International student loans are a popular topic of conversation, especially for those students looking for additional financing. While there are many lenders that loan to international students, each loan has its own terms and conditions that will influence how much you pay over the life of your loan.
In our previous blog, we defined what is the principal and interest rate. The interest rate, or the cost of borrowing money, is influenced by the amount of risk associated with the loan. As you increase the time period on your loan, the total risk of your loan being repaid increases, and therefore the interest rate will also be higher. The interest rate accrues on a daily basis which is determined by your interest rate, amount borrowed, and length of your loan.
And, given this information, let’s consider how this relates to the repayment period. So, what is the repayment period?
The repayment period is the act of returning money that you have previously borrowed. This includes the repayment of both your interest rate and principal that you were lent.
This is an important term since you will need to know when to make your loan payments to ensure that they are paid on time. If they are not, you could find that you will have additional associated fees for late payment, or your loan could be in default.
To avoid this, many students prefer automatic debits from their account to ensure that payment is made on time each month. In some cases, you will find that lenders will reduce your interest rate if you sign up for electronic debiting.
There are three main forms of repayment:
- Full deferral
This form of payment is typically much easier for students who want to dedicate their time in school to just studying. This allows students to defer interest and principal repayments until after graduation (typically up to four years consecutively), or when the student drops down below part-time status. Payments will generally begin 6 months after graduation or if the student is no longer enrolled at least part time. Keep in mind that this is the most expensive option as interest will accrue during the deferment period and will be added to the balance at the time of repayment.
- Interest Only
Another less expensive option is the interest only repayment option. This allows the student to begin paying back the accrued interest on your loan immediately, while you are in school, but your principal payments typically do not begin until 45 days graduation (up to four consecutive years) or once students drop below part-time student status.
- Immediate Repayment
This is the least costly option for students since students begin making payments for both the principal and interest immediately once the loan has been disbursed.
For further questions about repayment period, and why this matters, contact our loan experts. If you are interested in comparing international student loans, you can do so using our international student loan comparison tool which will allow you to compare basic lender terms.
The information provided in this blog is designed to highlight features of loans and how they work. It is always important to check with your lender to confirm terms and conditions, as they can vary.