Bad Credit Student Loans

Lenders who offer dedicated loans for students with bad credit might seem like the ideal option. But it doesn’t mean they’re right for you. Here at Smart-Pig, we aim to make sure you can get the financial help you need. And we do this by looking at things a little differently. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach with us.

Our loans for students are ideal for those times when you need a little extra cash to tide you over

Looking for student loans that accept bad credit?

Studying at university and struggling to make ends meet? We’ve been there. And we believe money should be the last thing to worry about during what should be a fun and fulfilling journey.

That’s why our student payday loans could let you borrow up to £350 to cover the costs of any short-term setbacks. It’s usually paid into your bank account the same day and you won’t have to repay until your next student finance instalment is due. Plus, to stop you getting into trouble with huge debts, we cap our interest at 50% — unlike other lenders.

Because we know that each situation is unique and believe that everyone should have a chance to get the support they need, every application is given the same consideration. So, if you have bad credit or you’re looking for a student loan with no credit history, fear not, we still might be able to help. 

How can I get a student loan with bad credit?

Applying for a student loan with no credit history, or with bad credit, doesn’t need to be a daunting prospect. Not with Smart-Pig.

We understand that students might have a poor credit history for many reasons. A lack of credit history is one of them and, as you can’t get a loan or credit card until you’re 18 years old, this can be a tricky one for students.

At Smart-Pig, we’re used to dealing with applications for student loans with no credit history. And, in case you’re wondering if student loans affect your credit score, there’s no need to panic. As you won’t start repaying the loan until after you’ve completed your studies, this won’t affect your credit report during your time at university. Phew!

Poor credit history can also be a factor. Missed payments, late payments, continually exceeding credit limits or bankruptcy can affect your credit score.

There are ways you can check your credit score if you’re unsure:

A low (or non-existent) credit score can mean that some lenders are less able to help out if you’re looking for a same-day student loan with bad credit. But there are also other lenders who can. And we will always consider your application, as long as you meet the following criteria:

  • You’re at least 18 years of age
  • You’re a resident of the United Kingdom
  • You have a valid UK bank account and debit card
  • You’re not in an insolvency arrangement such as bankruptcy or an IVA
  • You study at a UK college or university and receive government finance (Student Loan, NHS Bursary or SAAS Award)

If you’ve checked all the boxes, then here’s how to apply for a student loan if you have bad credit or a lack of credit history:

1. Fill in an application

Our handy student loans calculator will help you choose how much you want to borrow and when you’ll repay it. Select the date when your next student finance instalment is due or enter the first day of next term if you’re unsure. Bear in mind that repaying earlier might save you money on interest.

If you don’t already have an account then you’ll just need the following to create one:

  • A valid email address
  • Your bank and debit card details
  • A working mobile phone

We’ll also need a few details about your spending and we’ll run a credit check to see whether you can afford the repayment. Because we’re a responsible lender, we can’t offer student loans with no credit check as that wouldn’t be ethical but don’t worry: we always make sure to consider every application carefully.

To help us with your application, we’ll need some finance info from you. These guides will help you get all the info we need at this stage:

How to get your Student Finance Letter

How to get your NHS Bursary Letter

How to get your SAAS Award Letter

2. Answer any questions we might have

Sometimes we might need to ask follow-up questions to be able to process your application, so it’s a good idea to check your calls and emails regularly. Replying quickly will enable us to process your application quickly. So make sure to answer your phone – but we won’t judge if you’re still in bed when you do!

3. Receive the money

If we say yes, you’ll receive your money within minutes. You can then manage your borrowing online using My Account.

What can my student loan be used for?

University life can often bring with it unforeseeable expenses. But there’s no need to panic or frantically search for student loans for people with bad credit when we can help.

Some of the expenses you might need a bit of extra help with include: 

  • Resources such as textbooks, equipment or other materials to help with your studying
  • Accommodation deposit or any unexpected repair/maintenance costs
  • Utility bills 
  • Travel costs 
  • Food bills

While we’ll do all we can to approve your application, there might be some instances where we are unable to do so. For example, we won’t offer student loans if you have bad credit and are unable to afford the repayments.

If this applies to you, check out our student money advice section for help with budgeting and finances. 

MoneyHelper also offers free advice if you’re struggling financially. 

How much does it cost to take out a Smart-Pig student loan?

We’re committed to being a responsible lender, so we don’t charge a bunch of hidden extras on student loans for those with bad credit or no credit history.

At Smart-Pig, you can apply for a loan of up to £350 and for up to six months. The exact length and amount, however, is based on the checks we’ll do when you apply. This just helps us to make sure that you can afford to pay back what you borrow.

Here’s an example of what it could cost to borrow from us:

Borrowing £100 over two weeks = £11.20 interest to pay on top

Our loans cost 0.8% in interest per day. And because our interest is capped at 50%, if you borrow £100, the most you’ll ever pay is £150 – even if you can’t make the repayments on time.

What are the advantages of choosing Smart-Pig’s student loans if I have bad credit?

We pride ourselves on being different and we’re not just another student loan lender for bad credit. As a company founded by students for students, we understand what it’s like to have unexpected costs and our core aim is to help our fellow students when they need it most. That’s what makes us different – and it’s why we’re one of the few lenders who don’t just see you as a number.

We feel that every student who comes to us looking for student loans with no credit should have the opportunity to get that support.

Our short-term student loans are clear and transparent, just like us. We agree the details upfront, so there are no hidden charges and no nasty surprises.

The support we aim to offer all students is built on trust. And it’s a two-way thing. You can trust us to offer financial support that helps make ends meet. In return, we trust you to pay back the amount you borrow on the date we agree at the start. Deal?

Here are a few more reasons why applying for a student loan with bad credit is simple:

  • No Late Payment Fees: If you’re late paying back your loan because the Student Loans Company (SLC) is late paying you, don’t panic – we have NO late fees.
  • 10-Day Grace Period: You’ll automatically go into our 10-day grace period if your payment fails because your student finance is delayed. During this time, it won’t be reported – meaning that it won’t show up on your credit report as a late payment. One fewer thing to worry about!
  • Capped Interest: The interest on our loans is capped, which means you’ll NEVER pay more than 50% of what you borrow.
  • Flexibility: Whether you want to move repayment dates, get a loan top-up or repay early, we offer plenty of flexibility for a loan that works for you.
  • No Rollovers Allowed: We won’t let our loans turn into long-term problems as we don’t allow them to roll over. You can thank us later.
  • Fair and Ethical: At Smart-Pig, we’re committed to responsible lending – always putting you at the heart of what we do and the financial support we can offer.
  • We Know Students: After all, we ARE students. Our story started when we saw other students being unfairly treated by other payday lenders.
  • Fully Authorised: We’re authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We’re also members of the Consumer Finance Association.
  • Quick and hassle-free: Once approved, you’ll receive your money within minutes.
  • ‘Excellent’ Rating: We’ve already helped many students in a similar position. Check out why our customers rate us ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot!

We also have a friendly, UK-based customer service team who are ready to answer any questions – just call us on 0203 5071 930 or email [email protected]

Are there any disadvantages of choosing a private student loan for bad credit?

With many different student loans for bad credit on the market, you can’t be sure that the lender necessarily has your best interests at heart. When that happens, instead of helping you, it can actually make things worse. Rest assured that we’re not like that but, even with a Smart-Pig loan, there are things to be aware of.

To start with, applying for a short-term loan will leave a mark on your report. This is typically only minor but applying for too many loans in a short space of time can be a warning sign to potential lenders, so keep that in mind.

It’s also important to pay back your loan on time. Not doing so will be noted as a late payment on your report and can pull down your credit score. But, as a responsible lender, we always try to make sure that doesn’t happen.

We never recommend using any short-term loans, including student loans for bad credit, to pay off other debts as this can quickly get out of control and leave you in a cycle of borrowing increasing amounts.

What if I’m rejected?

We aim to help as many students as we can. But, as a responsible lender, that sometimes won’t be possible for everyone. If we can’t offer you a loan on this occasion, take into consideration that too many applications for student loans if you have bad credit can further harm your credit score and make it even harder to find an opportunity to borrow.

Building up a good credit report will improve your chances in the future, so this is an ideal place to start.

Contact us and see how we can help

Borrowing responsibly from Smart-Pig can be a lifeline if you’re looking for a quick way to get back on track financially while at university.

If you want some more information about our loans, check out our FAQs. Or, if you prefer, call us on 0203 5071 930, email [email protected] or visit our contact page to send an online enquiry.