Are Stafford Loans Based on Credit?

Q: Is Stafford Loan eligibility based on credit? Will bad credit or no credit keep me from getting a Stafford Loan?

A: No. Your credit history (or lack thereof) will not affect your eligibility for a Federal Stafford Loan. You simply must first complete the FAFSA form online at

The road to financial aid starts with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA).

The information you provide on this form will be used to determine how much aid, and what types of aid, you will be offered at each of the schools you are considering.

Aside from completing the FAFSA, you must also meet the following requirements to be eligible for a Federal Stafford Loan:

1. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (for most programs) with a valid Social Security number,

2. Be working toward a degree or certificate,

3. Have a high school diploma, a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or meet other standards your state establishes that meet the high school education requirement,

4. Register with the Selective Service, if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25,

5. Maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school.

These are general eligibility requirements. To get more detailed information, see Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid at:

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