Can You Get Student Loans With a Criminal Record?

If you’ve already been convicted of a crime and have finished your sentence, then you’re in a position where you’re trying to put your life back together. If not, but have been charged with a crime, then this information may factor into whether or not you make the decision to hire a private lawyer.

Because college and financial aid can be just as difficult to secure as employment and housing when you’ve been convicted of a crime.

Drug offenses offer the biggest challenges.

Drug offenses, even misdemeanor drug offenses, bar you from receiving federal student aid of any kind. If you’ve been convicted of other crimes you can receive aid, if you meet all the other requirements.

This is also true of federal grants created to help inmates study while they’re still in prison.

It’s harder to get private loans, too.

Don’t think you can simply flip to private loans. Any criminal conviction can make some lenders shy away from issuing a private student loan. 

Private loans can be dangerous, too. They come with higher interest rates, and don’t offer the same options for deferment, forebearance, forgiveness, or income-sensitive payment that federal loans do. 

College admissions can be problematic with any kind of conviction.

Only a handful of states prohibit colleges and universities from asking about criminal history on their applications: Louisiana, Maryland, and Washington. And nationwide, 66% of all colleges and universities ask.

Thus, if you’re trying to apply for college here in New York you could face some significant barriers before you even have to worry about paying for it. 

You may still have options.

In New York, it is possible to have some criminal records sealed under some circumstances. If you’ve got no more than 2 misdemeanor convictions, or 1 felony and 1 misdemeanor, and you’ve been crime-free for ten years, you might qualify.

You  might also qualify if you took certain drug treatment programs. Sealing your records can help broaden your options. While the federal government can still see your record, other organizations won’t be able to, including potential employers and educational facilities. Our offices can help with this process. 

Ideally, of course, you’ll have legal support that keeps you from getting convicted in the first place. If you’ve been charged with a crime, don’t wait. Protect your career future by calling our office today.

See also: 

What Happens When Criminal Charges Get Dropped in NYC?

How a New York Attorney Gets Charges Dismissed

5 Tips for Getting Back On Your Feet After a Criminal Conviction


Submit this form to have your case reviewed by our attorney.

All fields are required.

Our Practice Areas

Our Offices


Midtown (Main Office)

Greco Neyland, PC
535 5th Ave #2500
New York NY 10017
(212) 951-1300


White Plains

75 S Broadway 4th floor
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 898-8800

Meet Our Attorneys


Jeffery Greco

Experience as a former prosecutor gives Jeffery Greco and edge in building the strongest possible defense strategy for the accused in Ney York City


Dustan Neyland

A through investigation is key to finding every reasonable doubt and geting charges reduced or dismissed for NYC defense attorney Dustan Neyland.

Recent Blog Posts