How to Get a First-Time Loan at 18 with No Credit History

How do you get a first-time loan at 18 with no credit history to establish financial reliability, no cosigner to act as guarantor, and no job to generate income?

It depends.

Private lenders risk their money and have strict underwriting criteria. Therefore, you at least need to have a reliable source of income to support repayment.

On the other hand, the federal government lends taxpayer funds to advance social causes. Therefore, you could score approval with zero borrowing credentials, provided you plan to attend college or expand a business.

First-Time Personal Loans

First-time personal loans can be more challenging for 18-year-olds with no credit history because the contracts are unsecured.

Unsecured means you do not pledge collateral that the lender can repossess should you default on the obligation. Instead, they must file a lawsuit before garnishing wages. Therefore, companies use the strictest underwriting criteria but might approve tiny, safer amounts.

Without a cosigner to act as a guarantor, young adults can engage in a five-fold strategy to boost their unsecured personal loan approval odds.

  1. Make the requested amount as small as possible
  2. Keep the repayment terms short (12 months or less)
  3. Work through a vast network of online subprime lenders
  4. Include employer name and phone number for income verification
  5. Provide bank account and routing number for auto-drafting

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Pay on time and according to terms to establish a positive record. Then, watch your ability to borrow more considerable sums improve as your score rises.

Car Loan at 18 Without Cosigner

First-time auto loans are slightly easier for 18-year-olds without a credit history because the contract is secured. With this alternative, you pledge the car as collateral. The extra security counterbalances the lack of borrowing credentials.

Finance companies suffer lower losses when they can repossess an automobile in the event of default. Since they hold the title, they can take possession and sell the vehicle at auction to recoup some of the money they lent.

Without a cosigner to act as a guarantor, young adults can engage in this four-fold strategy to boost their secured car loan approval odds.

  1. Keep the vehicle purchase price as low as possible
  2. Make a significant down payment on the auto
  3. Work through a vast network of online subprime lenders
  4. Include employer name and phone number for income verification

Payday Loans for 18-Year-Olds

If you have a job, first-time payday loans are an option at 18 with no credit history. With this alternative, the brief repayment timeframe and the security of an auto draft make up for the lack of borrowing credentials.

You must repay the payday cash advance in one or two weeks, which minimizes lender uncertainty. Plus, the collateral of your next paycheck also reduces default risk.

However, this does not mean that payday loans are a good option for all young adults without a cosigner to act as a guarantor.

  • Rollover fees add up very quickly if you cannot repay the obligation in full
  • Many finance companies do not report positive activity to the consumer bureaus, meaning that you may not be able to establish a record of on-time payment

No Job Required Loans

18-year-olds without a credit history routinely qualify for first-time student loans – and get this – no job requirement! Only the federal government would suspend all profit-seeking logic when lending money.

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form during the senior year of high school and enjoy incredible borrowing power.

No Cosigner

18-year-olds with no cosigner or parental support qualify for the most substantial federal student loan amount. Parents do not have to act as guarantors as they would with private banks.

The government logic works in reverse. The limit grows when you do not receive financial support from a parent.

  • Dependents – parents provide financial support
  • Independents – no parental financial support
Subsidized AmountUnsubsidized Amount


18-year-olds with no job or income also automatically qualify for federal student loans. Even young adults pursuing low-demand majors with reduced earning potential meet the standard.

You could be collecting unemployment, receiving disability benefits, or playing video games all day in your parents’ basement. You still qualify with no job requirements and zero ability to repay – provided you plan to attend college.

Business Loans for 18-Year-Olds

First-time business loans are a possible option for 18-year-olds without a credit history if they already have a viable enterprise up and running with a track record of profitability.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency that boosts approval odds for borrowers through three programs.

  1. 7A loans guarantee portions of the total amount, cap interest rates, and limit fees
  2. 504 loans represent secured financing to purchase or repair real estate, equipment, machinery, or other assets
  3. Microloans help businesses start or expand operations

Therefore, young adults without a cosigner could have the federal government act as guarantors – provided they meet SBA guidelines for 7A loans. Operating a business at a profit is at the top of the list, with no mention of personal credit history anywhere on the page.