Student Loan opportunities for International Students in the US are hardly available to international students. And when you consider how much you will likely pay for tuition and the cost of studying in the U.S. It becomes glaring why every international student needs that extra financial aid.
They are so many companies in the U.S. that are open to providing students with loans for their studies. But then, you will find fewer companies willing to lend international students any money. This is understandable giving that the international student is only in the country for a short period and barely has any credit history or cosigner to support their case.
One of the basic requirements to obtain a loan from a company in the U.S. is that you get a cosigner who is either a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.
This would provide the lender a level of security and assurance that they will be paid regardless of whether the borrower can afford to pay back or leaves the U.S. This is has been a barrier for many students who do not have a family member or friend in the U.S.
Student Loan Opportunities for International Students in the US
You may still be eligible for a loan as a noncitizen. Applying for a Federal Student Loan might just be the lifeline you need to pursue a degree in the U.S. You can apply for Federal Student Aid through the FAFSA.
Here you can obtain grants, scholarships, and work-study as well as loans with low-interest rates with an income-driven repayment option plus forgiveness programs. But you have to meet certain requirements to be considered an eligible noncitizen.
Eligible International Students for the FAFSA program
Applicants must be:
- A U.S. citizen including natives of American Samoa or Swains Island
- Permanent residents with a valid green card
- Those who have arrived or departed from the U.S. with the following status refugee; asylum granted; Cuban-Haitian Entrant; Conditional Entrant issued before April 1, 1980; or parolee.
- Applicants who hold T nonimmigrant status, or whose parents do;
- Those who fall under the category of “battered immigrant-qualified aliens or children of someone designated as such
If you do not fall under any of these categories to qualify for a federal student loan, you have the option to apply for a private student loan.
In this case, you’d have to find a cosigner who has a good credit score of 690 or above, and then you could have a good chance of getting a loan. There are still companies in the U.S. that are willing to provide you loans without having to provide a cosigner, you can read more about that here…
Another option you could try is to find a lender with loan products designed for international students.
How to pick the best students loan
To know which loan option is best for you, you’d have to compare private international loan offers to get the lowest interest rate as well as a good refinancing option.
How much time are they willing to allow you for repayment? Also, find out the penalties for delayed or late payments in case you have trouble paying them back. How easily can you reach the lender and the quality of the customer service?
Go for a fixed interest rate plan. In case of late payment or any other issues that may arise you will need a fixed interest rate that won’t increase over time.