How to Compare Student Loan Options
September 25th, 2016 by Lette Berhe

compareHave you already checked out our International Student Loan Comparison Tool, but realized that you weren’t exactly sure how to compare the results given? Deciding which loan is the right one for you can feel a little overwhelming, but here is a cheat sheet on how to compare your different loan options and choose the best one!

Now, before jumping into the loan jargon here are some basic questions you should ask yourself in order to compare loans efficiently:

⦁ Do I plan to work and study at the same time?
⦁ Do I want to get a Master’s?
⦁ Do I want to make loan payments while I am studying or begin repayment once I have graduated?

You may not have a clear answer for these question at the moment, but if you do these questions will you give you some extra insight on which loan conditions are right for you.

  1. Interest Rates: Variable or Fixed?
    Interest rates are the part of taking out a loan that everyone hates, so if you can get the best deal you’ll feel very satisfied. When you apply for a loan, you are asked if you want a variable or fixed interest rate and the distinction is very important.
    • Variable: A variable rate means exactly that, the interest rate on your loan varies and changes over time. This is considered somewhat of a gamble because if the economy changes, your interest rate can either decrease or increase.⦁
    • Fixed: Most people automatically go with a fixed interest rate because its stable and, therefore, stays the same as long as your loan exists. A fixed rate makes it easier for you to calculate your monthly payments, which in turn allows you to organize your finances. In essence, it gives you more control from day 1.
  2. Repayment Schedule
    When choosing the details of your repayment, is when the previous questions could come in handy. It is important to know if you have the option to defer (postpone) payments until after you have finished your studies or if you have to begin repayment as soon as you sign your name. Here are 3 of the most common repayment schedules and what they mean:

    • Standard Repayment: Standard repayment usually gives you a 10-year limit to pay off your loan. During those 10 years you have a fixed monthly amount, and the lender usually requires a minimum monthly payment.
    • Extended Repayment: Extended repayment is similar to standard repayment, in that you have fixed monthly payments. However, you have the option to pay back your loan between 12-30 years. This of course lowers your monthly payments, but it is important to remember that the lender will be charging you interest during this time. Although you may have lower monthly payments, more payments means more interest which means more money paid over time.
    • Graduated Repayment: With a graduated repayment schedule, the idea is that you start off paying a specific monthly payment and that this amount is readjusted (increases) every 2 years. The repayment timeline given is usually 12-30 years.
  3. Special Conditions and Additional Fees
    You may have heard the term deferment thrown around when talking about loans and you may know that it means postponing your loan payments. When taking out a private student loan you must be careful with the fine print. Although deferment exists, with private student loans it might be a little bit trickier. Many times, in the fine print is where you will find a multitude of hidden fees that can come back to haunt you later. Here are a few fees to keep an eye out for:

    • Deferment
    • Paying off your loan early
    • Penalties for late payments

For more information on what to take into consideration when choosing a loan check out our post ¨What International Student Loan is Right for Me?¨


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.


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 »


STEM Students and the OPT Program at Risk
April 19th, 2016 by Lette Berhe

stem and optIn August 2015, the US federal court ruled against the validity of  the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 2008 regulation update for the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. However, the court gave the DHS until February 10,  2016,  to begin the implementation of necessary changes. In January 2016, the court extended the date for implementation until May 10, 2016. What does this really mean for internationals students? Let’s break it down.

What is Optional Practical Training?
Optional Practical Training, or OPT as it is commonly referred to, is a program that was created to provide international students with the opportunity to extend their visas to gain 1 year of US work experience in a professional setting that is directly related to their field of study. This work experience can be achieved either while they are completing their studies or post graduation. Read the rest of this entry »


5 Ways Student Loans Can Help You
September 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel

Hand countdown 451879017Unlike 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 »


Want to find a student loan – compare now!
August 26th, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel

Young businesswoman writing pros and cons comparison concept.493247075Some of you may have already started school, while others of you will beginning in the next couple of weeks. If you still need help funding your education, student loans are still available. If you are considering applying for a student loan, it’s important that you compare your options to find the one that is right for you. To help you do this, we would like to present you with a list of things to consider when comparing student loans: Read the rest of this entry »


LIVE HANGOUT TOMORROW: Finding Your Study Abroad Loan
August 14th, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel

search for a place to stay163647189If you are a US citizen or permanent resident planning to study abroad, there are study abroad loans for you too! Join us LIVE tomorrow for our next hangout on-air, where Bryanna Davis will help you when it comes to Finding Your Student Abroad Loan.

Discussion will cover:

Join us tomorrow, August 15, 2014, at 11:00 am EST, on our Google Hangout!

This hangout will focus on US citizens and permanent residents who are either doing a short-term study abroad program through their home university, of through another university in the US, as well as US students enrolling in a degree program overseas.

Be sure to get your questions ready as we’ll be answering them live on air. Do you have questions to ask? View our Google Hangout now and ask your questions now!

Ask Your Questions

This FREE hangout will start tomorrow at 11:00 am EST so mark your calendars!


Did you miss our live hangout on Finding Your Study Abroad Loan? You can watch it here:

For this and other great videos, check out our Featured Financial Aid Videos here.


Third and Final Chance to Win $100 in our Financial Aid Fun Contest
July 18th, 2014 by Victoria Troupe

This is it! We’ve announced two lucky winners in our Financial Aid Fun Contest so far, and there’s still one more chance! Here is the 3rd and final question to answer correctly in order to be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card!

 

Question #3

“What percentage of international students rely on personal or family support to fund their education in the US?”

Need a hint? Click here for the answer!

Congrats to our Winner:

Bò Bụ Bẫm

How do I enter and win?

Simply add us on Facebook or Twitter.  Just submit the correct answer to the question by posting it on your feed and tagging us, posting it on our page, or submitting it directly on this blog as a comment below. We’ll announce the winner next Thursday, July 24. This is the final question for our Financial Aid Fun Contest this year, but you’ll have another chance next year! Also, be sure the check our blog and social media outlets for new, fun contests and information that can help you fund your international education!

This opportunity is brought to you by InternationalStudent.com, the premier resource for students studying internationally and, your’s truly, International Student Loan. Remember, now is the time to apply for an International Student Loan if you need one. See if you’re eligible here.


Second Chance to Win $100 in our Financial Aid Fun Contest
July 11th, 2014 by Victoria Troupe

This contest is so exciting! We’ve already announced our winner of last week’s drawing. Now here’s chance number 2 to win in our Financial Aid Fun Contest! Here is the #2next question to answer correctly in order to be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card!

 

Question #2

“What is your favorite page on InternationalStudentLoan.com?”

And the Winner of $100 is: Sunshine Darling

 http://www.internationalstudentloan.com/resources/making-a-repayment-plan.php

“This is the first time I have visited this website and I am completely impressed by the post in the link below. It dawns on me about things I have to do when it’s time for me to pay back the loan which enables me to study abroad. I have harbored the dream of learning in other countries especially European ones for a long time. However, I find it hard to get 100% scholarship, which makes my hope somehow faded away. The information your website gives me is extremely precious to me. Now, my belief comes back and I eventually work out what I have to do for my future.”
View Question #3 here.

How do I enter and win?

Simply add us on Facebook or Twitter.  Just submit the correct answer to the question by posting it on your feed and tagging us, posting it on our page, or submitting it directly on this blog as a comment below. We’ll announce the winners the next Thursday, July 17. Don’t worry if the winner is not you. A new question will be announced the following Friday – there are three questions and three chances to win during the three weeks of the contest!

This opportunity is brought to you by InternationalStudent.com, the premier resource for students studying internationally and, your’s truly, International Student Loan. Remember, now is the time to apply for an International Student Loan if you need one. See if you’re eligible here.


4 Steps To Take Before Applying For Student Loans
July 3rd, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel

Ladder of Success470849445Deciding how you are going to pay for college is never as exciting as completing the initial applications or sifting through acceptance letters, but needless to say, it’s still an  important of  the college process.  After other forms of funding have been paid out, loans are used to “cover the gap” and provide the extra funding you need to finance your education, but it’s important to remember these 4 Steps To Take Before Applying For Student Loans.

Step #1 – Fill Out A FAFSA

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which basically offers  government money for students to attend school – none of which need to be paid back! Needless to say, the less money you need to borrow on your student loan, the better. This only applies to US citizens and permanent residents. If you are an international student on a F-1, J-1 or M-1, please proceed to step #2. Read the rest of this entry »