International Student Loan
Sometimes what you hear about studying abroad is not exactly what you meet. Some students get admission to study abroad only to get there stranded. You don’t want to be like one of these. However, while it may not be easy to get loans like native students, you can get an international student loan without a cosigner. For example, the Mpower student loan for international students can provide you with a loan to study in the USA with no cosigner.
Getting a loan as a student isn’t as easy as you may have been told. However, you may find some private loans easy to access. But these easy loans restrict the amount you can receive while still charging higher interest. Besides, most will still require you to get a credit-worthy cosigner to access loans at a fair interest rate.
Because your cosigner must be a US or Canadian citizen, depending on your country of study, you may find it hard to get one. Yet a student loan cosigner makes it easy to access and qualify for loans with a lower interest rate.
So, we’ll disclose how you can get student loans as an international student with no consignor. But first, let’s lay down the building blocks for the topic. We need to answer some questions, like, is it impossible for international students to get loans?
Table of contents
- International Student Loan
- How Can I Get a Loan Without a Cosigner?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- We Also Recommend:
Can International Students get Loans?
Of course, International students can get loans to pay for college in the USA or Canada. It may be difficult to go about it, as we hinted above, but it is not impossible. However, getting an international student loan will depend on your noncitizen status and having a co-signer.
You will be able to access any loan – ranging from federal to private loans – in the USA as an international student if:
- You’re an eligible noncitizen: This is a noncitizen who indicates as “eligible noncitizen” on their FAFSA application and writes down their 8 to the 9-digit alien registration number (ARN). Also, when this student’s name and ARN are matched with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, it must come out clean. This status makes you eligible for Federal Aid, FAFSA, and other Federal aid.
- There’s a cosigner to sign for you: If you’re not an eligible noncitizen and have a student visa, find a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with good credit. If your co-signer has a credit score of 690 or higher, you can access private loans with competitive interest rates.
- Any private loan meets your need: If you can’t access Federal aid and have no US citizen cosigner, you can still get an international student loan. You only need to find a lender with products designed for International students.
How to Shop for an International Loan
So, now that you can get a loan as an international student studying in the USA or other parts of the world, what’s the next step?
The next step is the decision-making step. You must check the loan requirements you meet as an international student and decide how you’ll get a loan.
If you want to get right into a private loan, then you’ll have to do the following:
- Compare loan features. Your factor of comparison here is the interest rate. Look for and compare private international loan offers you qualify for with a good interest rate. Also, factor in the grace period for payment. Will the lender postpone payments if you have trouble paying them? How long can they postpone payments? Also, find out if origination, prepayment, or late fees exist. In addition, check how easily you can reach the lender by phone, email, or live chat if you encounter any issues.
- Settle for a fixed interest rate. Some lenders offer you fixed interest, while some offer variable interest rates. If a lender gives you a choice to pick one, however, pot for the fixed interest rate. Because a fixed interest rate won’t increase over time, it is a safer bet than a variable interest rate.
- Visualize the bottom line. It is best to weigh the cost and benefits before taking any loan. You should factor this in while getting your international student loan. Utilize a loan calculator to see what kind of payment you’ll face after borrowing for multiple years.
We’ll state again that only very few private loans are internationally students friendly. Most will require you to have a cosigner. So, the question now is:
Why do International Students Need Cosigners?
Every system has its requirements. In your home country, you may not have heard about cosigners before. But in the USA, you need a cosigner as an international student, and here are the reasons for this.
Poor credit score and credit history
Every lender wants to be certain you can pay back the loan they are giving you. So, how do they know if you’ll be able to repay your loan as and when due? This is where credit score and credit history come in. You must have been borrowing for a long time for a high credit score and credit history. But you’re an international student in the USA trying to get a loan for maybe the first time. You see now that your lender would find it hard to trust you to repay your debt.
Insufficient Students Income
Let’s face it, how much are you earning while studying? You may not be working at all as it is, but your private loan lender requires you to receive income if they give you a loan. This is an assurance to them that they’ll get their money back. However, you may not have acquired all the required skill sets from college that big employers need. However, you may be working while studying, but the lender may not be satisfied with your income.
Very High-Interest Rates
Some students manage to be creditworthy – especially if they’ve stayed in the country they’re studying for a long. They may also have sufficient income to service the loan repayment, however. But then there’s a new challenge – high-interest rates. The private lender doesn’t want to lose in any way, so they may make up for your loan insecurity by charging you a much higher interest rate. You may be able to repay the loan even with the high interest, but in the long run, it could be very detrimental and limit your repayment options.
You may want to know how to repay your loans quickly. See our 7 Practical Tips On How to Pay Off Your Student Loans very fast.
With all these limitations, you then see why you need a cosigner. The creditworthy US citizen cosigner will turn the table around for you, and you’ll get the best loan to pay for your schooling.
Requirements Cosigner Must Meet
So, you decide you like the idea of cosigners. The next step is finding one. This can prove not easy because the private lender requires the cosigner to possess the following:
- Good Credit Score and Credit History. You need a cosigner in the first place for this reason – to provide additional security on your loan. Therefore, your cosigner must prove they can pay for you if needed. However, the lender gets this proof from the cosigner’s credit history and score. You’ll be looking for a cosigner with a credit score of 690 and above for full cover.
- US Citizenship or Permanent Resident. Getting a US citizen or permanent resident to cosign your student loan is usually challenging for international students. This is because you are new to town and may not know enough of this kind of people to trust you enough to cosign for you.
- A Stable Source of Income. This is a vital requirement for cosigners. They must not have an income source that fluctuates. The private lender usually asks your cosigner for recent pay stubs to prove they can make payments.
- The Willingness to Cosign a Loan on Your Behalf. Again, this boils down to trust. How will you get a US citizen who may not be your family or relation to signing on your behalf? Cosigners are usually careful to agree to cosign on an international student’s behalf. This is because their credit will be hurt if the international student fails to make the necessary payments on the loan. Not very many people won’t mind taking this risk.
Finding a Loan Cosigner as an International Student
Are you asking yourself if it is possible even to get a cosigner after reading all these? Oh yes, you can get a cosigner relentless of the limitations. Here’s what you need to do:
Get Family or Friends to Cosign
If you decide to study abroad, choosing a location where you have close family or friends is best. Thus, if you’ve chosen to study in the U.S. or Canada, ensure you have friends or family there and that they are citizens or permanent residents. You may also want to check that they have good credit history and are willing to sign for your loan. International and permanent students studying in the USA mostly use family and friends to help cosign their loans.
Enquire About University Alumni Associations
Some universities are very considerate of international students’ plight in acquiring loans. These universities have programs to help you with the dilemma of getting a loan with a cosigner. These programs involve alumni who may have been in your shoes before but are now based in the US. Thus, it will be easier for them to offer to cosign private loans for students who show commitment and academic promise. It may be worth checking out this option before applying to a US, Canada, and abroad university.
Consider an Online Loan Cosigner Matchup
While you may not be able to find a family or friend who meets the cosigning requirements, several people are willing to cosign for international students. The only problem is you can’t find them. Fortunately, the internet makes things easy for all of us. You can search for cosigners who are willing to cosign on your behalf online. You can search on social media platforms or use the more trusted Cosigner Finder website. Check the link below!
This post is not about finding cosigners for your international student loan. And, of course, finding a cosigner isn’t easy. So, you need to eliminate the cosigner and still get the loan. Your next question now is:
How Can I Get a Loan Without a Cosigner?
So, you can get a loan as an international student but may need a cosigner to do that. What you need to know now is that, yes, you can also get good loans with no cosigner. Here’s how:
Private Loan Through an Online Lender
Even though several private lenders require you to get a cosigner, some don’t require cosigners. These private lenders mostly operate online and specifically target international students and others who may have trouble qualifying for a loan or getting a cosigner.
Here are the best private loans you can get as an international student studying in the USA or Canada with no cosigner:
This private lender is new, and they offer student loans for international students who are attending college in the USA or Canada. MPOWER Financing began operation in 2016 and is based in Washington, D.C. The unique feature of this private loan option is that it doesn’t require cosigners, credit history, or collateral. Students of more than 190 nationalities can get loans through MPOWER.
Also, it offers a fixed interest rate for loans from $2,001 to $50,000 on a 10-year repayment term. You can also opt for interest-only payments for the first six months after graduation. This wonderful option will help you pay for tuition and/or other education-related expenses.
Additionally, MPOWER students loan factors in the school you will attend, your expected graduation date, grades and scores, and internship experience. They do this to protect their investment. MPOWER students loan also look at future earnings. Thus it monitors whether the student you are taking on too much debt.
See also our 15 USA Scholarships for Cameroonians 2023 if you wish to study in the U.S.
Mpower’s student loan process may sound lengthy, but you can get an initial approval response in about 15 minutes. However, you’ll have to provide the necessary information they need for their loan formula. Also, MPOWER offers courses on financial literacy to help you manage your finances if you take advantage of them.
This lender is specifically designed for international students and others who may have difficulty obtaining a private or federal loan in the US. Stilt also gives loans to immigrants, including international students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) holders. If you can’t get a cosigner, Stilt offers loans with competitive interest rates starting at 7.99%.
Stilt is one of the top picks because they list very few qualification requirements. Also, the loan process is quick with Stilt. You can receive a decision within 24 hours after completing the application. Meanwhile, Stilt doesn’t partner with universities, meaning you can apply irrespective of your college.
See also our Top 10 USA Scholarships for Zimbabwe Students, 2023, if you’re a Zimbabwean wishing to study in the U.S.
Stilt used to be the only option if you wanted to refinance your international student loan without a cosigner. But not anymore. However, you can also start building credit with a Stilt loan.
This lender offers private student loans to international students with no cosigner needed. Prodigy was founded by three MBA students in 2007. These students saw the need for education loan options for overseas students studying MBA in the USA. This makes the loan suitable for international students acquiring an MBA degree.
However, Prodigy doesn’t use the traditional model for determining risk with borrowers. It uses a “borderless model” to determine your potential and other factors beyond a credit approval approach. Their loan is available to students in 150 countries, and you can get loan approval in about 30 minutes.
International students can get a postgrad student loan with Prodigy or refinance an existing loan. Also, Prodigy gives you six months of grace after you graduate before you start repaying your debt.
See Also our 20 USA Scholarships for Zambian Students 2023 if you’re a Zambian wishing to study in the U.S.
However, to be eligible, you must meet Prodigy’s requirements, including living in a country that Prodigy services. Also, you must gain acceptance into an eligible school, and program Prodigy supports – an abroad school.
Sadly, Prodigy’s selected universities are highly ranked universities, and there’s a restriction on the areas of study the loan covers. Also, the loans originate from a U.K.-based entity, and the repayments are not reported to credit bureaus in the U.S.
Additional Financial Aid for International Students
Well, it’s all about not getting stranded abroad as an international study student. While you can get private loans with no cosigner, they are not your only option for funding your study abroad.
Here are additional means of funding your study abroad as an international student.
This may be the first option for any student as they offer no credit check, a large amount of funding, and more flexible repayment modes. However, international students do not qualify for federal loans because you must have a green card to get this kind of financial aid. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) anyway. This is because your FAFSA will be used to determine your eligibility for any financial aid provided by your state or public college.
Private and Academic Scholarships
Scholarships are very common for students studying in any part of the world – the USA, Europe, Australia, Asia, and even Africa. There are scholarships by subject and scholarships for developing countries. You are qualified for some scholarships by simply applying for a school. Kiiky.com also saves you time scouring the internet for scholarships. Check out our scholarships for International Students!
Take advantage of scholarships, as some are fully funded while others will provide you with assistance for tuition alone.
Family and Personal Savings
Even though paying college tuition outright is the best option, you may not have enough resources to achieve this. Therefore, before planning to study abroad, try to get the estimated cost of your study and save it. This may not be easy for you so you may involve your family members. Ask for their support and also extend to your friends as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
A cosigner is most times needed when someone with a low to no income applies for a loan. Getting a loan as a student without a cosigner can be very difficult because federal student loans and some private student loans offer no cosigner student loans.
There are private education loans available to international students studying in the US. However, only US students studying in the US are eligible for federal student loans.
Most student loans that don’t require a cosigner are federal student loans. To apply for these, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by visiting their website, fafsa.ed.gov.
To get an international student loan program, a student must get a cosigner who is a US citizen or US permanent resident with good credit and who has lived in the US for the past two years.
It is possible to get loans as an international student to study in the USA, the UK, Canada, Europe, or any part of the world. However, you may not be able to meet the requirements of these loans, of which getting a good cosigner is one.
Again, yes, you can get a loan as an international student in the USA or Canada without a cosigner. This is possible by taking advantage of private online lenders like MPOWER, Stilt, and Prodigy to get students loan. Read these options carefully to decide which loan suits your needs best.
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