International student loans can be a helpful addition for students looking to cover their expenses. But, many students wonder how to apply for an international student loan. Most international students apply right before their academic term, typically between July and August, and so it’s important to get your documents prepared so that you’ll be ready when the time comes.
If you are wondering how to apply for an international student loan, follow these five steps to help you in your journey of applying for an international student loan:
Step 1. Find out how much money you need – The first step on how to apply for an international student loan is to know how much money you actually need. To do this, international students will need to outline their expenses for their academic degree. This can be a difficult task especially as there are many unexpected expenses that can pop up throughout the year. First, think about the cost of school including tuition, books, living expenses, food, and travel. Students can typically find this information on their school’s website. Then, think about all of the other ancillary expenses such as a computer, phone, clothing, utilities, etc. Finally, put aside some extra money for an emergency fund (what if your car breaks down?) and then some money for extracurricular activities (i.e., going to dinner, seeing a movie, etc.). Now ask yourself, how money do I need per academic year?
Step 2. Determine how much you need to borrow – The second step to applying for an international student loan is determining how much more money you need to cover your costs. Think about the money you and your family will put towards your international education, any scholarship or grant money you may have received, and whether you will be doing a fellowship or doing work on campus. Once you figure out how much money you’ll have, think about the timing of when you’ll receive this money, and what your costs will be. Ask yourself, do you have a missing gap of funding? If so, then it is time to apply for an international student loan.
Step 3. Find a Cosigner – So you’ve decided that you are going to apply for an international student loan, now you’ve got to think about the requirements. All international students and most US students will need a cosigner when they apply for an international student loan. A cosigner is a person who accepts responsibility for paying back the loan in case you cannot. Not only does this increase the likelihood of getting approved for your international student loan, but it can also reduce the interest rate you have to pay to borrow money. Ask your family members, ask extended relatives, or your friends to cosign your loan. For many students this can be the trickiest part of the process. Remember, your cosigner must be a US citizen or permanent resident living in the US for the past two years with good credit.
Step 4. Compare international student loans – Now that you have a cosigner, the next step is to compare international student loans to find the one that will work best for you. Think about whether you want fixed or variable interest, how you want to pay back your loan, and what international student loan you want to apply for. You can compare international student loans right on our website to see what lenders will work with you to provide you with the funds you need for your education abroad. Remember, not all lenders work with all schools so by using our comparison tool you will only be matched with those lenders that will work with you. If you plan to do research, make sure to confirm that all lenders work with international students and that they will also work with the school you attend.
Step 5. Apply for an international student loan – All of our lenders will accept an online application. The process can be done entirely online and you’ll get approval within weeks of your application submission. You will get your final terms and conditions offered to you – all you need to do is accept and you will get your money dispersed at your US school.
We hope that these 5 steps on how to apply for an international student loan has helped you! If you have further questions on the process, do not hesitate to contact us for more information.