International Student Loan – We’ll begin by learning more about what is a student loan and how this should fit into it. Your overall financial aid package. Next, we’ll talk about the requirements of a student loan before you even apply. Then, we’ll discuss the entire student loan application process from start to finish. And finally, we’ll take your questions at the very end. Before we dive into the details though, first it’s important to know what a student loan is.
Unlike scholarships, grants, and fellowships which award money without the obligation to pay the money back, a student loan is when you borrow money for a certain period of time,
What Is Student Loan?
After which you pay the principal back plus a cost to borrow that money (which we refer to as interest). There are two types of student loans. The first one is federal loans, you may have heard of Stafford loans for example. Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for federal loans but the good news is that.
They are eligible for private student loans. These private student loans are typically done through banks and can be issued at any time throughout the year. So, for example, if you are starting the semester or even if you have an interruption of funds, let’s say a family member no longer is able to financially support you,
This can help. You can borrow up to the total cost of your education minus any financial aid you’ve received (such as scholarships for example).
Before choosing your loan, be sure to review and understand the terms and conditions. This can be very difficult especially with a lot of jargon so we have a resource section on International Student Loan
where you can review the different terms but the major ones are interest rate, which I mentioned, is the cost of borrowing the money.
How To Get Student Loan
The lower your interest rate, the lower your cost. Next is the repayment period which is the amount of time it takes to pay the money back. There is also the deferral period which is when you actually start making the payments – it could be right away or it could be after your graduation.
Be sure to think about these and think about them wisely as both of these options – your repayment of the deferral period – will influence your cost of borrowing. Obviously, the longer it takes to pay back the loan, the most costly it can be. The good news is that once you apply,
you’ll get initial approval within two to six weeks. Remember, international student loans are a great way to help cover your educational fees. Be sure to first maximize the money you don’t have to pay back, such as scholarships, fellowships, and other awards. Then, you cover your costs with your own savings and help from family members such as your parents or distant relatives.
How To Get International Student Loan?
If there is still a gap, you can then apply for international student loans to cover the rest. So, once you are ready to apply, it’s important to make sure you have all the needed checkmarks for your application. I’m going to turn it over to Bryanna Davis to talk more about the requirements of international student loans. Bryanna Davis: Thank you, Jennifer. Alright, so let’s take a look at a few of the requirements that you have to have met in order to apply for an international student loan. First is going to be a cosigner.
Now since most international students coming to the US don’t typically have an established line of credit, a cosigner is going to be needed and also required. This might seem like a hurdle, but it’s actually a good thing for you because a cosigner is essentially joining the loan application which means that their credit will help you to be approved and get the best interest rate possible. Now when you get the best interest rate possible, this means less money that you have to pay back later on. So that’s good news for you.
Now there are a few things that cosigners do need to meet whenever it comes to if they are eligible to become a cosigner. Those are that they must be a US citizen or permanent resident that has lived in the US for the past two years and they have good credit history. So they must have all three of those items met. Now keep in mind that the credit history criteria is going to vary by each lender, so you will want to ensure you find a cosigner with as good of credit history as possible. Now if you are a US citizen then a cosigner is not required. So you don’t have to have a cosigner in order to apply.
However, it’s typically a good idea to still try to find a cosigner that way, once again, because you will be approved for an international student loan and get the best interest rate possible. Now, something else that you’re going to need in many cases is going to be a social security number.
If you do not have a social security number and you are going through the online application for a loan, something that you can do is give the lender a call and see if they have a paper application.
That does not require a social security number. And this might be a way around having to have a social security number in order to apply for an international student loan.
So now that you know you need a cosigner, let’s take a look at who exactly is appropriate to become a cosigner because this is often a hurdle for international students trying to get a loan is: they don’t have a cosigner but they’re not sure who to ask to be one for them.
A few good individuals to ask are family members and friends. Individuals whom you do not want to ask include people at random businesses that you may have worked with in the past or people at your schools, such as international student advisors or professors,
people that you don’t know well. Typically, the rule of thumb is: that if you wouldn’t lend them money a large sum of money then it wouldn’t be a good idea to ask them to cosign for you. So once you have found an appropriate cosigner, then it’s time to find a lender. First of all, it’s important to realize that not every lender will work with every school and not every lender is going to work with international students.
You will need to find a lender that’s willing to work with the school you plan on attending and also willing to lend to international students. Instead of spending hours researching possible lenders on the internet, I’m going to hand it over to who will share more about comparing lenders and how to find the best option for you. So how do you actually apply for an international student loan?
Who Can Apply?
Well, after you have found a cosigner and have been admitted into the college of your choice in the US, that’s when you should be ready to apply for an international student loan. What we have done at internationalstudentloan.com is put together the first student loan comparison tool.
It shows what lenders are available for individual schools and allows you to apply for the loan right on the website. It is a great tool to use and serves as a “one-stop-shop” to weigh all of your student loan options. It’s easy to use as you can see on the screen and I’m actually going to walk you through it on the actual website. So here we are, this is www.internationalstudentloan.com and it shows you exactly what to do here in the green boxes.
First of all, you need to choose ‘are
you a US citizen or permanent resident?’ If you are an international student studying in the US choose ‘no.’ the next question is: do you have a US co-signer? As Bryanna mentioned earlier, you will need one in order to receive an international student loan. So for this question,
you should be answering ‘yes.’ Then you will choose the state of the school you’ve been accepted to. For example, we are going to choose Florida,
and then you will need to choose the name of your school. So for example, all of these are schools in Florida, so scroll down until you see the appropriate option.
For our example, we’re going to use the University of Florida, and then it will ask you for an email address so we will put one in for this example. Then we are going to click on ‘find my student loan’ right here with the green button. Simply click there and wait for the computer to load.
This is going to show you all of the loan companies that are loaning to international students at your loan specifically. The lenders will be different depending on the school you are attending and additional lenders are added constantly, so be sure to check back frequently.
Now after you have used the tool to see what lenders are available to you, see which one works best for you because you may have numerous options and simply click on the ‘apply now button in red. From there, the entire application is available online.
you can borrow up to the full cost of your education minus any other aid you have received, like scholarships. So that was the hard part and now you are really starting towards your international student loan! So what happens now? You will receive your initial email approval within 48 hours and weeks later,
To let you know if you are automatically approved. Then you will be asked to complete some additional documentation, sometimes a lending disclosure.
which is required by law. Once you are approved for the loan you will have to sign a self-certification form and a master promissory note.
which will be sent from your lender directly. Then your school will need to certify the loan, which is a step that you won’t be involved in. Your lender will communicate with your school specifically to certify your loan and ensure funding is distributed correctly. Any additional
The amount will be sent to you from the school. Contact your school directly if you have any questions about the timing of the disbursement, when you can expect your money, etc. So that was a quick overview of our student loan comparison tool and we hope you will use it as soon as possible. In conclusion, we want to let you know that a student loan can help you fund your education even if you are an international student.