What Are the Different Types of Student Loan Qualifications?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Meeting student loan qualifications can help eligible students receive financing for advanced education. Different loan programs may offer different qualification guidelines, such as financial need, citizenship status, completed educational parameters, and enrollment in a qualifying school or degree program. In addition to pre-existing guidelines, some student loan qualifications include maintaining eligibility during the disbursement period of the loan.

A student loan and financial aid application.
A student loan and financial aid application.

Some of the most basic student loan qualifications include income and financial status. Governmental loans are often easier to access if a student can demonstrate financial need. Minor students may have to include financial history data from their parents or guardians in loan applications, even if they are fully funding their own education without parental assistance. Students who come from families with substantial income levels may find private loans easier to secure; private loans often require an excellent credit history and a co-signer or guarantor in good financial standing to ensure repayment.

A student loan application form.
A student loan application form.

Student loan qualifications for public programs often include citizenship requirements. Students may need to submit proof of citizenship, such as a passport number or birth certificate, in order to be considered eligible. Those with permanent residency status may also be eligible for most, if not all, public student loans. Students with an education visa may be eligible for some guest loan programs, but are generally not allowed to receive government student loans reserved for citizens and permanent residents.

The goal of most student loan programs is to help students continue their education at the college or post-graduate level. One of the most common student loan qualifications is verified completion of secondary education. This requirement can be met with a high school diploma, GED certificate, or an equivalent certificate from a qualifying institution.

Another point of eligibility for many student loan programs is planned enrollment in a qualifying program or school. Traditional universities, distance-learning programs, and even online colleges can all satisfy student loan qualifications, as long as they are accredited by a governing body and meet degree standards for loan programs. Schools that do not qualify for federal or public loan programs may still allow a student to qualify for some private educational loans. Students may also need to declare an intent to participate in a program that leads to a certain type of degree, such as a bachelor's or master's degree.

A final area of eligibility may include a student's educational progress during the loan period. Many loans require students to be enrolled at least half time in a degree program. Students may also need to adhere to grade standards to remain eligible from year to year. Loan programs often monitor these standards by requiring borrowers to re-apply for continuing aid every year by submitting updated school records.

Private student loans often require a co-signer with an excellent credit history.
Private student loans often require a co-signer with an excellent credit history.
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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