Q: Are there loans for unemployed students, or will a student not be able to receive a student loan for college if they are unemployed?
A: There are loans for unemployed students through FAFSA. FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and any student regardless of employment status, in need of money for college should file a FAFSA. After filing a FAFSA the Department of Education reviews your financial circumstances, and determines if and what Federal Financial Aid Programs you are eligible for. Most students will qualify for the Federal Stafford Loan Program, regardless of employment status or credit history. Individuals that have exceptional financial need may qualify for special need-based financial aid programs such as federal grants, which unlike student loans will not have to be repaid, and/or Subsidized Stafford Loans (federal government pays the loan interest for students while attending school) or Perkins Loans (low interest student loan made via your schools financial aid office). Graduate students who are unemployed (or employed) may also qualify for a Federal PLUS loan, as long as the student does not have an adverse credit history.
As for private student loans for unemployed students, this will depend on the lender. Each private student loan lender may have a different set or standard of lending criteria that needs to be met by the borrower before they can approve the loan. For many private student loan lenders the borrower will need to demonstrate a trustworthy credit history, in addition to demonstrating they have the current ability to repay the student loan. For students who find that their unemployment status or credit history is preventing them from obtaining a private student loan, they may want to find a creditworthy cosigner and re-apply.