What To Do If You’re Denied For Student Loans

Getting denied for student loans can be disappointing, but it doesn’t have to stop you from affording your college education. In fact, there are multiple ways you can work around being denied a student loan and still cover your college costs!

Various coins coming out of a black piggy bank.

Find a Cosigner

Before you get started, the first thing you should do is determine the reason why your application was denied. Having bad or no credit is one of the most common reasons why students are denied loans. Fortunately, there’s a way around this: finding a cosigner.

Green earnest logo.

Jump into next semester with a no-fee, flexible private student loan

Variable rates from 1.34% - 11.44% APR with auto-debit

Learn More

What’s a Cosigner?

A cosigner is someone who has a good credit history who can sign alongside your name on a loan. Cosigners are held accountable for your loan if, for some reason, you miss a payment or are unable to repay your loan. A cosigner assures the lender that someone will repay the money they lent out.

Who Should You Ask to be Your Cosigner?

Of course, you can ask your parents to cosign your loan. However, there are other people that can be your cosigner, including your legal guardian, other family members, your significant other, or close friends. Overall, you want to make sure that the person you ask to cosign your loan is in strong financial standing, in good health, and has a strong relationship with you. Additionally, make sure that the person cosigning knows exactly what they’re getting into before they sign the dotted line. Cosigning a loan is a large responsibility.

Take Out a Parent PLUS Loan

If your student loans were denied, it might be possible for your parents to take out a Parent PLUS Loan. Unlike private loans, PLUS loans are federal — your parents can borrow up to your current total cost of attendance. Not only that, your parents are responsible for the loan. Keep in mind that the loan can’t be transferred over to you and missing payments affects your parent’s credit score.

Getting approved for a Parent PLUS Loan is easier than getting approved for a private student loan. Two things you should know about this loan though—again, it will be in your parent’s name. It also has a high rate of interest with no benefits for good credit. If you are comfortable with these two conditions, the Parent PLUS Loan may be an option for you.

Keep in mind, those who take out a Parent PLUS Loan must start repaying the loan back after 60 days. The loan is set up so that you pay it back within 10 years, and there’s no debt-to-income option. In other words, the repayment won’t take into account your parent’s income, unlike other federal student loans that do take into consideration how much you make per month and adjust the repayment amount accordingly. That means you need to be aware of how much your payments will be every month.

What Else Can You Do if Your Student Loans Were Denied?

Private student loans come at a very high price and should be your last resort to pay for college. Make sure that you have filed your FAFSA so that you qualify for federal financial aid and institutional scholarships first. If your federal financial aid and scholarships don’t cover your college expenses, there are a few other options you can consider before turning to private loans.

Outside Scholarships

There’s a truly outstanding amount of outside scholarships offered to students. They come from all different sources, from local businesses to national companies to your high school. Take some time to search through the internet or ask your high school guidance counselor for scholarship opportunities. You can search for scholarships that match your interests, identity, major, and more! And here’s a pro tip: apply to smaller scholarships! Yes, there are huge companies that offer massive scholarships, but there are also many smaller scholarships that have significantly less competition. Winning multiple small scholarships can quickly add up and help you cover your expenses. Here’s another tip: when you’re applying for scholarships, make sure that you meet all the requirements or qualifications — you won’t be considered for the scholarship otherwise.


You can opt-in for federal work-study during college. Work-study is a form of financial aid where you work part-time somewhere at your college. Not only do you get valuable and relevant work experience, but you also get paid! It’s definitely something to look into when you’re applying for financial aid.

If you don’t qualify for work-study or didn’t opt into it when you filed your FAFSA, you can still look for a part-time job outside of your university. Just make sure that you can handle the workload and that you can still balance your studies with working. You may not earn a whole lot per paycheck, but those small earnings can add up over the months and ease your financial obligations.

Going to Community College

While you may not want to put off going to your dream 4-year college, going to community college first is another option to save money. Community colleges are less expensive compared to 4-year schools. You can cut down your total costs considerably if you go to community college for two years and then transfer to a 4-year college.

Getting denied private student loans can hurt, but again, that shouldn’t stop you from affording your college education! There are plenty of other options and ways to cover your college expenses, from finding a cosigner to searching for more scholarships. Don’t limit yourself to just student loans!

Use College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates side by side!



Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Sallie Mae logo.
2.62% - 12.97% Variable
3.75% - 13.72% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
1.19% - 11.98% Variable
3.52% - 14.08% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
0.98% - 10.04% Variable
3.22% - 13.16% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Ave company logo.
1.29% - 12.99% Variable
3.22% - 13.95% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
1.66% - 6.46% Variable
3.19% - 7.40% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
1.34% - 11.44% Variable
3.22% - 12.78% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
1.86% - 11.52% Variable
3.20% - 11.99% 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.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.