How to Apply for Student Loans

To apply for student loans in 2 steps. First, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Then determine if you need to apply for private student loans.

Apply for Student Loans

How to Apply for Federal Student Loans

Applying for federal student loans is easy amd takes about an hour to complete. In filing the FAFSA you have already applied for federal student loans. The FAFSA is your application for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student Loans and for the federal Perkins loan.  Before you begin, make sure to have this information handy to make the process go faster:

  • Your SSN and your Parents SSN
  • Your drivers license if you have one (or alien registration number if you are not a US Citizen)
  • Your federal tax returns as well as your parents tax returns
  • Records of un taxed income such as child support or veterans benefits for you and your parents
  • Info on savings, checking, investments and real estate (excluding the house you live in) 

If a parent or grad student wants to apply for a Direct PLUS Loan for Parents or Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate or Professional Students, your school's financial aid office will include instructions with your financial aid award letter about requesting those loan programs.

If you have exhausted all funding options after applying for a federal student loan, you may apply for more than one loan by also applying for a private student loan. And don't forget, you must fill out your FAFSA every year!  

How to Apply for Private Student Loans

Private student loan applications are a little trickier. First, you need to find a lender who can meet your financing needs. That's where our site can come in handy. You can use our student loan finder to be matched with loan programs.

Our participating lenders have provided specific criteria to help us match prospective borrowers to applicable programs. Some of the things they consider include:

  • The loan amount you require
  • The school you attend or will attend
  • Your level of study (e.g. Freshman, Sophomore, MBA, etc.)
  • Where you live (your permanent home residence)
  • Whether or not you have a co-signer

Once you have found a loan program that meets your needs, you will have to complete the lender's application. Most lenders offer an online application for you to complete, but they may require supplemental forms you need to mail or fax in order to receive your loan.

Finally, private student loans are based on credit and your chances of being approved and receiving a better rate are improved by obtaining cosigner. A cosigner is a creditworthy person who agrees to pay your loan if you do not.

Pay careful attention to the terms of your loan, some lenders will allow the cosigner to be released from their obligation if the borrower makes a number of consecutive on-time payments and meets minimum income requirements.  

Because a loan will only cover your cost of attendance, you will be required to apply each year you need assistance. 

Apply for Student Loans with Our Private Loan Partners:

Applying for a private loan can often be done online with your result happening in a matter of minutes. To apply with one of our loan partners online, click the links below!

  • Looking for last-minute money for college? Check out the Smart Option Student Loan by Sallie Mae, which offers 3 repayment options and competitive interest rates to fit your financial needs Learn more and apply today!
  • The Ascent Tuition Student Loan features affordable variable rates, flexible repayment options and no application fees. Co-signers such as a parent or guardian are strongly recommended to increase your chance of approval. Click here to apply now.
  • The College Ave Student Loan can help you get the money you need for college or graduate school with a fast application and instant credit decision. Click here to apply now.