I'm currently 16 and have been invited to attend a National Youth Conference for National Security in Washington DC this upcoming fall. I just moved in with my mom and this trip isn't exactly ideal for us financially. My mom said I was more than welcome to go on the trip as long as I came up with the money. I could make the money over the summer but the enrollment deadline is June 24. I've made a Go Fund Me page but I don't think that will help in time. I'm not sure how old I must be to take out a loan or anything about the process. Any help/advice is appreciated in this situation
To explain why you have to be 18: If you are not 18, then any contract that you sign can be voided (made invalid) by either you or your parents. So it would be completely legal for you to go to the bank, ask for a $1000 loan, and for the bank to give you the loan. But then you could spend the money, and tell the bank "sorry, I changed my mind, I don't want that loan, and sorry again, but the money is gone". At that point, there would be nothing the bank could do to get their money back.
Obviously, banks don't like this, so they won't lend you money.
At your age, the only place you are going to get a loan is from relatives. If you can't... Go to next year's conference. Missing it this year might feel like a disaster, but it really, really isn't.
In general, you would have to be the age of majority (generally, 18) to take out a loan. Additionally, your credit rating must be sufficient for the bank or loan company to be comfortable loaning you money.