While paying for college can be difficult for any student, it can be particularly challenging for students from low-income families or who are the first in their families to go to college. A relatively new student loan company, Sixup, is attempting to address that problem by offering private student loans to low-income college students who have little or no credit history.

Established in 2015, Sixup provides private student loans to undergraduate students attending four-year colleges or universities who otherwise may not have access to financing.

Based out of San Francisco, this company was founded to assist the “underdog” in achieving their dreams of attending and succeeding at college. To do so, Sixup provides student loans, helps students transfer to higher ranking colleges, and helps borrowers find career opportunities after graduation.

Currently, Sixup loans are only available to borrowers who are residents of Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Oregon, Arkansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and West Virginia. Residents of these states can utilize Sixup loans at any four-year college or university, but only residents of these states can apply for a Sixup loan.

Private Student Loans for Undergraduate Students

Sixup offers private student loans for undergraduate students who are enrolled full-time in a four year college or university. They offer loans in amounts ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 per academic year. For many borrowers, this amount may not be sufficient to cover the gap between their tuition and other funding sources.

The ideal Sixup candidate will be a high-achieving student with a strong academic performance, and will be from a low-income background. This can be demonstrated through proof of being awarded a Pell grant, showing that you are a first generation college student, or that you are an otherwise underserved student. You should also have completed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA), and accepted all financial aid and work study offered to you by your college or university. Your remaining financial need should be between $2,500 and $15,000 per academic year, and you should either be in college, a transfer student, or an incoming college freshman.

How to Qualify

Unlike most private student lenders, Sixup does not require a cosigner for its loans and does not require applicants to have a credit score to apply. Instead, applicants are evaluated based on a combination of financial need and academic performance.

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Applying for a loan through Sixup requires filling out an online application. If you are pre-approved, you will then be asked to fill out a final application. The entire process should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

If you are approved for a Sixup loan, you are given 90 days to decide how much you want to borrow. In order to reduce the total loan amount, Sixup encourages its borrowers to get a summer job or apply for scholarships in order to take on lower debt. After you have decided on a loan amount, the loan is finalized and the proceeds are disbursed to your college or university.

Fixed and Variable Interest Rate Loans

Sixup offers both fixed and variable interest rates on its loans, with ten year repayment terms. Fixed interest rate loans have annual percentage rates (APRs) that currently range from 6.49% to 9.49%, while variable rate loans have APRs that currently vary from 4.49% to 8.49%. Sixup charges a 1% origination fee on its loans, and gives borrowers a 6 month grace period after graduation to start repayment.

Sixup offers various incentives to its borrowers, such as potentially lower interest rates based on academic performance. They also support their borrowers throughout the school year to help them stay focused and succeed.

Is a Sixup Student Loan Right for You?

If you are a first generation college student or come from a low-income family, Sixup can be a great way to get funding for college. Unlike most private student loan lenders, Sixup does not take your credit score or income — or your parents’ finances — into account when determining your eligibility for a loan. However, Sixup’s loans are only offered in amounts ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 per academic year, so they may not be enough to cover your financial needs. These loans also may not be available based on your state of residence. The interest rates charged by Sixup are relatively low for student loans without a cosigner, and the origination fee is also fairly low. So if you meet the criteria for the Sixup loans and need additional funding to pay for your college education, a Sixup loan may be a great choice for you.