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Compare loans for 18-year-olds

A guide to getting a personal loan if you’ve just entered adulthood.

It's possible to get a personal loan if you're 18 years old and have limited credit history. However, your options are more limited compared to people who have a more established credit history, higher income and more savings. A cosigner can help you qualify for better rates on a range of loans, including student, car and personal loans. But depending on the age of majority in your state you may need to be 19 or older.
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Loan Amount
Monevo personal loans
1.99% to 35.99%
$500 to $100,000
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Credible personal loans
3.99% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$600 to $100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
NetCredit personal loans
19.9% to 155%
No minimum
$1,000 to $10,500
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
OneMain Financial personal loans
18% to 35.99%
$1,500 to $20,000
An established online and in-store lender with quick turnaround times. Poor credit is OK.
Upgrade personal loans
5.94% to 35.97%
$1,000 to $50,000
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.

Compare up to 4 providers

I’m 18 and I need a loan. What are my options?

While your options might be more limited than more experienced borrowers, you might be able to qualify for one of the following options:

A loan from your current bank

You might be able to get around your lack of credit history by applying for a loan with your current bank. Banks can be more willing to lend to you if you have a long history with them, including holding a checking account, savings account and any other products.

Small-dollar unsecured loan

If your bank doesn’t have a loan you want to apply for, you might have more luck applying for personal loans in lower amounts. The minimum loan amount for some personal loan lenders is $1,000, but you can find other lenders offering smaller amounts.

Credit-builder loans

Some credit unions and local banks offer small-dollar loans that are designed to help build up your credit history — sometimes as little as $100. They’re typically short-term with comparably low rates and can help you qualify for a larger amounts of financing in the future, including credit cards.

Secured car loans

If you want to buy a car, secured loans are less risky for lenders because they’ll be able to recoup their losses if you default. New and used car loans are available and you can get a lower rate than with an unsecured loan.

Cosigner loan

If you find you are ineligible for a bank loan, you may consider asking your parents, another relative or even an older close friend to be a guarantor for you. This person will be taking on a large responsibility because they are agreeing to take on the loan payments if you can no longer make them.

Not all lenders allow you to apply with a cosigner. You might want to start by checking out our guide.

How can I find a competitive loan?

Follow these steps to up your chances of getting approved:

Step 1: Get a copy of your credit report

Chances are you don’t know what your credit score is, let alone your credit history. Having an idea of what your credit history looks like will help you determine which lenders you qualify to borrow from. Getting an estimation of your credit score can help.

Not sure what good credit looks like? Check our guide

Step 2: Review your work history

Most reputable lenders tend to be wary of lending to people who don’t have a source of income. Even having a small part-time job can help you get approved for a loan since it shows that you’re generating at least some income. Look for jobs you’ve had in the past or currently hold that can boost your application.

Step 3: Look for a cosigner

You don’t necessarily need a cosigner to borrow at 18, but it could help you borrow higher amounts at more competitive rates than if you applied alone. Reach out to family members and friends that have a stronger credit history than you to find out if they’d be willing to help you out. This will help you narrow down your choices: Not all lenders allow cosigners on personal loans.

Find a lender that allows cosigners on personal loans

Can I get a loan without a cosigner at 18?

Not from your typical personal loan provider. However, some alternative lenders offer loans designed for students that consider factors like your college GPA and earning potential rather than your credit score. And if you’re in school, you can also use part of your student loans to cover living and personal expenses after you’ve paid your school’s tuition and fees.

Step 4: Compare lenders

It’s generally a good idea to compare lenders if you want to find the most competitive loan. It’s almost essential for you:Finding a lender that either accepts cosigners or is willing to lend to someone with little-to-no credit history can be difficult.

Compare the following features to find the most competitive loan you can qualify for:

  • Interest. Check whether the interest rate is fixed or variable and how competitive it is compared to other similar products.
  • Loan amounts. Lenders offer varying minimum and maximum loan amounts, but what you’re offered ultimately depends on what you can afford to repay. This is determined by the criteria set by the lender.
  • Fees. There are different types of fees you can be charged, ranging from establishment fees to monthly fees and early repayment fees. Find out what fees are associated with your loan before signing on the dotted line.
  • Other features. Have a look at the different features of the offer, which you can find more about by reading loan reviews here on These can include the ability to make extra repayments, an offset facility or extended warranty on a car loan.

Step 5: Get preapproved

Many lenders allow you to apply for preapproval — also known as prequalification — by filling out a simple application. It’ll let you know if you qualify and often give you an estimate of the APR, loan amount and loan term you can expect without doing a hard credit check.

Hard credit checks, also known as hard credit pulls or inquiries, can make your credit score take a temporary dive and will make it more difficult to qualify for another loan.

Step 6: Apply

Be sure to be accurate when you’re filling out your application — one of the top reasons people get rejected for loans is mistakes in the application. Re-read it a couple of times to make sure there are no inconsistencies.

If you’re accepted, it’s also important to read the terms and conditions of your loan before you sign your loan documents. If you’re having trouble understanding it, reach out to your lender or ask a friend or family member for help.

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How old do you have to be to get a loan?

It depends on where you live. In most states, you must be 18 or older to get a loan. However, in Alabama and Nebraska you must be at least 19 to take out a loan. In Mississippi, the minimum age is 21.

What should an 18-year-old's credit score be?

Most 18-year-olds don’t have a credit score at all since you legally can’t take out credit in your name before that age. There are some exceptions, however.

For example, student loan providers allow borrowers as young as 16 or 17 to take out a loan for school, as long as they apply with a cosigner. In these cases, you might have a low-to-fair credit score if you started repaying the loan before you turned 18.

Since the length of your credit history is a factor in your credit score, you generally won't’ have good credit at 18, even if you’ve managed to contribute toward your credit report.

Tips for getting a loan at 18

  • Show that you have savings.
    If you can show the lender you’re good at saving, the lender may be more willing to approve you. A steady savings history will work best with your current bank as they can view your account information when you apply.
  • Offer a deposit.
    Having a deposit when you apply for a car loan shows you’re in a good financial position. The larger the deposit, the less you need to borrow, and the more likely an approval may be.
  • Get a letter from your employer.
    If you’re only employed casually or have not been employed for long, a letter from your employer stating the security of your employment may help your application.
  • Apply for a lower amount.
    Applying for too much when you have little credit history or don’t earn a high income can be a red flag to lenders and result in an automatic rejection, instead of an offer for a lower amount.
  • Apply for a secured loan.
    Secured loans, such as car loans, are less risky for banks because they will be able to recoup their losses.

Getting a loan with no credit

If you’re 18, chances are you don’t have a credit history — you weren’t old enough to build a credit score until this year. In most cases, no-credit borrowers need to bring on a cosigner to help you meet basic credit requirements. Otherwise, you might want to consider alternative lenders.

Pros and cons to getting a loan at 18


  • Access to funds. By getting a loan you’ll have access to funds you need to pay for the essentials you need.
  • Build up your credit history. Acquiring a loan allows you to establish and build your credit history. This ultimately affects your eligibility for other types of loans and access to better interest rates in the future as well.


  • Limited loan amounts. If you have no credit history or limited credit history, you may only be eligible for a small loan, which may not be enough for what you need.
  • Potentially high rates. You probably won’t be eligible for a loan with low rates and favorable terms until you have a strong credit and employment history.
  • Risk of getting into debt. Taking on any loan comes with risk, so make sure to budget your repayments and don’t apply for a higher loan amount than you can afford to repay.

Frequently asked questions

Learn more about loans for 18-year-olds with these answers to standard questions.

What do I need to apply for a loan?

Lenders will have different application processes. Generally, you’ll need to provide a form of identification such as a driver’s license, some personal and contact details, information about where you work and your income.

How do I get a car at 18?

When you’re 18 and don’t have credit or a strong personal income you have two main options to pay for a car: Bringing on a cosigner like your parents to help you meet credit requirements or taking out a car loan designed for students if you’re in college.

If it’s your first time getting a car, make sure you do your research to find the best vehicle for your needs. You can start by checking out our car buying guide or visit our car loans page to learn more about your financing options

How can I get the lowest rates?

Compare the rates offered by different lenders and find the loan you’re eligible for with the lowest rates. Remember to check the APR, as this includes fees and is more representative of the true cost of the loan.

I applied for a loan but was rejected. How quickly can I apply for another one?

Your loan applications count as inquiries on your credit report and may affect your credit score. Applying for too many loans can not only negatively affect your credit score but can also be a red flag to lenders, who may reject you for further loans. One idea is to wait to make another loan application, especially if you have limited to no credit history.

Can I get a student loan without a cosigner?

Yes, most federal student loans don’t require a cosigner. But if those don’t cover your full cost of attendance, you may want to consider a private student loan. These can be more difficult to qualify for, though not impossible. Read our guide to compare four lenders that offer no-cosigner student loans.

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    18 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      MeghaNovember 21, 2018

      I am 19 years old. I am working and I am getting $12,000 per month. I want loan how to apply?

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JhezNovember 22, 2018Staff

        Hi Megha,

        Thank you for your comment.

        Please note that most of the lenders would require 18 years old and above applicant with a stable source of income. Not only that, but there are also other factors that a lender will assess before considering you for a loan. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria and the requirements, then you may be approved for a loan.

        Learn more about cash loans offers. Please click the Go to Site button to apply. Please make sure that you’ve read the relevant T&Cs or PDS of the loan products before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.

        Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.


    2. Default Gravatar
      KyOctober 1, 2018

      I am 18 and I have been working a full-time job for 8 months. I make $470-$600 a week depending on overtime. I have had a credit card for just over a month now and have it paid off. I am looking to get a loan for a snowmobile. I have 22% to put down on the loan but since I show very little credit, I feel like it’s impossible to even get a loan. It is so hard for prospering 18 year olds to do anything these days because of the reputation not so prosperous 18 year olds have left. I feel as if I’m being punished for working a full time job and getting approved for a credit.card. I am curious if there is anyway for me to get approved for a loan without a cosigner?

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JeniOctober 4, 2018Staff

        Hi Ky,

        Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

        Yes, you still have the chance of getting approved even without a cosigner however the loan amount may not be as much as loan application with a cosigner. Since you have worked full-time for 8 months, it is best that you inquire with the bank where you’re receiving your salary from if you can apply for a loan without a cosigner on a certain amount that you need to buy a snowmobile. Please note that banks/lenders don’t only look at the credit history of the applicant but also the capability to repay the loan.

        I hope this helps.

        Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

        Thank you and have a wonderful day!


    3. Default Gravatar
      CarltonSeptember 25, 2018

      I’m 18 years old and I’m trying to get a 2011 BMW 535i that cost $11.350 and I’m in sun cost. My problem is that I don’t have a working history so is my interest rate going to be really high or waht

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JoshuaSeptember 26, 2018Staff

        Hi Carlton,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

        While it is possible for you to obtain a car loan even if you’re 18 years old, it would be difficult to get approved. Generally, car loan lenders qualify borrowers using their credit history and score. Since your 18 years old and still starting to build your credit, you may have trouble meeting their requirements. For this reason, you might not get approved or you may get approved but the interest rate may be higher than average.

        As a tip, you need to show the lender that you have savings in the bank. You also need to show that you have a stable income and have the ability to make the repayments. Be ready with your down payment as well. Finally, if all else fail, you may consider getting a cosigner.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

        Have a wonderful day!


    4. Default Gravatar
      NeilcafferySeptember 11, 2018

      I’m an 18 year old with $50000 I have a job making $1300 a month after taxes. I’m looking to buy a small business that already has established cash flow I will quit my job to run the company I need a $200000 loan to buy the business can I get approved?

      • Avatarfinder Customer Care
        CharisseSeptember 12, 2018Staff

        Hi Neilcaffery,

        Thanks for reaching out to Finder.

        You have accessed the right page where you can review and compare lenders that accept loan applicants your age. The possibility of you getting approved for a loan with these lenders greatly depends on you being able to satisfy and meet these lenders’ eligibility criteria and requirements.

        Most lenders featured on this page have a specific credit score requirement that you should meet so you can qualify for a loan application. They will also look at your financial statuses like your employment details and other sources of income. As long as you meet all these qualifications and eligibility requirements, you have a high chance of getting approved for a loan.

        If you haven’t checked your credit score yet, you can see a list of credit bureaus where you can get your credit score and report.

        I hope this helps.


    5. Default Gravatar
      PavarOctober 18, 2017

      Hi Sir, my name is Pavar. My loan requirements is $ 50,000. I want loan for my some personal needs. I’m a salaried person. My salary is $ 13,000 per month and comes as cash. Am I eligible for a personal loan?

      • Default Gravatar
        JonathanOctober 19, 2017

        Hi Pavar,

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        You can check our list of personal loan offers. You can customize the selection by choosing your credit score range and state of residence.

        It is worth reminding that more than your income, each lender has their own credit guidelines in assessing your loan. You may click “Go to Site” green button to proceed with your application of your chosen provider.

        Hope this helps.


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