10 things you need to know about international student loans

November 2nd, 2019 by Al C

US Dollar - 10 things you need to know about International Student Loans

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.

10 things you need to know about international student loans

1) What are international student loans?

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.

2) Who is eligible to apply for international student loans

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.

3) What are the types of loans available

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.

4) What international student loans can be used for

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:

  • tuition
  • mandatory fees (costs specific to a school or university)
  • books and educational supplies/equipment
  • insurance
  • transportation (including airfare)
  • room and board
  • and other school-related expenses – can include food, personal expenses, leisure and communication

5) What is the maximum loan amount?

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.

6) What about loans for non-US citizens or non-US-permanent residents studying outside the US?

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!

7) What about cosigners?

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.

8) How to apply for an international student loan

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.

9) How can you repay your international student loan?

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.

10) What if I’m applying for an international student loan before being accepted?

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.


Loans That Do Not Require a Cosigner in the US and Canada

May 31st, 2019 by Al C

Loans Without a Cosigner for International Students in the US

International student loans in the USA no cosigner required

If you are already, or are going to be an international student in the US, it will be required of you to have a cosigner while applying for a loan.

If you do require a cosigner, the cosigner must be a US citizen or permanent resident, and they must have lived in the US for more than 2 years. They should likewise have good credit history. Non-US natives and non-US permanent residents are not allowed to be a cosigner for international student loans.

No-cosigner Loans are a Growing Trend

Despite of the fact that most international student loan applications require a cosigner, students attending a growing number of schools and colleges in the US and Canada can apply for a loan without one.

If you do not have a cosigner, there is guidance on how to find one in the International Student Loan Resources, but looking for a “no cosigner loan” could be the best choice for you.

Since most international students in the US don’t have any financial history there, a cosigner joins the loan application process. Approval for the loan and the interest rate applicable are then based upon the perceived reliability of the cosigner.

Knowing the No-cosigner Deal Technicalities

The cosigner is lawfully bound to repay the loan if the borrower does not make the payments.

Don’t have a cosigner? If research doesn’t help you find one, see if a loan that doesn’t require a cosigner is available for you.

With loans that do not require a cosigner, rather than using the applicant’s credit history, lenders assess your education and career path, in addition to other factors when making a decision on approval for a loan. These might include your nation of origin, graduation date, and what school you are attending.

The majority of student loans available for international students are solely for non-US natives who will be in the United States. However, a new option helps students apply for loans at a number of colleges in Canada as well!

Loans for International Students in Canada

International student loans canada no cosigner required

International Students in Canada may now apply for an international student loan without a cosigner!

International Student Loan has partnered with a lender that can offer loans to students from over 190 countries, including the US, who are attending select schools in Canada. Up to this point it has been hard for international students to finance university education in Canada, but thanks to our partner lenders and International Student Loan, there are now various schools in Canada where no-cosigner loans are available.

Loan Application is Now Available

International students at eligible schools can apply for a loan to fund the expense of your education including the cost of tuition, lodging, sustenance, insurance, and supplies. As referenced previously, with this sort of loan, rather than focusing on your or your cosigner’s financial record, the loan specialists take into account different factors.

Considerations for Loan Approval

For example, your education and future career, your nation of origin, your expected graduation date and what school you will be studying at will be considered. Students who are not US natives or permanent residents, and who are going to schools outside the US/Canada are not presently qualified for international student loans.

Students who are not US natives or permanent residents, and who are going to schools outside the US/Canada are not presently qualified for international student loans.

Finding and Comparing No-Cosigner Loans

International students should use the loan comparison tool to see whether they can apply for a loan without a cosigner and if their chosen school is available. Provided that this is the case, they should then be able to review the terms and conditions of the credit agreement and apply online.

While inquiring about a no-cosigner loan, here are a couple of things you should consider:

  • The amount you can borrow
  • The interest rate (and whether it’s fixed or variable)
  • Repayment terms
  • How the loan is disbursed

When your application has been assessed you will get further information about your loan and the terms and conditions. These will cover the financing cost and the total amount you can obtain. These will differ by loan specialist and depend on your circumstances.

No-cosigner Loan Amount and Tenure

No-cosigner advances through our partner have a fixed rate of interest and enable you to access up to $50,000 in a 2 year period. You should state the amount you might want to borrow on your application.

Once approved for the loan, the funds are disbursed directly to your school or college.

The whole process takes around about a month and a half, so you should plan ahead and ensure that you make your application in time.

To check whether there are no-cosigner loans at your school, start with the loan comparison tool.

Find out more about International Student Loans.


Loans for International Students

August 22nd, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

If you are an international student studying in the United States, you may be putting your last minute budget together before the new school year begins. When considering the many costs to fund your education – even if you don’t consider tuition – you’ll soon realize that the costs can add up fast. With travel, transportation, living expenses, room and board, and entertainment just to name a few, you may have realized that you need some extra help.

Private student loans for international students can help you make up the difference. With the new school year right around the corner, it’s not too late to apply and get approved within a few short weeks. International students should consider the funds they’ll need for the upcoming academic year, and apply for no more than the amount they need. Compare lenders to make sure you get the rates and terms that work best for you.

Remember, not all lenders work with international students – and to make matters more complicated, not all lenders that work with international students work with all schools. The international student loan comparison tool will allow you to find all the lenders that will work with you – at your school. Then, once you have a list of loans for international students, you can compare the terms and conditions, and choose the loan that’s right for you!

Studying in the United States can open many doors to international students, either at home or abroad. To make the most of your time overseas, be sure to plan ahead and think smart. If you take the time to budget ahead, you’ll be able to make the most of your education and open opportunities to your future career path.

Do you have questions about loans for international student? Contact our representatives for more information.


International Student Loan Comparison Tool

December 27th, 2011 by Jennifer Frankel

As more students decide to study overseas, financial aid plays a critical role for many students looking to make this a reality. Financial aid comes in many forms, including scholarships, grants, and loans. For many international students, even with the assistance of scholarships and grants, there is still a need to secure additional financing by taking out a loan.

Many international students have had difficulty finding lenders that will loan to international students. Some lenders require students to be a US citizen or permanent resident and all lenders work with specific school (and these lists of approved schools vary by lender). Because of this, many international students have to read through the terms and conditions or complete the application to see whether they meet the eligibility requirements for each lender.

This has all changed thanks to International Student Loan’s new loan comparison tool. This loan comparison tool takes all of this information into consideration to match international students with the right loan options instantly. International students simply indicate their school, citizenship, and whether they have a cosigner, and they will be given a list of lenders to compare that have been matched based on their eligibility. Once international students have chosen their loan, they can proceed to the application and apply for the loan directly.

International Student Loan’s Comparison Tool is making financial aid easier for students to study overseas, saving  time and providing students with option to make studying abroad a possibility. For any questions on how this works, you can contact representatives at International Student Loan.


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