Universities 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:
- Find a cosigner.
- Enter your information into our comparison tool.
- Compare lenders.
- Apply online.
- Wait for pre-qualification.
- Complete your application.
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For 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.
Student loans are an integral part of college, especially in a country like the U.S. where tuition rates are sky high. However, international students are at a disadvantage when it comes to obtaining loans to help pay tuition. Federal loans are off the table and can only be acquired by citizens. However, more and more private loans are becoming available to international students. This is great news, as are some important benefits from obtaining student loans. Here are the benefits of student loans when you’re an international student:
- They Fill the Gap That Scholarships Cannot
If you’re studying internationally, hopefully you’ve scoured all available options for scholarships. Many universities will have opportunities for you, while some are known for being extremely generous to their international students. Getting your education fully funded is still unlikely unless you’re one of the absolute top students in your class.
Student loans aren’t merit based, so anyone attending an eligible school can potentially receive what they need to pay for school regardless of their grades. However, if you’re looking to go to school in the U.S., you’ll need a co-signer who’s either a permanent resident or a citizen. Your home country might also have some financial aid for international students; do a search for those.
Regardless, having to pay back loans is a lot less fun than receiving the money outright in a scholarship. Don’t fret – this brings us to the next benefit of student loans. Read the rest of this entry »
Once you have arrived to the US and begin settling into your new college environment, you may start to notice that most people do not carry around much cash. Almost everywhere, including parking meters, allow for the option of paying with a debit or credit card. For those international students who plan on staying a year or more, opening up a US bank account will make almost every aspect of your financial life a little bit easier.
Why Open Up an Account?
In the US, the norm has shifted from carrying a wallet full of bills to a wallet full of cards. However, having a bank account won’t just be convenient when it comes to your personal spending, but can be useful in paying for bills and cashing checks.
- Rent & Utilities: Although most students live on campus their first year, many tend to move off campus for their second. Off-campus housing means that you´ll be renting an apartment from a private owner that may have no affiliation with your university. Many off-campus residencies provide online portals for their tenants to be able to pay rent via the internet. Many gas and electric companies also utilize an online payment system. By having a bank account you’ll be able to make all of these payments quickly and easily.
- Cashing Loan Checks: Whether you will be receiving extra money from financial aid or you will have leftover money from your student loan, you will most likely receive it in the form of a check. With an account open, it will make the process of cashing these checks easier and give you a safe and secure location to keep it stored away.
- Getting Paid: For those of you who are planning to make some extra cash by working on campus, you will learn to love direct deposit. In the US most people receive two paychecks a month. With a bank account open you will be eligible to receive direct deposit, which means that rather than receiving your check then having to go into a bank to cash it, your money will go straight to your account on payday.
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The world of loans may seem intimidating at first glance, but by educating yourself it becomes a lot easier to manage. By using our Loan Comparison Tool your loan search will be narrowed down to provide you with lenders that work with your citizenship status and your school. Although, we make the process of finding a loan simpler, when it comes to comparing loans what is it that you should look at? Below are 3 key things to look for when comparing loans.
1. Low APR
APR stands for annual percentage rate; although, represented as a percentage it should not be confused with your loan’s interest rate. The APR is usually higher than the fixed or variable interest amount that the loan offers you, because in addition to the interest rate it takes into account additional fees (origination, disbursement, application), length of the deferment period, and how interest capitalizes. Often times lenders will provide you with an attractive interest rate, but not mention what fees may be found in the fine print. The usage of the APR system was required by the government to protect individuals from bad loan practices from banks. Your loan is a long term investment, so using the APR is a better way to quantify the real costs of loans and a lower percentage means the less you´ll be paying in the long run. Read the rest of this entry »
If you are a US student planning to directly enroll in a foreign university, one of the most important things to stay on top of are the deadlines. Having a solid timeline outlined for applications (university, financial aid, loans) will help ensure that you take advantage of all financial assistance at your disposal. If you have made the decision to take out a private student loan, make sure that you have exhausted all your other options: scholarships and savings (and FAFSA if you are a US student). The college application process can be overwhelming, but here are some key loan tips to help ease the stress.
1. Ask and You Shall Receive
Knowledge is power; the more informed you are the easier your decisions will be. Foreign universities may have a different system than what you are familiar with, so it is a good idea to get in contact with the financial aid department. Opening a line of communication with the school´s financial aid advisors can help you create a solid financial plan. You can normally find the financial advisors’ contact information published on the school website. Here are some ideas of what may be worth asking: Read the rest of this entry »
A crucial part of the education loan process is determining how much money you are going to borrow. Some students begin to run wild with the idea of receiving a loan check, but it is important to be conscious that a loan is not free money – you will have to pay it back. This being said, the less you borrow the better. There are many ways to minimize the amount that you will need to take out as a loan, but the first thing you should find out is your university´s cost of attendance (COA). Read the rest of this entry »
There are those of you about to enter into world of loan repayment who may have heard about this thing called loan consolidation. You think you have an idea of what it means, but just aren´t quite sure. Well don´t let the technical jargon throw you off. Here´s a nice little break down to start you off on the right track. First important fact, loan consolidation can be achieved through a federal or private lender.
Consolidation vs. Refinancing
When one speaks about consolidating loans, they are referring to combining multiple loans into one. This allows you to have one bill and one easy monthly payment. In comparison, when you refinance, rather than combining loans, you take out a new loan under new terms in order to pay off other existing loans. If looking to work with a federal lender, the only option is loan consolidation. However, if dealing with private lenders, you consolidate your loans into one easy monthly payment by refinancing; the goal being to ideally receive a lower interest rate under those new terms. Read the rest of this entry »
Are you interested in becoming a foreign enrolled student? Perhaps you’ve never heard the term; but, if you have dabbled with the idea of completing a full degree program outside the United States, then we’re talking to you. Those of you who have thought about applying to a foreign university, for a bachelor’s or master’s degree, may have been put off by the thought of how much it´s going to cost. What you may not be aware of, however, is that there are funding sources available to you. Here are some key resources to keep in mind when making plans to pay for a degree abroad. Read the rest of this entry »
Unlike scholarships and grants, student loans have to be paid back with interest. Therefore, you should always seek other “free” sources of funding before resorting to student loans. However, most students will require at least a small loan to cover the cost of their education, especially international students, whose funding sources are even more limited. But did you know that there are actually several benefits to taking out student loans? In this article, we will discuss five surprising ways student loans can help you.
1. Cover the Cost of your Education
Whether you need to cover just a few thousand dollars left over after a generous scholarship, or you have no outside funding and you need a loan for the entire cost of attendance, an international student loan can help pay for your education in the United States. Loans are especially helpful in covering a gap leftover after all the other various sources have been exhausted, but you can also take out a loan for the entire cost of attendance if you’re approved. If an American education seems out of reach financially, student loans can put it within your grasp.
2. Show Proof of Funds to Get a Visa
In order to get a student visa to study in the United States, you need to provide proof of funds. You may be able to use your loan to show the U.S. government that you have enough money to pay your tuition as well your daily living costs. While loans are not always accepted as a proof of funds, if you work with your school’s financial aid office as well as its Designated School Official (who assists with visas), your loan may help you get a visa. Read the rest of this entry »