International Student Loans for Study in the US and Canada

July 23rd, 2007 by Keith Clausen

Its that time of year again when international students are frantically trying to put together their funding for the year, and evaluating how much of a loan to apply for. To help, we are re-posting this article that originally ran last august.

Financing an education in the United States is difficult, even for a US student. For international students, paying for college in the US is even harder. Almost two-thirds of all students enrolled at private four-year US schools receive loans of some type. US students can receive loans guaranteed by the government (Stafford loans, among others), but these valuable loans are not available to international students. Luckily, private student loans are available to international students on the same terms received by US students.

Before applying for a loan, you should exhaust the following potential funding sources:

1. Apply for international student financial aid from your school. Here’s a searchable list of schools awarding financial aid to international students: http://www.internationalstudent.com/schools_awarding_aid/

2. Research and apply for international student scholarships on your own: http://www.InternationalScholarships.com

3. Carefully evaluate how much money you or your family can provide towards your education. Every dollar you can pay directly is one less dollar you have to borrow.

Some international students can fund their US education simply using the sources above. However, like US students, most international students will need to fund at least a portion of their US education, if not the entire amount, with loans.

· US Co-Signer Required. International student loans require a US citizen or permanent resident (Green card holder) as a co-signer. The loans are credit-based, meaning the co-signer must have good credit history, good employment history (or other income history if the co-signer does not work), and must have lived in the US for the past two years. Although not everyone can find a family member, friend or other US citizen or permanent resident to co-sign for them, for those that do, they can access private student loans on the same basis as US students.

· Funds Paid Directly to You. Loan funds are paid to you, not to the school. This is a great feature in that you can use the funds for living expenses – but it also means that it is up to you to use the funds responsibly. Pay your tuition, room and board, health insurance and books first – anything extra is a luxury!

· Repayment. Repayment of an international student loan can be deferred while you are in school, and for six months after you finish school. After that, you will have up to 20 years to repay the loan, with a payment due every month. You are also eligible for hardship extensions if you run into unexpected circumstances that prevent you from being able to repay the loan for a short period of time.

· Interest Rates. Interest rates are variable, based on the LIBOR plus a margin. LIBOR is always several points below prime, so the margin is from 3.5% to 7.75%, and will be set by the lender based on the credit history of your co-signer and the repayment plan you select. The better your co-signer, the better your rate! LIBOR changes monthly, up or down, so the rate will be reset monthly. Click here for repayment examples for a $10,000 undergraduate international student loan.

· Online Application. You can apply online or by phone, and receive an almost immediate response as to whether you are conditionally approved for the loan. Then, you will need to sign the promissory note, and provide proof of enrollment and immigration status to receive your funds.

· No Application Fees. There are no application fees to apply for an international student loan. There is an origination fee if you actually receive the loan, but that amount is rolled into the loan amount and does not have to be paid out of pocket.

For more information on international student loans, visit InternationalStudentLoan.com

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24 Comments

  1. Karolina Matras says:

    What about co signer release?

  2. Aggrey K. Kasonde says:

    Please send me the necessary papers so that I may apply for the loan.

  3. jfrankel says:

    International Student Loan has recently launched it’s loan comparison tool specifically designed for international students. You can now apply right online and find the loan that’s right for you!

  4. jfrankel says:

    Loans for international students require a co-signer who is a US citizen or permanent resident, with good credit, who has lived in the US for the past two years.

  5. udo ifeanyi says:

    pls, am in need of a co-signer. I have no one in the usa to help out.. Pls, help me out!!! Is there is an option B?

  6. olatunji sherif says:

    Good day to you sir/madam
    I have been given admission in Canada and i have a U.S co-signer, i will like to know if I am legible to apply for this loan

  7. Kollezky says:

    Thank u for this grate opportunities,
    I will like to received more explanation on co-signer especially when you don’t have relative outside the country.
    How can someone entitle to this opportunity when you don’t have anybody abroad.

    Thanks
    KOLLEZKY

  8. blindblom says:

    Thank you for your questions!

    Unfortunately we are unable to assist you in finding a co-signer and one is required for all international student loan programs. The co-signer must be a US citizen or US permanent resident, with good credit, who has lived in the US for the past two years. Non-US citizens or non-US permanent residents cannot act as a cosigner.

  9. Orane McCalla says:

    Do you offer loans to Jamaicans who want to study in Canada?

  10. blindblom says:

    Hi Orane,

    Unfortunately, our loan programs are for international students from anywhere in the world studying in the United States, or for US students studying abroad. I would suggest contacting your school in Canada to see what sort of international student loans they offer.

  11. jicksonchacko says:

    i would like to know whether for international students loan during the study time is there any interest counting…?? if how much it would be…………..???

  12. Steven says:

    So I am a US citizen and I have been accepted to Canada to study at a university. My mom will be the cosigner and she meets the criteria mentioned except she does not have that high income and my parents have decent but not amazing credit history, will I be eligible?

  13. Hi Steven,

    We offer various loan programs from different lenders. Every lender has a different criteria for their creditworthiness and look at the individual as a whole. The only way to determine if your cosigner meets the requirements is to apply. I have sent you an email with more information and links where you can begin the application process.

  14. rsgoldjw says:

    very good, it’s very useful to me, thank you very much!

  15. Maxwell Laryea says:

    Please I am an international student in Ghana who has gained admission to a university in Canada and I would like to know whether I am eligible for a student loan?

  16. Hi Maxwell,

    Unfortunately, our loan programs are for international students from anywhere in the world studying in the United States, or for US students studying abroad. We do not currently have a program for international students studying elsewhere in the world. If you are interested in studying in the US, you can complete the comparison tool here and see your international student loan options.

  17. Jazzi says:

    Is this same with students who are in canada, like im a student in windsor

  18. Hi Jazzi,

    Thank you for your inquiry. If you are from Canada and will be studying in the US as an international student, you are able to compare loans and apply online here.

  19. Franklin Sefa Owu says:

    plz i want to know the process for applying for the loan

  20. Hi Franklin,

    Thank you for your inquiry. If you would like to apply for an international student loan you can start by using the loan comparison tool. From there, you can use the tool to view the available lenders and apply right online.

    Good luck!

  21. Shafaz says:

    I am currently attending high school in Canada as an international student from the US……I need a student loan to attend university …….can you plz send me the application etc
    Thanks

  22. Hi Shafaz,

    Thank you for your interest, that is great you have decided to study in Canada. You can start the application process by using the loan comparison tool here. From there you will be matched with available lenders and can choose which one will fit your needs best.

    Best of luck!

  23. lashawn says:

    i am a jamaican and i want to study in the united states but i dont have a bank statement requesting the amount asked for; in order to get the the student visa.. what do u suggest i do?

  24. Lashawn,

    Thank you for your inquiry.

    Typically you need to be admitted and enrolled, and have your visa, in order to apply. However, some students are able to use loan approval as proof of funds, but its not easy and its up to the school and consular officer if they’ll accept a loan approval as proper funds. You would need to apply for the loan now, list the school you plan to attend, get initially approved based on the credit of your co-signer, then use that initial approval to complete your acceptance to the school. You can apply for an international student loan here. Good luck.

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