5 Reasons to Apply for an International Student Loan
August 24th, 2016 by Lette Berhe

5

Once your university application process is over, a huge weight is lifted because you finally know what school you are going to attend. However, you then remember that there is another waiting game, which is waiting to find out how much money you will receive in financial aid, scholarships, etc. Many people do not even consider taking out a loan, because they feel that the combination of their savings and possible financial aid should be enough. For some this may be true, but for many financial aid never seems to be quite as much as they were expecting. Keep in mind that if you don’t use up everything you take out with an international student loan you can start paying it back right away; this way, you will feel debt free a lot sooner. If you are not sure whether or not to apply for an international student loan, below are 5 reasons why you should reconsider!

  1. Housing
    Many universities require first-year international students to live in on-campus housing. Although on-campus housing may prove to be convenient, it can sometimes be a bit more expensive than renting a room or apartment from a private landlord. If you are struggling to receive any financial aid, taking out an international student loan can help you make sure that you have your most basic needs covered and the money you have saved up can be used for leisure activities, which you will want to take advantage of especially if you’re in a new city.
  2. Books/Lab Costs
    Similarly, the cost of books and tuition may actually surprise you once the semester starts. Each university normally gives an estimated amount of how much a student will be spending on books and materials; however, the real amount varies greatly on your major. Depending on what classes are required for your major, you may have extra materials and fees if you are required to register for courses with a lab section.
  3. Unexpected Costs
    Moving away from home for college is a big step for everyone, but when this move also includes moving to a different country it can be a lot more intimidating. When moving away, the best way to manage your money is by creating a budget system; however, there will always be some surprises along the way. It is always a good idea to have some money set aside for unexpected costs, which can include problems with housing, a cell phone bill, or other housing bills you may not have considered. Although you may have enough money saved, it is nice to have some extra so that if something unexpected occurs you will be stress free.
  4. Flights Home
    One expense that is easy to forget about is the cost of flying back home. If you don’t include possible flights home into your budget, when the holidays come around you may find yourself scraping together pennies to be able to buy a flight home. In addition, being able to buy flights in advance is always better, because prices will always go up during the holiday seasons.
  5. Emergency Money
    Although we have already mentioned putting money aside for unexpected costs, there are certain types of situations that really cannot be predicted. It is highly probable that you will be required to pay for and receive health coverage by your university, and although an initial consultation will be covered anything beyond that you may have to pay out of pocket. Rather than be surprised by the possible cost of medical services it is a good idea to have money set aside specifically for that.

Ready to start looking for a student loan? Check out our international student loan comparison tool which will make the search much easier! 


How to Slash Food Costs in College
August 15th, 2016 by Anum Yoon

food costs

If you are currently planning to be a college student in the U.S. or if you already attend a U.S. college, you have probably thought about one of the most important expenses that all students face — food.

Feeding yourself in college can be a challenge, especially if you’re new to living independently. You have to plan when you’re going to eat and where your meal is going to come from. You also need to determine how you intend to pay for it — all while still trying to remain healthy so you can keep up with a demanding schedule and course load.

So how can you not only effectively plan to eat, but also pay for it? Here are some tips:

Read the rest of this entry »


Applying for a Loan: The Ins and Outs
August 5th, 2016 by Lette Berhe

checklistIf this is the first time you are applying for a loan, the process may be intimidating. However, beginning the process with some background knowledge will not only help you feel more comfortable, but potentially speed up the process. Whether you are applying for a study abroad loan or international student loan, here are 3 important tips to make applying for a loan a piece of cake.

  1. Calculate Your School’s Cost of Attendance – If you are taking out a private student loan, you will be asked to provide information about the school you will be attending. Make sure you have all the contact information for your chosen university such as: the name, address, school term, major, etc. For a private student loan, the lender will cross check to make sure that your requested amount does not exceed your school’s cost of attendance (COA). Although your school’s COA is the maximum amount you will be eligible for, remember that you will be paying it all back so if you can take out less, it’s better to take out only what you need.
  2. Have Your Co-Signer Ready – A co-signer is essential for all international students applying for an international student loan. However, a co-signer can be useful for US citizens applying for a study abroad loan as well. When you decide to study abroad you may not have enough of a credit history established, which shows lenders that they can’t  trust you to pay them back. This is why a co-signer is so important. This person, in essence, fills out the application with you and gives the lender a guarantee that if you are unable to make your loan payments he/she will take the responsibility. Choosing a co-signer with good credit can also work in your favor, allowing you to receive better interest rates from the lender.
  3. Collect All of Your Financial Documents – When applying for a loan you are asking for money and before a lender decides to approve your application they need to have a good idea of your financial standings. As mentioned above, you will probably need a co-signer so it is important to have all of you financial documents and that of your co-signer available. If you or your co-signer have filed taxes, having that information on hand will make the application process easier. The breakdown of financial information that you normally will be asked to provide includes: gross income, do you rent or own, monthly housing payments, etc.

Ready to start your loan search? Let us make it easier for you with our International Student Loan Comparison Tool.


Cosigner 101: How to Get A Cosigner
July 21st, 2016 by Lette Berhe

cosignerAs an international student applying for a study abroad loan, one of the key things you will need to have is a cosigner. Don’t really know what a cosigner is? Not to worry, here is a breakdown of  what a cosigner is, their role, and the best way to get one.

What is a Cosigner?
When applying for an international student loan, lenders need to evaluate your financial background and stability before approving your application. This means that they need to make sure that you will pay them back. However, because you are an international student you do not have a financial record in the US for lenders to look up. This is where a cosigner becomes an important part of the international student loan process.

A cosigner is someone who signs your loan application with you and by doing so says, ¨If Maria cannot make her loan payments, for whatever reason, I will take over the responsibility and make the payments on her behalf.¨ A cosigner signs this legal document which states that they will take on the responsibility of your debt if you cannot. Read the rest of this entry »


No Cosigner International Student Loans are Now Available at Select Schools
July 12th, 2016 by Bryanna Davis

money in bank-515705750We’re excited to announce that a no cosigner international student loan is now available to international students! International Student Loan has partnered with MPower Financing to offer the no cosigner loan to students attending a few select colleges and universities in the US. To qualify, you must be enrolled at one of the select schools in a graduate program, or within two years of graduation from an undergraduate program. Instead of evaluating the credit history of a cosigner, the no cosigner approval process will review your academic success and career potential. Although international students may not have any US based financial history, many have worked hard to create tremendous opportunity for themselves, and are a good risk for a loan. The no cosigner loan was created with these students in mind.

Conventional international student loans require a US cosigner, so the loan company has someone to look to for repayment of the loan if you default. Even domestic US students applying for a private student loan almost always need a cosigner, as students generally lack credit history. Many students either cannot find a cosigner, or would prefer not to involve a family member or friend in their financial life if at all possible. With the no cosigner loan, you are solely responsible for repayment of the loan plus all interest, and your interest rate will be fixed somewhere between 7.99% and 13.99%, competitive with conventional co-signer loans though a bit higher.

Applying for the no cosigner loan takes less than 10 minutes and upon approval the funds are released directly to your university. These funds can then be used towards educational expenses like tuition, housing, meal plans and health insurance. Students from 180 countries (including the US) are eligible to apply.

The no cosigner loan will not be a solution for everyone, as most US colleges and universities are not yet eligible. The fastest way to check eligibility for any international student loan, including the no cosigner loan, is to complete the loan comparison on the homepage of International Student Loan. In just a few seconds, you’ll see the options available to you as an international student at your school.

If your school is not eligible for the no cosigner loan, and you want more information about whether the program is a good fit for your college or university, please send us a note.


Study Abroad Loans Can Help You See The World
July 6th, 2016 by Lette Berhe

see the worldFor most American students taking out a loan to pay for college is a given, but many students do not consider the possibility of using the money to help them studying abroad to enrich their college experience. If a study program has not been on your radar, it may be time to reconsider. In today’s globalized world, studying abroad is becoming an important investment.

What many students are unaware of is that many study abroad programs are sponsored by their university. What this means is that if you choose to study abroad for a semester or for the entire year, that time abroad is considered part of your ¨normal¨ college tuition. This is great because you will be able to use all of your financial aid during your time abroad. What normally happens, however, is that study abroad expenses add up quickly with the cost of tuition, books, transportation, travel fees, and living expenses. Due to this, all of your financial aid may not be enough, especially taking into consideration that you probably will not be working or have a stable income while you are abroad. If you financial aid is not enough then a study abroad loan can help. Below are 3 reasons why you should take out a study abroad loan and travel overseas! Read the rest of this entry »


What You´ll Need to Make Your Loan Application a Breeze
June 21st, 2016 by Lette Berhe

education moneySummer is now in full swing and most of you probably have already made your final decision on what university you will be attending for the 2016-2017 academic year. For those of you who haven’t officially accepted enrollment, be sure to do that as soon as possible! Although you have now finished with all your college applications, the next step is starting your loan application. Do not fret! It may sound daunting, but here´s a break down of what information you’ll need to make your loan application a breeze.

  1. How Much Money You Want to Take Out
    Before you can even dive in to begin figuring out which loan is the right fit for you, you´ll need to know how much you are going to take out. Although it does require some planning and number crunching, having this amount ready to go before you start looking at different lenders will make your decision process a lot easier and could save you money. Now you may be asking yourself, ¨how much should I borrow?¨ The key is to try and borrow the amount that you will realistically need and not an excessive amount. When receiving your student loan it may seem like it´s free money, but you must remember that it is not! If you borrow more money than you need your monthly payments will be higher, any financial aid you were given may be reduced, and you may be in debt longer than you would like. When calculating how much to take out as a loan, take into consideration the following: your university´s cost of attendance, funds in the case of an emergency, unexpected expenses, possible income, and how much money you have saved up.
  2. Your Personal Information
    Now a days most lenders have made filling out your loan applications simpler, by allowing you to fill it out and submit it online. However, to speed up the process it is best to sit in front of your computer with all the information you’ll need right off the bat. This will prevent you from having to pause filling out the application to go in search of missing information. Below is a list of what personal information you should have prepared.

      • University name, address, and telephone number
      • Your major, year (freshman, sophomore, etc.), school term
      • Your current home address and telephone numbers
      • Housing information: rent or own, monthly payment amount
      • Gross income
      • Personal References: name, occupation, relationship, contact information
  3. A Cosigner
    Having a cosigner on a student loan application is usually reserved for and required for non-US citizens, however US citizens or permanent residents can also benefit from adding a cosigner to their application. A cosigner is a person who joins your loan application and legally agrees to take responsibility for your loan payments in the event that you are unable to pay them. For international students, who are non-US citizens planning to attend a US university, having a co-signer is required. However, US citizens or permanent residents can choose to add a cosigner in order to increase their chances of loan approval and to receive better interest rates.Because your cosigner must be a US citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) you will need to have their personal information on hand such as name, address, telephone number, and social security number. It is important to inform your cosigner that they may have to log in themselves to fill out and sign a part of the loan application.

Read the rest of this entry »


Apply Now for International Student Loans!
June 1st, 2016 by Jennifer Frankel

student loanUniversities throughout the United States welcome ten of thousands of international students to their campuses every year. Going to school in the United States can be an extremely rewarding experience, but paying for it can be a challenge. Most students rely on several funding sources, such as scholarships, grants, family, personal savings, and finally, student loans. Many American students rely on government loans, but these are not available for international students. Fortunately, there are many international student loans available from private lenders.

By using our comparison tool, you can immediately see what lenders are available depending upon what school you plan to attend. You can then apply immediately online. Follow these steps to get the process started. Follow these easy steps to apply online now:

  1. Find a cosigner.
  2. Enter your information into our comparison tool.
  3. Compare lenders.
  4. Apply online.
  5. Wait for pre-qualification.
  6. Complete your application.

Read the rest of this entry »


Loan Grace Period: Grace Has Left The Building
May 19th, 2016 by Lette Berhe

calendarFor recent college graduates, between the celebrations, the job hunt, and just simply enjoying summer, you may have put thoughts of your student loans on the back burner. You may have remembered that your loan qualified for a grace period , but can´t remember exactly how long it was and don´t know how to enter into the world of loan repayments. Here are some tips to get you started on the right foot!

Double-check Your Calendar
Although, you haven´t been stressed about repaying your loans, the minimum grace period allotted tends to be about 6 months so your repayment season is more than likely approaching. Remember that lenders consider you a responsible adult who now has a debt to pay. This means you should not wait for them to contact you! If you´ve pushed your loans out of your mind for a while, now is the time to do all your research. To find out how long your grace period really is you can do the following:

  • Read your loan promissory note:
    Don´t remember what that is? Your loan promissory note is the contract you signed at the very beginning promising that you would repay your loan. It holds detailed information about your loan amount, the grace period, and the repayment plan you originally chose.
  • Contact your lender: Can´t seem to find your promissory note or feeling a little overwhelmed looking over the paperwork?  Whatever the case remember that your lender is only a phone call away. Don´t hesitate to take the time to contact your lender directly to discuss the details.

Research Your Options
Your promissory note may be a signed contract, but this does not mean that everything is set in stone. In general, lenders want to be paid back. What does this mean? It means that they are usually willing to work with you from the beginning to ensure that you will make on-time payments. The grace period you are given is meant to give you time to find work and establish yourself after graduating. However, things don´t always work out just the way we planned. If your financial situation isn´t where you would like it to be you have some options:

  • Extend your grace period or request deferment: Not all lenders or loans provide this option, but it is worth looking into. If you are unemployed or going through financial hardship, it is possible that your lender will give you a little extra time. Depending on your lender, this can be considered an extension on your current grace period or fall under the category of deferment, a postponement of your loan payments. Being aware of what option they offer you is important, because you may only be eligible to request it once.
  • Review your repayment plan:
    As previously mentioned, all the details of your loan are spelled out on your promissory note. If financially you aren’t where you would like to be, but you think you can still begin to make payments, another option is to try and switch repayment plans. Lenders are aware that your originally chosen repayment plan may not fit your current situation and will be able to help you choose a better option.

By following these two steps you will be fully informed and ready to jump into the world of loan repayment. Take the time to do your research and don´t be afraid to ask questions. It is better to go into loan repayment fully prepared so that you never have to miss a payment!

For more information regarding your student loans, be sure to check out our International Student Loan Advice section.


How U.S. Colleges Work to Support Their International Students
May 13th, 2016 by Anum Yoon

international student support

Going to college is tough. Going to college in another country is even tougher. But if that means studying in one of the best schools the U.S. has to offer, why not take the chance?

Besides, most U.S. colleges are pretty accommodating of international students. Aside from the usual student support programs (like mentorships, meal plans and on-campus employment), they also offer these services tailored specifically to students from outside the U.S.

Read the rest of this entry »