Student loans that don't require a cosigner include federal Perkins loans, Direct Stafford loans and Direct PLUS loans for graduate and professional students, according to Discover. Perkins and Stafford loans don't require a credit check either, but students must pass a credit check to obtain a PLUS loan.
Private student loans, such as those from Sallie Mae, often require a cosigner because students have little credit history. Obtaining a cosigner can help students lower their interest rates, Sallie Mae notes. Once borrowers graduate and make at least 12 consecutive on-time payments, Sallie Mae allows borrowers to request a release of the cosigner.