So much of life is made up of the choices you make and loan repayment is no different. Making the right choice when you take out your loan makes a big difference when you have to make those repayments.
Knowledge is power and the more you know about these choices the better prepared you will be to fulfill you loan obligations.
Your lender’s specific terms will be determined by the type loan you select and your individual circumstances.
Note that lenders have put in place specific programs to assist students during the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you currently have a loan and are worried about repayment, or if you’d like further information on the measures in place, read more about that in this post.
Broadly speaking, repayment terms vary in response to three different factors:
How much will the monthly payments be?
When will payments begin?
How long students may be able to defer paying back the loan?
And in general there are three main loan repayment types available to international students.
Although the differences between these three options can seem complicated, taking the time to understand and make an informed choice at the outset can save students from a lot of uncertainty and worry in the long term.
immediate repayment loan
full defferral loan
interest only loan
Students with this arrangement are required to begin making payments on both the interest and the principal of the loan as soon as it is disbursed.
The prospect of such immediate repayment is doubtless intimidating to many international students because most cannot or do not want to work while they study in the United States. They therefore have little chance of being able to make the repayments.
Long-term the repayments compound meaning that in total a borrower may pay less back with this type of loan than with others, and may clear their debt quicker as a result.
A full deferral loan, by contrast, offers completely different loan repayment options. With loans like these full-time students are able to defer – that is, postpone until later – repayment of both the interest and the principal for up to four consecutive year or until after they graduate.
This means that in the short-term this loan would be most affordable as no repayments are due until a set date. In most cases the interest is accumulating during this time, and as a result it is likely that this type of loan will be more expensive and take longer to pay off.
A third option that splits the difference between these two ways also exists.
These so-called interest only loans require international students to make payments on the interest only (and not the principal) of their loans while in school and often allows them to defer the start of their principal repayment for up to 45 days after graduation.
Like the full deferral loan option students are only eligible to postpone repayment for up to four consecutive years and while enrolled full-time.
As you can see, the choices you make can have a huge impact on your bottom line!
Before applying for a loan, be sure to check with your lender the exact terms and conditions on repayment as this may change depending on the lender and the loan you apply for.
Repayments of federal student loans in the United States will be paused automatically between March 13th 2020 and September 30th 2020 and interest is being temporarily set at 0%, meaning that if you are in receipt of a federal student loan your payments will stop during this time and there is no penalty for doing so in terms of additional interest being accrued. This policy was included in the CARES Act which was signed into law by the President on March 27th. You may, if you choose to, continue to repay, but this is optional.
However, the U.S. Department of Education does not have legal authority over private student loans, and they are not covered by the CARES Act. This applies to federal student loans that have been refinanced through a private lender. Note that some FFEL Program loans and Perkins Loans are not owned by the federal government.
So, how will you be affected by the Covid 19 outbreak?
Some private lenders are offering students relief, such as temporary forbearance.
The good news is that private lenders are taking the current situation into account and are making accommodations for those students who suffer economic hardship and may struggle to make their student loan payments – they will work with you to give you options and find the best solution.
For the most up to date information you should contact your lender directly to find out about making payments – especially if money is a big concern for you at the moment.
We will summarize the range of options that may be available to you due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and you should check directly with your lender which ones are available through your account.
The key message is this: If you can’t afford to make the payments on a private student loan, you should contact your lender as soon as possible. They might be willing to offer solutions, such as a forbearance, which would suspend your payments for a short time, meaning that you would not default on your loan, and would thereby protect your credit.
Remember, though, interest will likely still accrue if your private loan payments are paused, and this could ultimately increase your monthly payment, and the total you pay over the term of your loan.
Here are some of the most common new initiatives that private lenders have put in place:
Up to 3-month (or 90-day) forbearance period – a temporary pause on your repayments. Some lenders have left this open ended for “as long as the national emergency continues”
Waiver of late payment fees
Temporary reduction of interest rates
Temporary reduction of repayments
Extension to loan repayment term
60-day forbearance with options to extend
If you have questions about your rights, contact customer service or your account manager at your lender to receive the most up to date information.
Q. I have some federal and some private loans – what does this mean for me?
If you have both federal and private loans and focus on making the payments of the private loans while qualifying federal loans are suspended.
Q. Do I need to apply to suspend my payments or interest?
For Federal programs, no. For private lenders you should contact them as soon as possible.
Q. Do I need to pay a fee to suspend my payments?
No – if you are contacted by someone requesting a fee to assist you with your student loan and offering this type of service be aware that it may be a scam.
Until recently loans for international students in Canada were not widely available – but things have changed. Read on for more!
The Canadian Bureau for International Education reports that over half a million international students studied in Canada in 2018. That’s more than a 150% increase since 2010. As a result, Canada has overtaken France and Australia to become the 4th most popular destination for international students behind the USA, the UK, and China.
Once students have exhausted all other available sources of funding such as family support, personal savings, and financial aid from their school, they often need to turn to a student loan to cover any remaining costs of their studies.
This was very difficult to do until recently because of the lack of availability of loans to international students in Canada.
Now, International Student Loan allows these students to connect with loan providers where they can access loans without requiring any credit history, without needing any collateral, and even without a cosigner. These loans are available to students enrolled in Bachelor’s and Graduate degrees in any academic field from countries around the world at 300+ colleges and universities across the USA and Canada.
Students who will be graduating within two years – whether they are undergraduate or graduate students – may apply.
The Benefits Loans for International Students in Canada – without Cosigners
For this type of loan, you don’t need any credit history in the US or Canada, a cosigner, or any collateral
Complete your application online in just a few minutes
Receive a conditional offer from the lender
Upload documents the lender requires to complete your application.
The lender checks to make sure everything you have provided is in order, then sends you final approval of your loan
The lender contacts your school to confirm your enrollment status. Once this is done, your funding is disbursed directly to your school
How much will the loan cost?
Every case is different. This example is for informative use only. This is not a guarantee of costs as they will depend on your individual circumstances and the lender you work with.
An international (non-US, non-Canadian) student, studying a graduate-level program who borrows $10,000 US dollars can expect to repay $100.54 a month while they are studying and for the first 6 months after graduation. After this time the repayment would be $141.62 per month.
Why is Canada such a popular destination for international students?
The Canadian education system is internationally regarded as being of very high quality
Canada is considered a safe country with a tolerant and non-discriminatory society
96% of international students recommend Canada as a study destination, and 60% of international students say that they plan to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
Who are the international students in Canada?
The nationalities with the largest populations of students in Canada are:
Chinese ( around 28% of all international students)
Indian (approximately 25%)
US students represent only around 3% of all international students in Canada.
Where are the international students in Canada studying?
The Canadian province with the largest number of international students is Ontario (with almost half of all international students). The next most populous provinces are British Columbia (a quarter) and Quebec (about one tenth).
All international students find out during their course of study that money matters. Having enough money to pay for all the necessary expenses is an important facet of international student life. Students must budget and keep an eye on their finances to ensure that they do not spend too much, but also that they make the most of their time abroad. So where do most international students spend their money, and how can they appropriately budget?
Living expenses: International students find that the bulk of their costs are spent on their living expenses. This includes rent, water, electricity, internet, cable, and other housing expenses that can add up quickly. Be sure to think about these monthly costs and make your decisions wisely as these are typically services you contract for a designated period of time.
Food: International students have to eat too! Buying groceries each week can be expensive, so plan ahead and try to use up everything you purchase. While eating at a restaurant can be fun, it is often more expensive (not to mention, not very healthy!) so be sure to consider how frequently and which restaurant you want to indulge in. To save money, meal plans or a strict budget can do the trick!
Entertainment: The opportunity to get out and have some fun with your friends is paramount to an international student’s social life. But these costs can also add up. Trips, movies, sports games, bars and shopping can get expensive if you’re not careful. International students should budget out monthly “fun money” to enjoy themselves and relax outside of class – just watch out and make sure to account for it.
Other bills: While this category is very broad, there are a number of other items that you’ll need to consider depending on your personal needs. You will likely need a cell phone which come with monthly fees and can costs hundred of dollars depending on the cell phone plan. You may also find that you need a car to get around, which can add on gas charges, car insurance or even monthly finance payments. Credit card bills and gym memberships will go right on top of those costs as well so be careful about what contracts you sign and make sure that you can keep up financially!
Course materials and supplies: Next to tuition and room/board, course materials and supplies are one of the most expensive fees in an international student’s life. Students must pay for their books, software, lab fees, and perhaps even athletic fees. Some classes may even require that you have special materials beyond the normal pen and paper such as a specialized laptop computer or calculator. Oh, and don’t forget about parking permits!
With a well thought out budget and some planning and caution international students can avoid spending too much money and running up there bills. While students may have a few things to spend money, sacrifice and financial responsibility will always pay off!
Need more help budgeting for school? Check out our resource on How To Budget where you will find more great tips along with a spreadsheet to start budgeting for the next school year!
It is a dream for many international students who want to study engineering in the U.S. – Loans for International Students are also available. The U.S. is one of the best choices for international students who want to study engineering, and students who would like to earn a U.S. degree in engineering but require additional funding may be eligible for an international student loan.
A recent report from the Institute of International Education stated that in 2019 over 20% of international students enrolled at US universities were studying engineering or related courses.
Why is that the case? Well, aside from the quality education they get, students also have a higher chance of finding a job after they graduate. There’s also a huge likelihood of them getting high-paying jobs compared to graduates who studied in other countries.
Here we’ll show you why the U.S. is a great place to study engineering. We’ll also help you know how to get an international student loan in the country.
Specialize in the course you want
One of the best things about enrolling in engineering courses in the United States is that American universities offer numerous specialization courses.This gives you a great range of options to choose the course you really want. Take for example the University of Arizona which offers over ten engineering majors including aerospace, chemical, biosystems, environmental systems, and more.
The same goes for most universities. You’ll get to choose what course interests you, and take it as early as the third semester!
Work as soon as possible
Getting your first job after graduation is becoming more competitive by the day. Competition between fresh graduates is high, not to mention that you’ll also be competing with the experienced veterans in the industry. But, that’s less of a problem if you’re an engineering graduate with a degree from the U.S.
You’ve got the edge over others because of the quality of education you get. Plus, the demand in the American engineering market is so high. Companies such as Apple, Amazon, and other big multinational companies, as well as smaller companies may have opportunities for internships and training positions from time to time.
Boost your earning potential
Another good reason why studying engineering in the U.S. is a must is because you get a higher earning potential.
Graduating with an engineering degree in the US gives you a good reputation for being competitive, both in the academic and practical sense. Engineers working in the U.S. generally also earn higher salaries than those working in other countries.
According to PayScale, engineers can expect to earn a decent salary after graduating.
Enjoy state-of-the-art amenities and equipment
The U.S. is the center of cutting edge technology in engineering. It’s the place to be if you want to experience top-tier education surrounded with the latest tools and equipment to support your dream of becoming an engineer one day. You’ll be taught and supervised by some of the best professors and top researchers in the country.
Furthermore, the U.S. government spends billions of dollars on university education. This assures that you get the best of both worlds, both in the learning experience and earning potential.
Work in the U.S.
The U.S. government allows companies to employ foreigners through Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT) as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. This can be done as long as workers are covered as “specialty subjects,” in this case, engineering being one of them.
Get the best engineering student loans in the U.S.
If you would like to study engineering in the US but your finances are lacking, then it might be best to get an international student loan.
Here at InternationalStudentLoan.com, we’ll help you see if you’re eligible to get one. We offer international student loans that are available at eligible schools for engineering students.
We have a loan comparison tool to help you know if you can apply and show you which loan suits you best.
Of course InternationalStudentLoan.com is best known for helping international students discover and compare loans to fund their education abroad.
However we are also part of a larger network including IEFA.org, InternationalScholarships.com and InternationalStudent.com
And that’s why today we’re sharing a great opportunity for Central American Students interested in or already studying at an approved school in the USA or Canada – the Central American Scholarship Program by InternationalStudent.com and MPOWER.
The InternationalStudent.com annual Travel Video Contest is open for entries for 2019!
International Student are giving you a chance to win 1 of 5 unique awards, including the $4,000 grand prize! To enter, you will need to submit a video that you made specifically for the 2019 InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest. Your 4-minute video should be about one of two things:
That your dream is to be an international student, and that you have a school in mind to attend that you want to tell us about.
That you are currently an international student with a dream trip that you’ve always wanted to take that you want to tell us about.
If your video is selected, you could win one of the following prizes:
The cost of a US college education continues to rise. The average cost has increased by approximately 25% over the last 10 years alone. As a result, an increasing number of students are turning to alternate sources of funding to finance their higher education goals.
Both domestic and international students alike are making use of an increasingly varied array of school-sponsored or third-party scholarships and fellowships, as well as a wide variety of private loans.
Still, while increased costs affect all students, solutions may not be available to all.
For example, although Pell Grants are a mainstay for many domestic students, foreign nationals studying in the US on any “J” or “F” visa are not eligible to participate in the program.
In a similar way, the regulations regarding student loans are likewise different for domestic and international students. In this case there is a considerable difference between what is encouraged and what is required.
Consider, as an illustration, the issue of a cosigner for a student loan.
According to Citi Student Loans, for instance, “most undergraduate students will need to apply with a creditworthy cosigner” in order to meet the company’s income- and credit history-based eligibility requirements.
If a domestic student can satisfy these requirements on their own, however, no cosigner is necessary. The same is true of almost every private lender.
By contrast, almost all international students need a cosigner.
Indeed, by and large a US-based (citizen or permanent resident) cosigner with good credit is considered de rigueur for lenders and is therefore all-but obligatory for borrowers.
In this way the cosigner’s country of residence and credit history serve as an additional insurance on the part of the lender (and make the loan’s eventual collection that much easier).
In the end, though, it is important to stress that while not all loan options require a US cosigner, for an international student loan it is important to check with your college or university before applying.
By contacting them directly you can ensure that the loan in question is a good fit for you.
Loans Without a Cosigner for International Students in the US
If you are or are planning to become an international student inside the US, you will usually be required to have a cosigner when applying for a loan.
Cosigners for international student loans must be US citizens or permanent residents, and they must have lived in the US for the past 2 years. They must also have good credit history. Non-US citizens and non-US permanent residents cannot act as a cosigner for loans.
Although most international student loan applications require a cosigner, international students attending a select few colleges and universities in the US and Canada are able to apply for a loan without one.
If you’re not able to find a cosigner, then a “no cosigner loan” could be the best option for you.
Since most international students in the US do not have any credit history, a cosigner joins the standard international student loan application process. Loan approval and rates are then based on the creditworthiness of the cosigner.
The cosigner is then also legally bound to repay the loan if the borrower is unable to pay.
With no cosigner loans, instead of looking at credit history, lenders look at your academic success and career path, as well as other factors when assessing you for the loan. Some of the factors they will consider when you apply include your home country, graduation date, and what school you attend.
International student loans are typically only for non-US citizens studying in the United States. However, loan options now exist at a number of select universities for those who want to study in Canada!
Loans for International Students in Canada
International students in Canada may now apply for a student loan without a cosigner!
International Student Loan is now working with a lender that is able to offer loans to international students, including US students studying at select schools in Canada. Until now it has been very difficult for international students to fund their education in the Great White North, but thanks to MPOWER Financing and International Student Loan, there are now a number of schools in Canada where loans are available without a cosigner.
If you are studying in one of the eligible schools, you can apply for a student loan to cover the costs of your education including tuition, housing, food, insurance, and textbooks.
Remember, with this type of no cosigner loan, rather than looking at your or your cosigner’s credit history, lenders look at other factors such as your academic record and career path, your home country, expected graduation date, and what school you will attend.
Students who are not US citizens or permanent residents and those attending schools outside the US/Canada are not currently eligible for an international student loan.
Finding and Comparing No-Cosigner Loans
If you’re an international student and would like to explore the option of a loan that doesn’t require a cosigner, you’re able to use our loan comparison tool to see if your school has one available. If they do, you can then research the terms and conditions of the loan and apply directly through the lender.
When researching a loan, here are a few things to consider:
How much you can borrow
The interest rate (and whether it’s fixed or variable)
The repayment period
When and how your funds will be disbursed
Once your loan application has been reviewed you will receive further details on your loan. These will include the interest rate and the amount you can borrow. These will vary by lender and depend your situation.
As an example, no-cosigner loans through our partner have a fixed interest rate and allow you to borrow up to $50,000 total over 2 years. You must state how much you would like to borrow on your application. The approved amount along with your designated interest rate will be assigned to you after your application has been reviewed.
If you are approved for a loan, funds are disbursed directly to the college or university.
To give you an idea of the length of time that is required, the entire process usually takes about 6 weeks, so be sure to plan accordingly.
As an international student planning to study in the USA, there’s no doubt that you’ve already started to contemplate the financial implications of this decision, and you are probably wondering what your options are for financing the cost of studying outside your home country; and you’re quite right to do so – as you may already have realised, there is little information about sources of financial aid for international students who want to study in the US, and often the information that you can find is unclear or even misleading – especially when it comes to unscrupulous lenders (or even loan scams).
But don’t let this put you off your search. We have created this extremely useful post to give you as much information as we can to help you fulfill your dream of studying in the USA and finding the funding to enable you to do that.
Here at International Student Loan we recommend that you first talk to your college or university before pursuing any other alternative funding sources. They may be able to guide you to their own funding opportunities or specific contacts that they have established themselves that are able to assist non-US residents studying in the US.
There are 3 main offices you should contact at your university:
The Financial Aid office
The department or faculty office of your chosen program of study
The office for international students (often called the Office of International Student Services)
Much support for international students in graduate programs in the US is provided by the universities and colleges themselves in the form of teaching assistantships and research assistantships. These are often based on academic merit and not on financial need. In most cases you would be required to pass the Test of Spoken English (TSE) in order to qualify for a teaching assistantship, but check with the school you’re interested in.
Some foreign schools have exchange programs with schools in the US. These exchange programs often include financial aid for the students. If you are already studying at a university in your home country and would like to find out about this type of exchange program the office for international student services at your home university would be the best place to contact.
Once you have established the financial aid that you can access through your chosen university or college, it is time to start looking further afield for other, alternative sources, too.
According to the Association of International Educators, more than two-thirds of international students in the US receive help from their families, in addition to their own resources, to fund their study in the US. Whatever outside help and financial aid you receive, you will also need to use your own funds and probably rely on support from family and friends to pursue your dream of an education in the USA.
Organizations in your home country
One of the best sources of financial aid for international students comes from organizations in their home country that want to invest in and develop the education of talented students, recognizing the benefits that an international education can provide.
Your own government may provide financial aid (often on the condition that the recipient of the aid returns to their home country on completion of their studies). We suggest you make contact with your country’s ministry of education and or ministry of culture.
Private organizations such as businesses, religious groups, and charitable foundations may also offer support in the form of financial aid for international students – often this is linked to the background of the student or the chosen field of study. We advise you to search online for these opportunities, and speak to local educational institutions who may be able to refer you to these programs.
Some of the organizations that offer funding for international students studying in the United States are:
The United Nations
the Organization of American States (OAS)
The International Maritime Organization
The International Telecommunications Union
The League of Red Cross Societies
The Soros Foundation
The World Health Organization
The World Council of Churches.
These awards are extremely competitive and are mostly for graduate students rather than undergraduates.
You usually have to apply for this type of funding from your home country, so if you have already embarked on your educational journey in the US you may not be eligible. It is therefore important for you to research these opportunities well before you travel.
The Fulbright Program works two ways: U.S. citizens may receive funding to go to a foreign country and non-U.S. citizens may come to the U.S. (Foreign Student Program, Visiting Scholar Program, Teacher Exchange Program, etc.).
In order to be considered for Fulbright programs, foreign candidates must demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, leadership potential, flexibility and the ability to interact successfully in the USA.
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals, and artists from abroad to conduct research and study in the United States
Fulbright grants are offered in many academic disciplines, but not in clinical medical research (research involving patient contact). Fields of study cover mathematics and sciences, the fine arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Applicants are required to take the TOEFL and GRE or GMAT exams. Professional education, such as medical schools, is not eligible. Fulbright students are required to be on J-1 visas for the entire duration of their sponsorship.
You should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate, the Fulbright Commission office, or educational advising center for information about applying to the Fulbright Program in your country.
Of course, we couldn’t write a post on our own site about international financial aid and not mention international student loans. International student loans are available to help students cover the cost of their education so they can attend the US college or university of their choice.
With international student loans, students can borrow up to the total cost of their education minus any financial aid received. Our loans work for all nationalities, and students can apply from anywhere in the world including from their host country.