Understanding Your International Student Loan
October 30th, 2020 by Al C

Student confused about international student loans

You’ve researched the total cost of attendance, done all your calculations and budgeting, you’ve applied for as much financial aid as you can from your school, and you’ve even been awarded a scholarship – but what if you’re still not sure if you can cover all of your costs?

Well, the good news is that an international student loan can help – but don’t just take on a loan without first understanding what you’re getting into.

What is an International Student Loan and How Do They Work?

International students have fewer options than domestic borrowers. Unless you’re an eligible noncitizen who can qualify for federal student aid, you will have to borrow from a private lender, as federal student loans are reserved exclusively for US citizens.

International Student Loans are specialized private education loans that are available for international students who are studying in the USA or Canada. We recommend that you only apply for international student loans after exploring all other options like scholarships, personal funds and other options.

Undergraduate students and graduate students can apply.

A number of lenders offer student loans for international students, but most require the borrower to have a creditworthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to join the application. The co-signer will need good credit to be approved and to help you get the most competitive rates.

If you’re not able to find a co-signer, some lenders do offer loans without a co-signer, but only at select colleges and universities, and you’ll usually pay higher interest rates on these loans. 

If you need to borrow money to help pay for university, it is important to understand how these loans work before you sign the paperwork.

Student loans typically have lower monthly payments and lower interest rates than other types of private loans, and repayment terms are also usually more relaxed. But remember that the total cost of the loan is greater than the amount borrowed due to the cost of borrowing. Most lenders don’t require full payments while you are still attending school, in fact many offer a period of time after graduation before repayments even start.

The funds of your student loan will normally be paid out (disbursed) directly to your school at specific times to pay for direct university-related expenses. Funds are not usually transferred directly to the student, however any surplus funds will be paid into your nominated bank account after you have covered all of your university costs.

How do I apply for a private student loan?

Learn about applying for a private student loan

One option is to research all the private student loan lenders and fill out all their applications. This can be time consuming and frustrating, because you may find out after all that work that you aren’t eligible for a loan with that lender.

Another option is to first find out if you are eligible and compare lenders using the loan comparison tool at internationalstudentloan.com/apply – it takes less than 10 seconds to find out if a lender is available for you based on your school and circumstances.

You can then apply online directly with the lender, knowing that they should have a plan that works for you.

After that, approval of your loan can happen in just a few weeks.

Who is eligible to apply for these loans?

To apply you should not be a U.S. citizens or permanent resident, and you must be attending an eligible U.S. or Canadian college or university. In most cases you must be attending full time – part time students may not be eligible. Undergraduate students as well as those taking graduate degrees may apply in most cases.

Also, borrowers are required to have a creditworthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen permanent resident for most lenders. You and your co-signer will undergo a credit check.

Loans that do not require a co-signer are available at a number of schools, and these will be shown in the loan comparison tool. If you do not have a creditworthy co-signer and you are an undergraduate student you may find it harder to secure a loan until you are within 2 years of your expected graduation date.

Your field of study usually doesn’t affect your loan application, although there are special categories of loans for medicine.

Use the loan comparison tool to see which loans you are eligible for.

What can the funds be used for?

what can funds be spent on?

Like all private education loans, loan funds can be used for education-related costs including tuition fees, books and supplies, other school fees, insurance, transportation, room and board (living expenses) and other school-related expenses.

Speak to your school’s Financial Aid Office to check their published Total Cost of Attendance which will give you an official estimate of the total amount of funding and financial aid you will need to cover all of your costs.

Application Process

Begin by using the loan comparison tool. This will show you the options available to you and allow you to choose the lender best suited for your situation and needs.

You will then apply directly with the lender. You and your co-signer (if required) will need to complete the entire online application thoroughly and supply any documents requested by the lender.

You’ve researched the total cost of attendance, done all your calculations and budgeting, you’ve applied for as much financial aid as you can from your school, and you’ve even been awarded a scholarship – but what if you’re still not sure if you can cover all of your costs?

Well, the good news is that an international student loan can help – but don’t just take on a loan without first understanding what you’re getting into.

Interest Rates Explained

interest rates graph

When you take out a loan through a lender, you will be responsible for paying back the amount of money you borrowed (called the principal) plus an additional amount charged by the lender for the loan known as the cost of borrowing.

This interest rate is calculated based on an “index” plus a margin that will add an additional percentage interest rate depending on your or your co-signer’s creditworthiness. Every lender’s range of rates varies so it is important to do the loan comparison and review the interest rate and repayment terms.

The two most common indexes used for international student loans are the Prime Rate and LIBOR Rate.

When your application is approved, the lender will provide information on your specific interest rate and you can then decide whether to accept the loan or not.

Interest begins to accrue (build up) as soon as the funds are disbursed to your school. Interest will accrue on your loan while you are in school, even if you are allowed to defer repayments until after you graduate.

Repayment Options

After you select the loan that works best for you, you will need to review the terms or contact the lender directly with any questions. 

Repayment terms will depend on the lender and details of the loan you choose. It is important to consider how much your monthly payments will be, when these payments will start, and how long you may be able to defer (delay) beginning to pay back the loan (known as periods of forbearance). The repayment period typically ranges from 10-25 years, however the larger the loan the longer the repayment period.

You may be offered the following repayment types by your lender:

Full Deferral

You may be able to defer payment of both the interest and principal until up to 6 months after graduation as long as you continue to be enrolled full-time. Payments can be deferred for a maximum of 4 years – the typical length of a degree.

Lenders may refer to deferral as periods of forbearance.

Full Deferral

You may be able to defer payment of both the interest and principal until up to 6 months after graduation as long as you continue to be enrolled full-time. Payments can be deferred for a maximum of 4 years – the typical length of a degree.

Lenders may refer to deferral as periods of forbearance.

Interest Only Repayments

You start making repayments while you are at school, but only pay the interest for up to 4 consecutive years of full-time study. You can then defer repayment of the principal until 45 days after graduation. With an interest only repayment type you may have to start repaying the principal immediately if you drop your course load to part-time.

Immediate Repayment

You immediately start making payments on both interest and the principal once the loan has been issued and disbursed.

What about Federal Student Loans?

Federal loans and federal student aid are not normally available for international students.

What is the FAFSA I always hear about?

FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Even though international students are usually not eligible for this type of aid, your school may require you to complete the application in order to help them determine your eligibility for other funding.

What if I have specific questions about my loan?

Once your loan has been approved, if you have any questions you should contact the lender directly for support.

We really hope this helps you with understanding your international student loan!



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Study in the USA vs. Study in Canada
July 24th, 2020 by Al C

Study in the USA vs. Study in Canada

If you’re reading this then you must be interested in comparing Study in the USA vs. Study in Canada as an international student.

Well, you’re in the right place – because in this article we’ll cover some of the major benefits of studying in these countries.

So let’s dive right in with

Why you should consider studying in the US

Flexibility in deciding your major field of study

48 of the top 100 universities around the world are reported to be in the USA. One of the biggest factors that differentiates US colleges from other universities around the world is the flexibility in academic fields.

You are not usually required to decide your major until after your second year of study. Most students will use these two years to pursue different academic interests before they settle on a major. In most other nations, students are required to decide their field of study before they even apply.

A varied, general education

Most colleges in the U.S. require you to take general education or core courses.

These give you the opportunity to learn about a wide range of academic subjects – not just your major or concentrated research area. These “liberal arts” courses cover topics from writing to science.

Opportunities for internships & career prospects

You can get a head start on your career with an internship – which most US colleges offer. You can get hands-on experience and gain real-world exposure to your field, plus the chance of better-paid work after graduation because you already have some in-work experience.

Read more about working in the US

On-campus activities

U.S. colleges and universities are renowned for offering a huge variety of sports, clubs, societies and activities outside of the classroom. Whatever you’re interested in – you’ll find it on campus!

Diversity

Students from all over the world study in the US. When you’re one of them, you’ll have the ability to meet new people from different cultures every day, learn new languages, make friends and learn about other cultures.

Specialist International Student Assistance

Many schools have a dedicated office entirely devoted to helping their foreign students with any needs. They might assist you with improving your English, or dealing with visa problems , financial aid and even adapting to cultural differences in your new home.

One important thing to note with studying in the US is that it can be very expensive – significantly more expensive than many other countries around the world. you can learn more about how to fund your education in the US in this article:

Financial Aid for International Students in the USA

And you can find out if you are eligible for a loan:

You can also find International Scholarships.

Why you should consider studying in Canada

High Quality Education

A Canadian degree is just as valuable as a degree from the United States , Australia, or the United Kingdom.

Canadian universities perform well in international rankings, and Canadian Universities rank in the top 50 universities worldwide.

Whether you’re attending a university, college, or technical school, there’s no doubt that a Canadian education is a world-class education.

Economically Viable

For most students looking to study abroad, expense is the most significant barrier.

And while international students at Canadian universities do pay higher tuition fees than domestic students , the average annual tuition for a Canadian undergraduate degree for a foreign student is significantly lower than the United States, Australia, or the United Kingdom.

Foreign students also need to find housing and fund their daily life. Relative to many other top destinations for foreign students the cost of living in Canada is quite affordable. And when you add the average annual cost of living being lower than other countries with average annual tuition fees which are also lower, Canada seems like a very good opportunity, indeed.

Remember that loans for international students in Canada are also available if you need additional funding:

You can also find International Scholarships.

Work And Study

While Canada is a fairly affordable option in global terms, studying abroad is unquestionably costly.

Thankfully, foreign students in Canada are entitled to work up to 20 hours per week during school term time and full time (30 hours per week) during scheduled breaks such as vacations. Most students don’t need a work permit to work while they are studying.

Security

Personal safety is another big reason many students choose to come to Canada. It can be scary to study abroad, because you leave your family and friends – your safety net – in your home country. Canada was ranked 8th most peaceful nation in the world by the Institute for Economics & Peace. Canada’s location and relative isolation offers a bit of a buffer against most international disputes.

Canada has a freely-elected government, and Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the basic rights and freedoms of people living in Canada. Canada’s reputation around the world is that of an inclusive and non-discriminatory country. Immigrants make up 20% of the entire population of Canada and Canadian laws ensure that all people are shielded from discrimination regardless of their circumstances.

Opportunities for Immigration

As an international student you usually get temporary status in the country where you study. When you graduate, you usually need to return home.

Unlike many countries, though, Canada has a number of programmes that enable the transfer of international students to permanent residence status after their studies. Options such as the Post-Graduation Work Permit allow students to stay and work after graduation on an unrestricted work permit, and give them the opportunity to gain some Canadian work experience. Most Canadian provinces have Provincial Nominee programs for applicants with experience studying or working in the province, and the points-based immigration system rewards Canadian work and study experience. About half of all international students consider applying for permanent residence in Canada after their studies end.

The Economy

Canada is one of the world’s biggest economies, and there are plenty of incentives for graduates to work. You have the ability to meet and network with leaders in your chosen field. And you can gain valuable experience working for industry-leading companies in Canada while you study, or after graduation.

If you want to return to your home country, your Canadian education and enhanced language skills in either English or French might provide global opportunities.

If you choose to live in Canada, Canadian employers appear to favour Canadian work experience over international work experience , so your student and work experience could make you stand out above other applicants!


So there you have it! Some great reasons why you might want to choose to study in the US or Canada! Let us know in the comments where you want to study!


Read more:

Repayment of Loans in 2020

What Coronavirus Means for Student Loans


Loans for international students in Canada – cosigner not required!
March 16th, 2020 by Al C

Until recently loans for international students in Canada were not widely available – but things have changed. Read on for more!

Hand holding maple leaf - Loans for international students in Canada

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
  • You can borrow from $2,001 to $50,000 with a fixed interest rate
  • Students from over 190 countries are eligible to apply for these loans
  • There is a 10-year repayment period and no prepayment penalties
  • During school and for 6-months after graduation there is a lower, interest-only payment period, making it more affordable at the time
  • These loans are available at over 300 schools across the USA and Canada
  • Undergraduate and graduate students who will be graduating within two years are eligible
  • You can use the funds to pay for expenses including tuition fees, accommodation costs, food, student insurance, and books
  • They can be used for past, current, and future semesters.

How does the process work?

  • Check to see if your chosen school is on our list
  • 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).

Find out more and apply for your International Student Loan in Canada today:


More on Loans without a cosigner in the USA and Canada

How can an international student finance their education in the USA?

International Student Loans for Students from the UK


Where Do International Students Spend The Most Money?
March 5th, 2020 by Jennifer Frankel

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!

Smart Budgeting for International Students

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!


Study Engineering in the U.S. -Loans for International Students
January 13th, 2020 by Al C

Engineering in the U.S.
Study Engineering in the U.S.

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.

Benchmark salaries:

  • U.S.: $75,000
  • U.K.: $40,000
  • Germany: $60,000

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.


Interested in Studying in Canada? Learn more about Loans for International Students in Canada (without a cosigner)

Learn about Financing Your International Education



Scholarship Opportunity for Central American Students
December 9th, 2019 by Al C

Of course InternationalStudentLoan.com is best known for helping international students discover and compare loans to fund their education abroad.

Central America Scholarship

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.

Learn more about the opportunity over at IEFA.org


Loans Without a Cosigner in the US and Canada
May 31st, 2019 by Al C

Loans Without a Cosigner for International Students in the US

Loans for students studying in the USA

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.

If you do not have a cosigner you will want to explore lenders that do not require a cosigner.

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

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.

To check for loans available at your school, including no cosigner loans, use the student loan comparison tool to get started.

Find out more about Cosigners in Cosigner 101.


How can an international student finance their education in the USA?
April 25th, 2019 by Al C

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.

Such resources might include:

Yourself and Your Family

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.

Private US Organizations and Sponsors

You can use scholarship databases such as International Education Financial Aid and International Scholarships. These databases are free to use and contain information on the scholarships, grants, and awards that are available for international students.

International Organizations

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)
  • AMIDEAST
  • 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.

Fulbright Program

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.

Loans

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.

You can check what is available to you by using our international student loan comparison tool.

Interested in finding out about some common myths regarding international student loans?


International Student Loans for Students from the UK
April 1st, 2019 by Felicity Bradstock

International Student Loans for Students from the UK

US institutions are attracting students from around the globe and applications from Europe are on the rise. The number of UK students looking to study a graduate program in the US continues to increase, and undergraduate programs are only just behind. This article will tell you all the basics about international student loans for students from the UK who hope to study in the US.

A Whole New World

While the UK has several world-renowned institutions, the scope of courses available to study in the US in unequaled. As such, the number of British students studying a program in the US has risen by around a third since 2010 and continues to rise (according to studies by the Institute of International Education). Read another post about International Education facts and Figures.

There are over 4000 US institutions, many of which offer programs in specialisms many of us have never heard of. This allows students to find the degree that’s right for them, adding something unique to their CV.  

One of the main deterrents for studying in the US continues to be funding. While university fees are subsidized in the UK, tuition fees and living costs in the US are on the rise. Many students now seek a student loan to support their education expenses.

FindingInternational Student Loans for Students from the UK

The easiest way to be considered eligible for a US student loan is to find a co-signer who is also an American citizen. A citizen with a good credit rating is the perfect candidate to cosign your loan, making the application process much easier. Many lenders offer loans to students with co-signers who have proof of income, as they can act as a guarantor for the funds.

Cosigner Requirements:

A cosigner must be a US citizen or permanent resident who has lived in the US for the past two years and has good credit.

Your cosigner should have a stable job with a steady income and an established credit history. Lenders may look at how long your cosigner has lived at their current address and how long they’ve been employed at their current job.

Your cosigner is taking on the obligation to pay back your loans in the event that you cannot, so it’s important that the cosigner can afford to cover these expenses. International student loans and study abroad loans lenders will take into account the total income of your cosigner and their total debts (mortgage, car payments, credit card debt, and any student loans they may have on their own) when reviewing a loan application.

In the United States, the cosigner’s credit history is evaluated by a credit score that is based on outstanding debts and their payment history. Lenders will evaluate your cosigner’s existing and past loans and whether they were paid on time.

Cosigner Not Required?

However, this is not an option for everyone. If you do not have a cosigner and you’re looking for international student loans for students from the UK there are specialist lenders who offer this service. Lenders such as MPower Financing understand how difficult it can be to secure funding. They support students in the visa and college application process as well as providing funding, to reduce the stress over expenses. There’s information about finding a loan without a cosigner here.

To compare the best student loans for British students looking to study in the US, then look no further than our comparison tool.



International Student Loans for Indian Students
March 1st, 2019 by Felicity Bradstock

International Student Loans for Indian Students

As greater numbers of students from around the world are traveling to study a degree in the US, and tuition fees are rising, international student loans are growing increasingly necessary. Indian students, alone, accounted for 17.9% of the total foreign students in the US in 2017-18, second only to Chinese students at 33%. This article discusses the best international student loans for Indian students who want to study at a US institution.

The Indian Loophole

To be considered eligible for an F-1 visa and to be accepted to a US academic institution all international students must show proof of funding. This basically means that you, as a student applicant, must show you can afford to attend the college or university of your choice. You may pay for your education through personal funds, an academic scholarship from the institution, or through a student loan.

The most difficult part of applying for a student loan as an Indian student is finding the necessary evidence to be considered eligible. Indian banks often require supporting documentation showing the student’s acceptance to a US institution before considering a loan. However, most US institutions require proof of funding before offering a formal acceptance.

The simplest option is to seek a loan through a US bank specializing in student loans or a specialist lender. US lenders understand the difficulty with needing to provide supporting documentation for the university application and offer advice and help during this process.  

Loan Options for Indian Students

There are a number of lenders that specialize in study loans for Indian students studying in the US. You can compare your options using our loan comparison tool for Indian students.

MPower Financing is a dedicated lender of international student loans and one of the options available to Indian students. The company understands the difficulties many international students have with finding funding and a co-signer. MPower takes the hassle out of the process by keeping everything clear and supporting both the visa and university application process. MPower also can provide loans without a cosigner at select universities in the USA and Canada.

To find out more about applying for a student loan as an Indian student check out our India International Student Loans section.  


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