You wish to study in Canada or the U.S. but you don’t know where to start from? If you are from Nigeria or Africa, there might be a way out for you.
Obtaining a student loan has always been an option for so many students especially when other options prove abortive.
You could get a student loan today, make your trip to either the U.S. or Canada for studies and begin your payment after or during your stay in either of the countries. You are allowed a flexible and ample time to repay your loan while working as a student.
How to Get an International Student Loan
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that it is expensive to study abroad. Although there are scholarships available, which comes with a lot of competition.
This means that you have a very slim chance unless you are up for it. Tuition fees in both Canada and the U.S. can go as high as from $13,000 to $40,000 depending on the degree, course, or school.
Federal loans are popular among students in the US, but Nigerian and other foreign nationals cannot apply for them; instead, they must submit an application for an international student loan. You can check out some of the top international loan companies best for you here. Before then, let’s look at who is eligible and who isn’t
Why Do You Need to Get an International Student Loan
If you have read until this point, then chances are that you have tried to get funds for your education through several means, my bet is that you have applied for a scholarship and you still couldn’t raise funds, right?
Obtaining a loan could be the best option to get the money you need quickly, to keep your dreams to study abroad alive. Also, many loan companies like the ones listed below will give you enough money to cover Tuition; Room and board; Books; Transportation and; Living expenses.. The best part is that they have a flexible repayment structure to suit everyone.
How and Where You Can Get an International Student Loan
To get a loan quickly without having to provide a co-signer as an international student from Nigeria or Africa, you should work with companies such as MPOWER Financing, Prodigy Finance, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (yet to be confirmed).
MPOWER Financing: According to eduPass, this was named the top lender for foreign students by US News and World Report.
A US-based lender called MPOWER Financing provides fixed-rate loans to students from 190 different countries so they may attend more than 350 colleges in the US and Canada.
Unlike other lenders, you will not be required to have a co-signer – usually a US citizen or someone with a permanent residence permit living in the US with a good credit history.
Prodigy Finance is another company that offers student loans and is situated in the UK. It provides students with variable-rate loans in local currency (British pounds).
Compared to MPOWER Financing, Prodigy Finance has greater limits on loan eligibility (restriction on the country of origin of the borrowing prospective student, the university, and the course of study).
Prodigy Finance is your best option if you want to pursue a STEM or master’s degree in Europe rather than MPOWER Financing, which exclusively assists foreign students in the US and Canada.
What Requirements are Needed to Apply for a Loan?
You will most likely be required to provide the following information when applying for a loan:
- Proof of enrollment at a university in the U.S. or Canada
- A valid Visa
- Address in country of study
- And depending on your loan, a cosigner
- Admission letter from university/institution (proof of admission)
- Loan application form
- Passport size photographs
- Academic records (certificates and mark sheets)
- Resident proof of the student and the guarantor
- Statements of borrowers’ bank accounts (last one year)
- Income proof of the guarantor
To reduce risk for the lender, the majority of student loans call for cosigners or collateral.
The cosigner typically has to have strong credit and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
However, there are a few lending choices available for Nigerians without a cosigner or collateral, like MPOWER Financing and Prodigy Finance.
The loan alternatives that are accessible to you will depend on your degree program, educational background, and university ranking. Find out which loans your university suggests by doing some research.
What You Should Consider Before Choosing a Lender
International students looking for an education loan should thus search for firms that incorporate the aforementioned requirements into their programs.
When picking an education loan in Canada, there are a few factors to take into account.
Choose the best option after comparing your options: Compare all private loan catalogs to get the lowest interest rate you are eligible for to save money on interest.
Ask the lender whether they will accept late interest payments if there are extenuating circumstances. In case you have a customer service issue, be sure the lender is contactable by phone or email.
When doing your research a few items you will want to take note of include:
- The amount you can borrow
- The interest rate (including if it’s fixed or variable)
- The repayment period
- When and how your funds will be disbursed
How to Apply for a Student Loan in Three Steps
Like we mentioned earlier, there are things to consider before you choose a lender or organization that would provide you the money you need for your studies. To get you started you need to:
- Ensure you meet the requirements to receive a loan: The requirements differ depending on the company. Some lenders require you to provide a guarantor or co-signer, some companies do not require any. All that is required is that you have a good credit score and that you have done enough transactions with your account in the past one year
- Find the right lender or loan firm for you: This step is perhaps one of the most confusing. Choosing the right loan company from thousands that are available can be overwhelming. But we have made it very easy for you. You can choose from the two best options we listed on this page. Check out other loan companies here.
- The last step is to provide the required documents and then submit an application for a loan. The company officers will scrutinize the documents you provided and then relate to you whether or not you are qualified.
You will be informed about the interest rates (fixed or variable rate) and payback terms when your application has been conditionally accepted.
Your loan application will be authorized and cash will be disbursed after you accept the terms.
Normally, this takes six weeks. Before making any choices, you should carefully read the terms and conditions.
It might be quite difficult to comprehend. Before agreeing to receive your payments, seek advice from a professional if you have any questions.
What Should You Do If You Don’t Qualify for a Student Loan?
It doesn’t have to be difficult to figure out how you’re going to pay for college. If you’ve been turned down for a student loan, concentrate on establishing or repairing your credit and don’t be shy about asking for assistance from others around you.
Don’t be afraid to get in touch with the financial assistance office at your school if you’re still having issues. In addition to a tuition payment plan that enables you to pay your tuition bill in monthly installments, they could have other ideas to assist you in making payments. Don’t allow being denied a student loan ruin your college experience.
Review your Credit Score and Repayment Plan:
If your credit score does not meet standard, you could be rejected. So, ensure you build your credit score before applying and also choose a good repayment plan that is both comfortable for you and also the company.
You may quickly improve your credit health by keeping an eye on it and beginning with easy activities like making on-time payments and paying off your balances
Explore Other Options Like Scholarships, Grant, or Federal Loan:
Make sure you’ve explored all of your options for financing education before you even think about taking out a private student loan.
Make sure you’ve explored all of your free money possibilities, including federal student loans and college grants. Even though college planning might be intimidating, there are individuals and services that can help. Before you apply for a private student loan, speak with your counselor and make sure you’ve utilized all of your options.
Your application could be strengthened by a cosigner.
Consider a cosigner if you have little or no credit history. Last year, stats showed that applicants who had a reliable co-signer had a 3x higher chance of being accepted. One may enable you to receive a higher interest rate as 87% of the new student borrowers have one.
Loan Repayment Plan and Options for You
For Federal Loans
Pay As You Earn (PAYE) plan: This plan lengthens your term to 20 years while lowering your monthly payment to 10% of your discretionary income.
Plan Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE): Depending on whether you have graduate or undergraduate loans, this plan extends your term to 20 or 25 years and lowers your monthly payment to 10% of your discretionary income.
Plan for depending on income payback: Depending on when you started taking out loans, this plan decreases your monthly payment to 10% or 15% of your discretionary income and lengthens your term to up to 25 years.
Income-contingent repayment plan: Under this plan, your monthly payment will be 20% of your discretionary income or the amount you would pay under a 12-year repayment plan with a fixed payment. Your sentence is increased to 25 years.
Graduated payment schedule: Under this schedule, over the course of ten years, your payments increase every two years after starting out low. But it might last up to 30 years if you combine your debt.
A fixed or progressive payment over 25 years is available if you have more than $30,000 in unpaid direct loan balances.
Payment schedule for consolidation loans: If you consolidate your federal loans, you may be able to prolong your repayment schedule for up to 30 years.
For Private Loans
Sadly, private student loans do not offer these choices. However, you might be able to get in touch with your lender and discuss potential repayment plan modifications until you can afford your regular installments.
With these repayment plans, you may be able to lower your monthly payments, and with income-driven repayment plans, you may be eligible for forgiveness after your term of repayment is up.
All of them, however, will increase the amount of interest you pay over the course of your loan, and income-driven repayment plans will increase your payments over time as your income increases.