One of the most difficult parts of being an international student in the US is finding the funds to do so. Luckily, there are numerous outlets where international students can look, including home country funding, family funding, scholarships and even loans. However, it’s important to understand that as your time in the US grows, so will your desire to make purchases beyond resident hall decorations, classroom supplies and the occasional night out. International students who plan on studying in the US for a few years often decide to make a larger purchase like a car. Before being able to make this type of purchase you will need to have established credit; Because of this, it’s important to start building credit as soon as possible.
One great way to establish credit is by obtaining a credit card. Having a credit card and making frequent, small purchases then immediately paying off the balance can help build credit as an international student in the US. However, without a social security number or established credit, new international students may find it difficult to open a credit card.
One option that you’ll want to explore is SelfScore. SelfScore was established by former international students, for international students. They offer the only MasterCard designed specifically for international students, which means you do not need a social security number to apply and you can count on them always offering you fair credit.
SelfScore offers two types of MasterCard: The Classic and The Achieve. With both of these cards you can enjoy:
- No Annual Fee
- No Deposit
- No Social Security Number Required
- Fraud Protection
- No Foreign Transaction Fee
- First Late Fee Waived
- Accepted Everywhere MasterCard is Accepted
SelfScore prides themselve on “opening the door of the US financial system for international students.” See if a SelfScore MasterCard can help you establish your credit during your time in the US.
The world of international student loans can be confusing, especially if you’ve never obtained a loan and English is not your first language. Because of this, we’ve created a list of the top international student loan terms that you need to know and understand before you start the hunt for a loan.
Cosigner: A cosigner is someone who is joining the loan application with you. If you’re unable to repay your loan (yes, you must pay back what you’ve borrowed) the co-signer then takes over your repayment responsibility. To be a cosigner on your international student loan, they must be a US citizen or resident who has lived inside the US for the past two years and has good credit history. The better your cosigner’s credit history, the lower your APR will be.
Repayment Period: This refers to when you must start the re-paying of your loan and how often- something that will vary from one lender to the next. Check these terms, and know exactly when you will need to start paying back what you borrowed.
Interest Rate: An interest rate is the percentage of the amount borrowed that the lender can charge interest on to the borrower. The higher the interest rate, the more you must pay back in addition to what you borrowed. The interest rate will change depend on the market and can come in one of two categories: fixed and variable. A fixed interest rate is a rate that will remain the same from the time you agree to take out the loan to the last payment you make. A variable interest rate will fluctuate over time depending on the market, and can be more risky, depending on the market.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): While looking at terms based around repayment, let’s discuss exactly what an APR is, and how it can affect what you must pay back to the lender. When comparing loans, you will want to compare the APR and look for the lowest rate possible- the lower the APR, the less you pay. One key item to keep in mind: the APR and interest rate are not the same. The APR will help give you a more accurate look at the total cost of the loan including the interest and fees. Don’t let a low interest rate trick you into thinking you’re getting a deal- also check the APR.
Credit score: A credit score is based upon credit history and given in a credit report which reflects a score between 300 and 850. Your cosigner’s credit score will be evaluated when you apply for a loan- the higher the credit score, the better your chance will be of getting approved and being able to receive a low APR.
If you would like to receive an international student loan, start comparing lenders that work with your school.
International Student Insurance just announced their Summer Fun Competition where you have two chances to win $500! Here’s how you can win one of their $500 prizes (or, submit to both and you could win $1,000!).
There are two ways to win:
- Share their US Healthcare System Video on your Facebook or Twitter pages OR
- Share your experience buying their insurance policy.
From there, complete the application form right online (if you are submitting to both entries, you will need to complete the form twice) and stay tuned to see if you are the winner. Check out the Summer Fun Competition details and application here:
Winners will be randomly selected and will be announced in September. Good luck to you all!
“What’s your favorite page on International Student Loan? Share it with us!”
Simply answer the second question on Facebook, Twitter, or our blog, and you’ll be entered to win $100 gift card! Check out International Student Loan to see what peaks your interest. Is it the videos? Maybe the infographic? Or maybe it’s a resource page? Be sure to comment below on our blog, or share it on our Facebook or Twitter page to enter to win.
Submit your answer before 3pm EST on Wednesday, July 16th for your chance to win. Our second winner will be announced next Thursday, July 17th, so stay tuned!
If you are in need of cash now, win $100 on our Financial Aid Fun Contest, put on in partnership with InternationalStudentLoan.com and InternationalStudent.com. Be sure to check back next week where a new question will be announced on Friday, July 18th. Good luck on financing your education!
The winner for our second question has just been announced, congrats to Sunshine Darling who just won $100 gift card! Sunshine told us that her favorite page was Making a Repayment Plan- and Sticking to it on InternationalStudentLoan.com. Congratulations Sunshine!
Deadline: July 9th at 3pm EST
International Student Loan and International Student have combined forces during the month of July to bring you three great chances to win $100! Yesterday the Financial Aid Fun contest was announced and today question 1 of the Financial Aid Fun Contest released! All you need to do is find the correct answer to the question (you can find help here), then post the correct answer either to this blog or one of the following:
If you submit the correct answer you’ll be entered into the drawing to win $100! You only have until July 9th at 3pm EST to submit your answer, so make sure you post your answer as soon as possible!
The question you must correctly answer is:
What is a co-signer?
Time is limited so start searching now and post your answer before the deadline. If you aren’t the winner this week make sure you come back next week. There will be a new question posted, meaning a new chance to win $100!
If you missed the announcement of the winner for the first question- here he is:
“A cosigner is someone who guarantees that if the borrower cannot pay back the loan, they will be legally responsible to pay back the debt. In other words, the cosigner is taking on a huge responsibility for the international student loan or study abroad loan since they are being asked to accept the responsibility of paying back the total loan amount plus any interest.”
Congrats Islam! For those who did not win, don’t worry, just answer our next question for a chance to win!
It’s July, and many of you will be looking for financial aid to help cover your expenses for the new school year. We wanted to help out with the launch of our newest July contest, the Financial Aid Fun Contest!
Each week we will announce a new winner who will be the recipient of $100 gift card! InternationalStudentLoan.com in partnership with InternationalStudent.com will announce a question each week. Submit your answers through our Facebook, Twitter, or the blog and you could be the winner. Each week we’ll have a new question so be sure to follow us to increase your chances of winning.
Who is eligible?
You are eligible! As long as you are studying outside your home country, or planning to study outside your home country, you can enter.
How does it work?
On July 2nd, July 11th and July 18th, we will announce our new question on our blog, Facebook and Twitter Feed. Make sure to submit your answer by 3pm EST each Wednesday. Every Thursday, we will announce the winners – which might just be you!
How do I submit my answers?
You can submit your answers each week on Facebook, Twitter, or directly on our blog. Remember, all entries each week must be received by 3pm EST each Wednesday. We will announce the winners every Thursday through our social channels.
Can I enter more than once?
You can submit your answer once per question. We will have three lucky winners who will receive $100 each. Answer multiple questions to increase your likelihood of winning!
Tune in tomorrow for our first question where you might just be $100 dollars richer!
Today, Thursday 26th, at 10am EST International Student Loan is hosting a Google+ Hangout On Air to help explain some of the most confusing loan terms that students run across. International students in need of financial aid and who have considered a loan won’t want to miss this hangout! The hangout will explain some of the top terms you’ll come across when comparing and applying for a loan- terms that are important to understand before agreeing to a loan.
International Student is also hosting a Google+ Hangout On Air this week! The International Student Hangout will address how you can use your contacts to get a job. Whether you’re an international student who just graduated or who is about to start your first semester- these tips will be ones to take note of and keep in mind during your search for a job. Don’t miss this Hangout Friday June 27th at 11am EST.
Attend the International Student Loan Hangout to get student loan terms explained. Start watching today at 10am EST.
Attend the International Student Hangout to learn how to use your contacts to get a job. Watch Friday at 11am EST.
As the United States continues to admit an increasing number of international students to US schools, international students are faced with deciding where, in such a large country, they will be able to make the most of their study abroad experience.
Immediately thoughts of famous US cities spring to mind—New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, etc. However, there are a number of reasons why international students might want to consider studying in a smaller US town.
Studying Abroad in Smaller US Towns VS Larger US Cities Read the rest of this entry »
Funding your education doesn’t have to be impossible if you don’t have the money on hand. There are thousands of scholarships out there designed for international students – you just need to know how to look and what you need to include to make your scholarship application standout. This Friday, May 23 at 11 am EST, our partner InternationalStudent.com will be putting on a live hangout on How to Find a Scholarship.
Topics will include:
- Where to look for an international scholarship
- How to apply for a scholarship
- Tips and tricks to increase the likelihood of getting the award
Scholarships are essentially financial awards that do not need to be paid back, and because of this, they can be competitive. Tune in this Friday to increase your odds of getting picked. Here’s how:
- Step 1. Sign up and reserve your spot.
- Step 2. Set a calendar reminder so that you can tune in.
- Step 3. Watch live.
It’s that easy! At the end of the Hangout they will take any questions you have so make sure you have all of your questions ready. Hope to see you there!
If you need an international student loan for the semester, you have a few more months to prepare! That’s why tomorrow, Wednesday, at 3pm EST, International Student Loan will be hosting a free Google Hangout to answer all of your questions. Join them to learn about international student loans including:
- What you need to apply
- Requirements for approval
- What to expect during the process
They’ll be available to answer all of your questions when it comes to your international student loan, so don’t miss it! To join the Hangout live, all you need to do is:
- Sign up for the Hangout
- Bookmark the page
- Set a calendar alarm for 3pm EST on Wednesday, May 21st
- Get your questions ready
- Join us live!
Want to see previous hangouts? Check out International Student Loan’s YouTube page where you can find videos on all things financial aid for students studying abroad.