on the surface, that this should only affect the most serious of criminal offenders. However, misdemeanors can affect your status as well, including drug offenses. While the federal FAFSA program immediately cuts off all loan money upon a conviction, this is not necessarily the case for the private sector. Most lending houses include a stipulation in your loan contract that foregoes your loan upon conviction of a crime. All companies have different thresholds for canceling financial aid. But the safest bet, for college and life in general, is to stay away from all illegal activities.

Your Student Loan, Your Way.

Variable rates from 4.98% - 12.79% APR


Bad Credit

The previous two barriers to getting a private loan are extremely specific and, to an extent, rare. However, the specter of a poor credit score affects a large swath of people and prevents them from getting a loan. Your credit score, simply put, is a number that tells lending houses and other creditors how likely you are to pay back a loan on time. If your credit score is poor, you are way less likely to qualify for a loan. There are a few ways to ensure you’re not blindsided by this process. That includes attempting to find out your credit score ahead of time or exploring the fine print of private companies to discover exactly what they look for in potential borrowers. The easiest way, though, is to keep track of your debt ahead of time and pay back all loans as soon as possible.

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Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Citizens logo.
6.97%-15.03%* Variable
5.99%-14.00%* Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Sallie Mae logo.
6.37% - 16.70% Variable
4.50% - 15.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
4.98% - 16.70% Variable
4.07% - 15.66% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
6.07% - 11.31% Variable
4.39% - 10.39% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
6.22% - 16.08% Variable
4.09% - 15.66% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
6.54% - 11.08% Variable
3.95% - 8.01% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
5.62% - 18.26% Variable
4.11% - 15.90% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
4.98% - 12.79% Variable
8.42% - 13.01% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.