All private international student loans in the US do require a US cosigner. You may be asking yourself, why? I’m from another country and don’t know anyone in the United States. These student loans are what we refer to as non-collateral loans meaning that you are not putting up a house, car, or other assets to back the loan in case you are unable to repay it.
Because there is no asset backing up your international student loan, lenders require you to have someone in the US with a good credit background to sign on to your application and accept financial responsibility in case of default.
To help you fund your US education, you first need to know the qualifications of a cosigner:
- US citizen or US permanent resident (green card holder)
- Lived in the US for the past 2 years
- Age 18 years or older
- Good credit history that reflects a history of borrowing, charging and repaying with little to no delayed payments (this is reflected on the credit report)
- No delinquencies or bankruptcies pending, filed or discharged in the past two years
Finding your cosigner
We get a lot of questions about finding a US cosigner for international student loans. Here are some tips on how to find a cosigner:
- Relative – Your family members should be your first stop in trying to find a cosigner. It could be a parent or a long lost third removed cousin. As long as they meet the requirements listed above, then you’ll be in good shape.
- Friends – You may not know any family members with ties in the US – but you may have friends there! Talk to your friends, and your family member’s friends, and see if they can cosign your loan.
- Networking – So if you still need help, then you’ll need to ask your friends and family members if they know someone in the US who could help cosign the loan. This may require you talking to family members about their social network – but it’s worth a try!
Remember, not just anyone will cosigner a loan. It’s a huge responsibility as that person is signing onto the contract and is then financially responsible for thousands of dollars in case you cannot pay it back. This can not only put a hole in their pocket, but it can also hurt their credit if they’re unable to pay it back. When you talk to family and friends, be sure to acknowledge this huge undertaking for the success of your US education!