As the fall semester approaches, and the level of inquiries that we receive about international student loans peaks, its a good time to review the state of play in the market for international student loans. Much has changed in the past year.
The credit crunch and economic crisis continues to impact the availability of international student loans. There are many fewer lenders providing private loans to international students than there were a year ago. Underwriting and credit criteria have gotten tougher, and school lists have shrunk.
InternationalStudentLoan.com continues to try to direct students to the best lender under current, admittedly less than ideal, market conditions. To find a lender that may be appropriate for you, visit the InternationalStudentLoan.com Apply page, submit basic information about your school and educational level and the school picker will direct you to the most appropriate lender that we are aware of.
Remember, all regularly-available international student loans require a US co-signer.
There are a few business schools (for instance, the business schools at Harvard, Yale, University of Chicago, University of Virginia, Duke University, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, MIT, University of Michigan and University of California – Berkeley) that will provide no-cosigner loans to their own international MBA students. These prestigious business schools have the resources and ability to negotiate special arrangements with lenders for their international students, and students there should certainly take advantage of these programs.
For everyone else, make sure you talk directly with your international student office and financial aid office. People in those offices are in the best position to know if your school has any special financing arrangements in place for international students, and simply to provide guidance in general.