If you’ve researched all the available funding options for you as an international student in the US, and you are still in need of additional financing, your next place to look is an international student loan.
If, like many international students, you didn’t realize that loans were even available for international students, here’s a roundup of 10 things you need to know about international student loans and how to apply for them. We will also point you in the direction of additional useful resources and the loan comparison tool which you can find here.
International Student Loans are specialized private education loans that are available for international students who are studying in the USA or Canada at approved colleges and universities. US students in the USA are able to apply for Federal student loans (provided by the US Government), but these are not available to international students.
In many cases, international students in the US have to apply with a qualified cosigner and should only apply for international student loans after exhausting all scholarships, personal funds, and other options. At select schools in the US and Canada there are loans without a cosigner available for select students to apply for.
Students who are not US citizens or non-citizen permanent residents and who are attending an eligible US college or university. Loans are also available to international students in Canada (including US students) at select universities.
In most cases in the US, borrowers are required to have a credit-worthy cosigner who is a US citizen or permanent resident. However, there are loans available at select schools that do not require a cosigner, depending on your situation as the borrower.
Students who are not US citizens or permanent residents and who are attending schools outside the US/Canada are not currently eligible for an international student loan.
Lenders only work with specific colleges and universities, and not every lender works with international students. This can make it difficult at times to find the right option for your situation. International Student Loan has a helpful comparison tool which will show the options that are available to you depending on your circumstances – taking into account your course of study, duration of study, field of study and if you’re studying at an approved US or Canadian college or university.
There are loans for students who have a US cosigner, and loans that do not require a co-signer that are available to students in select instances.
International student loans, like all private education loans, can be used for education-related expenses.
The main categories/items that an international student loan can cover are:
The maximum amount that you are able to take out in the form of an international student loan is the total cost of your education minus any other aid (like scholarships, grants, etc) received.
The total cost of your education will vary based on your school and the program’s cost of attendance. After you apply and receive credit approval your school must certify the amount of the loan.
Most international student loan options are only for non-US citizens studying inside the United States. However, we now have loan options at a few select universities for those who want to study in Canada!
A cosigner is required for many international student loan programs, but not all.
If a cosigner is required they must be a US citizen or a 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.
Although we are not able to assist with finding a cosigner, it is common to ask close friends or family members.
If you do not have a cosigner you will want to explore lenders that do not require a cosigner.
Before applying for a private student loan, you should know exactly how much you need to borrow. To do this, review the financial aid award letter sent to you by your school. Next, find a loan that meets your needs. You can use our Loan Comparison Tool to help you find a loan that suits you.
You will need to submit your application to the lender. Most international students studying in the United States are required to have a US co-signer. After you have completed your part of the student loan application, your co-signer will need to complete their part of the application.
After submission you will be sent documents relating to your loan application. Follow any instructions carefully, and ensure that you (and your cosigner) sign and return the documents in a timely manner.
When your lender has received and approved all of the documents the money is transferred directly to your school/university, and you will receive your loan proceeds from them once they have been applied to your student account.
The interest rate and repayment terms will depend on the loan option and lender you select.
When selecting a lender you will need to review the terms or contact the lender directly with any specific questions. If you go with a lender that requires a cosigner the interest rate is calculated based on factors including your cosigner’s creditworthiness.
If a lender does not require a cosigner the interest and repayment rates are established in a different way. For example, with MPOWER, the interest and repayment is determined based on other factors. While they do not require a credit score, they do need to review a detailed credit report to verify payment history and good standing.
It is possible to begin the loan application process prior to being accepted to your school, however, you will need to be accepted with your student visa to finalize the loan. The first step is to find a lender; see if one is available at your college or university.
We hope you’ve found these 10 things you need to know about international student loans useful for your plans to study in the USA.
For more information check out our posts on 5 international student loan terms you need to know and Student loan repayment explained.
Sponsored by educations.com
Deadline: April 2020
educations.com believe that students who study abroad become the next generation of globally-minded leaders – and they want more of you to do it!
They’re offering a scholarship of up to €5000 to help cover your tuition fees and get you one step closer to your next great adventure.
What’s the scholarship about?
The scholarship will be awarded for the fall/autumn semester and is open to students from any country who will be studying a master’s degree abroad at a European university or school.
To apply for this scholarship, you must:
The ideal candidate:
Get more details on the €5000 Scholarship to Study a Master’s in Europe and how to apply.
Don’t miss your chance to participate in this exciting 3D printing competition for international students!
Show 3D HUBS how you used 3D printing to realize your innovative engineering or design project.
They’re looking for inventors, entrepreneurs and creative talents who push the boundaries of 3D printing to solve real-life problems.
They’re accepting submissions in five categories:
The deadline for submissions is June 30th
All submissions must present a physical product or prototype. Whole or part of the design must be fabricated through a 3D printing process. We accept submissions from both individual contributors and teams. All contributors must be either current students (in secondary, undergraduate or postgraduate education) or recent graduates that have completed their studies after July 2018.
The awardees will be selected by a panel of experts based on certain selection criteria. The winner of each category will receive:
The five finalists of each category will receive a copy of The 3D Printing Handbook and an official finalist certificate.
Apply at internationalscholarships.com
Not for you?
Global Citizen Scholarship
Deadline: April 15
Students at select schools can apply for the Global Citizen Scholarship – a $5,000 award granted to students from any country studying in the US and Canada.
Visit internationalscholarships.com for application details and to apply for the Global Citizen Scholarship.
Winners of the Global Citizen Scholarship will be selected based solely on their short essay response. Essays will be judged based on (1) grammar, vocabulary, and clarity, (2) creativity, and (3) insightfulness and power of story. Scholarship essays will be judged blindly by an unbiased committee.
For the latest information about international scholarships please visit InternationalScholarships.com.
Find resources to support your international education on our resources page.
Read our latest blog posts on the International Financial Aid and College Scholarship blog.
International Student Taxes – International students in the United States are required to file a tax return every year. The deadline in 2019 is April 15th.
All students and their dependents must file a form 8843 (one form per person).
If you have received any income in the last calendar year then you will most likely Form 1040NR-EZ also.
There are a number of ways that you can submit these forms:
You can do it yourself because the forms are all available online from the IRS. This means you can print them off, complete them for each family member and submit them directly to the IRS directly for processing.
Do it yourself (with help). InternationalStudent.com has created an online IRS Form 8843 Wizard that pre-populates the Form 8843 automatically for you. You can enter all your details into the web form for them to pre-populate Form 8843 with all your details. Just check it over, sign and date it and send it to the IRS for processing.
Or you can seek Expert Tax Advice. InternationalStudent.com has partnered with Sprintax who provide expert tax advice and assistance (for a fee). You can contact them directly for assistance or advice. This is especially helpful for more complicated tax returns.
Every international student and their dependents (including spouses and children of all ages) must file their tax if they were in the US during the previous calendar year.
Although it may seem difficult to file your tax return, there are a number of resources to help you comply with the law and your visa regulations.
Find out more at our partner site: InternationalStudent.com
The 2018 InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest winners have been announced! For all the ones who have been following the contest, you know that it wasn’t an easy decision for our judges since all the finalist videos were incredible, but they had to come with 3 winners. Today, the last day of International Education Week, we are pleased to announce the final winners of the 2018 contest:
The $4,000 grand prize winner: Mariana Barbosa with Remembering to Live
Mariana is from Brazil, an amazing country that unfortunately, due to all the budget cuts, had to cut off student scholarships at federal universities. For this reason, Mariana put her eyes on another country that will bring her more opportunities and new experiences, Canada! Mariana will walk away with the $4,000 grand prize to help her study in Canada!
The second place winner ($500): Prabhat Gurung with: Me and my Camera
Prabhat is from Nepal and he moved to New Jersey to began his undergraduate education. In the United States, Prabhat has made new friends and shared his culture with his fellow international peers. It’s there where he found out what his true passion was: a camera. He wants to go home and share with his people everything he has learned while being abroad. Prabhat will receive $500 to help him pursue his dream of sharing the beauty of Nepal with the world!
The third place winner ($250): Hoang Thuy Ha with Why Later?
Hoang is from Vietnam and found in dancing a therapy that made her a more confident person. She found this passion at the age of 30 and advises you not to wait any longer to follow your dreams. She will take home $250 to help her study dance therapy abroad.
Next year InternationalStudent.com will host their annual Travel Video Contest and you won’t want to miss out! Check back on September 2019 for your chance to enter the contest!
In late August InternationalStudent.com invited you to participate in their annual Travel Video Contest where students can create a 4 minute or less video describing their proposed study abroad, or any trip they would like to take if already studying abroad. After receiving numerous entries with emotional and inspiring videos, InternationalStudent.com has announced who the lucky finalists are, including the Viewers’ Choice Winner.
We encourage you to watch their amazing videos and listen to their unique stories- perhaps one of your favorites was nominated within the 12 finalists! To choose the three final winners, InternationalStudent.com has a Judging Panel comprised of leaders in international education.
As well as watching the 12 finalist videos, we encourage you to check out the Viewers’ Choice winning video: Leaving Routine Behind, created by Kaleema Lowery, who is actually participating for her second time in this contest! Winning the Viewers’ Choice Award means she not only will receive $1,000, but also gains automatic entry into the finalist round. Check out Kaleema’s video and let her tell you her story through her moving video, where she shares her desire to visit and live in South Korea in order to leave the routine behind.
Stay tuned as the 3 winners will be announced during the last day of the International Education Week: November 16th! If you’re interested in entering this Travel Video Contest next year make sure you sign up to receive the latest alerts from InternationalStudent.com.
University of Arizona
Deadline: April 1st
Looking to study at the University of Arizona (UA) but can’t afford the tuition? This is your chance! The UA is offering Tuition Awards to international students that go from $4,000 to $24,000 per academic year.
The University of Arizona is one of the United States’ most respected public research institutions. The UA provides more than a world-class education, they help students develop the necessary skills of discovery, research, and creativity and that’s why you can’t miss this opportunity to study there!
What’s the scholarship about?
In recognition for students who exhibit an outstanding academic performance, the University of Arizona offers the International Tuition Award which offers $4,000 – $24,000 per academic year for freshman, and $5,000 per academic year for transfer students.
If you meet the criteria, be sure you submit your application on time for the next fall semester!
Get more details on the University of Arizona International Tuition Award and how to apply.
The 2018 InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest
Deadline: October 9th
The InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest is back and is open for entries until October 9th! If you are planning to become an international student or if you are already one, this contest is a great opportunity for you! Keep reading to get all the details about the InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest!
What is it about?
You will need to create and submit an original video before the deadline to be considered for a $4,000 grand prize. One lucky winner will receive the grand prize and their very own blog on InternationalStudent.com. There will also be a second place, third place and a viewers’ choice winner. The grand prize winner will be announced on November 16th.
To be eligible you must be 18 or older and already enrolled or planning to enroll in college or university outside of your home country. If you are currently studying outside of your home country, your video must describe any trip you would like to take. If you are not currently studying outside of your home country, your entry must describe your proposed study abroad.
Your video must be created specifically for the current InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest with a maximum length of 4 minutes.
Make sure you read the full list of rules and regulations before you enter. You would also want to check the tips & tricks section and view the past winners, as well as see who will be judging your video.
Get more information on how to enter the 2018 Travel Video Contest!
Deadline: October, 15
Westbon is the first lending platform for international students in the U.S. Based in Chicago, they specialize in providing auto loans and personal loans for their customers, who have always been an underserved group due to their lack of a Social Security Number (SSN) and credit history.
Westbon is dedicated to assisting international students in their pursuit to study in the United States and is always amazed by how vibrant and talented the international student community is.
To help international students further pursue their dreams in the U.S., Westbon has established a scholarship program for international students who are on F1 Visa in the United States. Regardless of your fields of study, Westbon is happy to offer the assistance you need for your college studies in the United States.
To qualify, you must be:
What are they looking for?
Applicants who have the excellent achievement and great potential in academic, extracurricular activities or social fields.
Social Impact/ Leadership/ Entrepreneurship
All undergraduate and master program students are welcome to apply. You can find further details here.