How to Apply for Private Student Loans
November 11th, 2021 by Al C

Working out the pros and cons of student loans

Private student loans make up 7.80% of the total outstanding student loan in the USA. That is more than $130 billion.

Private student loans are some of the most useful financial tools that help students pay for their education, especially when traditional financial aid is not sufficient. A private student loan is a great alternative option if you don’t qualify for a federal student aid program. And because banks and lenders offer many options for repayment, private loans may also be more suitable for your own needs.

Also, there is a high chance of getting approved with private student loans because with certain lenders these loans are not even based on the credit history of the applicant. Therefore, a private student loan would be ideal if you don’t qualify for a federal student loan or if you don’t have any credit history.

In this article, we will be digging deep into private student loans! We will discuss how they work, their advantages and disadvantages, the application process, and other useful information so you don’t get confused when you apply for a private student loan. So let’s get started!

What are private student loans?

Unlike federal student loans, private loans don’t originate from the government. Private student loans are used when a student either doesn’t qualify for the federal student loan or when their amount of financial aid is not enough to pay for his/her education.

Private student loans are mostly offered by the major banks, savings & loans companies, credit unions, and some other lenders who provide personal or educational loans. A private student loan typically offers benefits that include low-interest rates, flexible repayment options, and lenient borrowing limits. However, the interest rates on private student loans are higher than federal student loan rates.

How does a private student loan work?

A private student loan is the same as any other student loan, but they are offered by private financial institutions. When you apply for a private student loan, you need to submit your credit history and income information. The bank or lender will assess your particular situation and determine if they offer you the amount of money that you require.

Once you get approved, the lender will send your school’s financial aid office the funds. They will credit the required amount of money directly to your account and you can use it for paying tuition, housing fees, or any other expense that is related to your education. If there are any funds remaining, your school will transfer those to your nominated bank account.

How to apply for a private student loan

online application form

Before you apply for a private loan, make sure you understand all the terms and conditions of the loan. Compare different lenders or banks that offer student loans before settling on one. Once you have identified the lender with whom you want to go, it’s time for applying for a private student loan! Here are some steps that you need to follow:

1. Check whether you qualify for a federal loan or not

It is advised to apply for a federal student loan before you go for any other type of student loan because these loans offer lower interest rates. Interest rates on private loans are higher than federal student loan interest rates. Therefore, it is better to opt for a federal loan if you qualify for one. In most cases international students in the U.S. do not qualify for federal student aid.

2. Get your credit history in order

If you do not have an established credit history, then it will be difficult for you to get approved by some of the major lenders or banks. Make sure your credit report is error-free and clean. You can check your credit history from the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Once you have a good credit history, apply for a private student loan. There are a small number of lenders that do not require credit history and you can find out about them here.

3. Find a cosigner

It can be hard for students to build their credit score, so the easiest way to get approved for a private student loan is by getting cosigned. If you have someone who loves and trusts you (family members), they can be your cosigner on your application form. This will make it easier for the lender to approve your application because another person has vouched for you! In addition, if your cosigner’s credit history is up to the mark, you can get better repayment terms. Your cosigner must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Most international students will need a cosigner, but there are a number of lenders that do not require one.

4. Find a suitable lender or bank for your private student loan

The most important step in applying for a private student loan is to find the right lender or bank that can provide you with the amount of money that you require. Each lender has its own terms and conditions. You can find different lenders by searching online or visiting your local bank or credit union. Take time to review different loans, rates, and terms before choosing one. One of the easiest ways to find a loan as an international student is to use our loan comparison tool.

5. Fill the application form carefully

Once you have found a good bank or lender, it’s time to fill out their application form. You will need your social security number, credit history, annual income, and other details in order to apply for a private student loan.

Filling out this form should be done carefully because this information will be used to make a decision on your loan approval. If you have any doubts or do not understand something in your application form, it is better to ask the bank before filling it out. Once you are done with it, submit the form.

6. Be aware of hidden charges and fees

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive paperwork from the bank. Make sure you review all the terms and conditions carefully to avoid any hidden charges or fees that can increase your loan amount.

7. Get approved for a private student loan

After filling out an application form, waiting patiently for a response from a lender, and going through the required paperwork, it’s time for you to get approved for a private student loan! Once you have been approved for a loan, the lender will transfer money to your school.

8. Paying back your private student loan

Once you get a private student loan, it is important for you to be aware of the repayment period and other charges. The bank will send you an email or letter that tells you about the amount that must be paid back. You should also know if there are any penalties or charges for not making monthly payments on time.

Federal student loan vs Private student loan

The federal government provides loans to domestic students

Federal loans are the safest option when it comes to taking out a loan for college if you are eligible for them. Federal student loans typically have lower interest rates compared to private student loans, they do not require a co-signer, and you will not accumulate any additional debt if your student situation changes.

Private student loans may be used for continuing education or for students who do not qualify for federal loans. Before applying for a private student loan, make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of your lender or bank. You can get your credit report and score from all three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax to help you find a suitable lender.

Note: Consider getting a private student loan only when you don’t get approved for a federal student loan or your federal student loan is not enough for your education expenses.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking Private Loans

Private students are great alternatives for students who have a bad credit history or have applied for a federal loan but did not get approved. But they do come with both pros and cons that must be considered before applying for them.

Advantages

1. Private student loans give you the freedom and flexibility of choosing your own loan amount and loan duration.

2. You can get rewards for having good credit. Your interest might get lower if you have a good credit history.

3. You get more freedom to use the money that you borrow in any way you want during your college years.

4. You can apply for a private student loan anytime you want. No matter if you are in the middle of your college career or if you are graduating, you can still apply for a private student loan.

5. Private student loans can be used to repay your previous student loans.

7. Ideal for students who have a bad credit score or didn’t get approved for federal loans.

Disadvantages

1. You will be charged with higher interest rates than if you get a federal loan.

2. You are required to have a co-signer if you have a bad or no credit history with most lenders.

3. It is essential that you review all transaction and loan terms with your lender to avoid any misunderstandings or miscommunications.

4. You may not be able to change the duration of your repayment without increasing the interest rates

A few things to consider

  • Opt for private student loans only if you don’t qualify for a federal student loan
  • Compare multiple lenders and banks before finalizing a lender
  • Borrow only what you need to stay in school and pay for your education expenses
  • Don’t miss out on any repayment term and make sure you repay your private student loan on time
  • Find a co-signer if you need one
  • Read the terms and conditions carefully before signing any agreement

Final thoughts

So there you have it! A private student loan is great if you don’t qualify for a federal student loan. Make sure you consider all options before you apply for a private student loan. Always review the terms and conditions with your lender before you sign anything.


International Student Credit Card
November 8th, 2021 by Al C

Using a credit card for online purchases

International students often struggle to pay for their education. From high tuition fees to living expenses, international students have to pay a lot of money. And not everyone qualifies for financial aid or scholarships. So, if you are an international student, having an international credit card is a must.

International student credit cards allow students to pay for books and supplies, food, housing, and other expenses. With these types of cards, there is no need to carry cash or take out money from a bank machine. And the best part is that many of these cards have relatively low interest rates. Normally, international students pay an annual percentage rate (APR) of 17%-19.9%.

An international student’s credit card offers a lot of perks to international students. In this article, we are going to talk about their advantages and disadvantages. This article will be really helpful for international students.

What is an International Student Credit Card?

International student credit cards are a type of card that is only available to students outside of their home country. They provide support to students as they look for opportunities to build their financial history. It allows students to pay for expenses such as books and food.

When you have, use and repay money on a credit card, lenders are more likely to see that you are capable of repaying your debt. International student credit cards are beneficial for students in this way because they help to build their credit score. They provide an important tool to build a successful financial profile in the country they are studying in.

What are the benefits of having an international student credit card?

As an international student, there are many benefits of having one. Here are some of the benefits:

1. Easy to apply

Many students can easily get approved for international student credit cards because it’s often quite easy to apply for them. You can apply for international student credit cards online and receive a response within minutes. If you want to be able to use your cards as soon as possible, you should definitely apply for an international credit card.

2. Rewards Program

With international student credit cards, it’s really easy to earn rewards for daily spending. All you have to do is sign up for a rewards card and then use your credit card to pay for all of your expenses. Many international student credit cards offer different types of rewards such as cashback, airline miles, and retail discounts.

3. Builds Credit Score/History

Having a student credit card allows students to build their financial profile in the country they live in. This makes it easier for them to buy a house or car once they graduate. Building credit history starts with a credit card. It is a great way to start building a good financial profile.

4. Fraud protection

International student credit cards provide fraud protection which means that you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent charges that appear on your statement as long as you report it within a certain time period. For example, if your credit card is stolen and someone uses your account to make a purchase, you won’t be held responsible as long as you report that fraudulent charge within 30 days.

What are the Disadvantages of having International Student Credit Cards?

Disadvantages of credit cards for international students

Everything good comes with a price! Although there are many benefits to it, there are also some disadvantages. Here are some of the disadvantages:

1. Fees

International student credit cards tend to have high fees. It is because credit card companies do not believe that students will pay their balances in full every month. They can charge higher interest rates sometimes which end up increasing the cost of borrowing money. Some international students’ credit cards have a yearly fee that is required to be paid once you open the account.

2. Foreign Transaction Fees

International student credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee every time a purchase is made outside of the registered country or if an international ATM request is used (for example if you used the card when visiting your home country during your vacation). When you use your card outside of the country, this will translate into a 3% to 5% charge. This usually occurs because international credit card companies have the power to access the wholesale rate for currency conversion.

3. Credit Limit

International student credit cards often have a low credit limit. This means that you will not be able to use your credit card for large purchases.

Secured Credit Cards Vs Unsecured Credit Card

A secured credit card is a type of loan that requires the borrower to place collateral against the funds. Most international student credit cards are unsecured because they don’t require collateral. Some banks might require collateral if your international credit score isn’t ideal.

Eligibility Criteria for International Student Credit Cards

Using a credit card as an international student

1. Student Status: To qualify for it, you must be a full-time international student.

2. 18 Years of Age: Most companies give credit cards to students who are at least 18 years old.

3. Annual Income: You will not be able to get approval for it if your annual income is below the limit set by the issuer.

4. Valid Address: You must have a permanent address where you can receive your credit card statement each month.

5. Social Security Number (Not every credit card issuer requires it): A SSN is required to apply for many cards. Without one, you will may be able to get approved.

6. Valid Phone Number: Most credit card companies require an international phone number as well as a home address to confirm the identity of the person applying for a student credit card.

How to apply for International Student Credit Cards?

There are many different credit cards that you can apply for. However, it is important to do your research first before applying for one. Here are some tips that will help you apply for suitable international student credit cards:

1. Open up a bank account:

Before applying, first, open up a bank account with the bank that you choose. Take some time to look at all of the different credit cards and compare their rates and fees. This is very important because it will give you a better idea of which one to choose.

2. Check your eligibility:

You should always check your eligibility. It isn’t always clear before you apply, but if you can see from the criteria that you will not qualify, it will do your credit history more damage to apply and be rejected..

3. Research various credit card companies

Look for customer reviews online and read everything about the credit card issuers who are offering you the card. Make sure that the company is reputable and has been in business for a long time.

4. Look at fees and rewards

Make sure to look at all the fees associated with the card. Compare different cards and see which one offers you the lowest interest rate. Also, consider looking for a card that offers rewards.

5. Get a cosigner

If you are unable to find a suitable card on your own, consider asking for a cosigner. Sometimes, banks will give you a higher chance of being approved if you have someone vouching for you. Just make sure that the person who is willing to cosign for you is a stable source of income and has a good credit history.

6. Apply online

Applying online is the easiest way to apply for a card because it usually requires less paperwork and also takes less time. All you have to do is fill out an application, wait for approval, and access your account.

Top International Student Credit Cards

International student holding a variety of cards

1. Capital One Platinum Credit Card: This company offers a low-interest rate of 9%. It also charges no annual fee. It has an APR of 26.99% (variable). You can quickly and easily apply for this credit card online.

2. Discover it for Students: This card is perfect for students who often travel outside of the United States. It charges no annual fee and has a low-interest rate. The maximum APR that you can be charged is 12.99%-21.99%. You can quickly and easily apply for this credit card online.

3. Chase Student Visa Credit Card: With no annual fees, you can easily apply online for this card. You will be given a credit limit that is equal to half of your annual income or less. The APR is very low at 14.99% (variable).

4. Deserve EDU: There is no annual fee as well as foreign transaction fee. The APR is 18.74% (variable). It doesn’t require any SSN to apply. You can also apply online for this card.

5. Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card: It’s easy to apply for a cashback credit card. It has a $0 annual fee and a variable APR of 26.99% (Variable). There is no foreign transaction fee and it is accepted worldwide.

Top Tips:

1. Make sure to do your research before applying for an international student credit card so you can compare different offers and find the best one for your needs.

2. Always check your eligibility before applying for a credit card because some credit cards will not approve certain applicants based on their circumstances.

3. Keep good credit so you can increase your chances of being approved for an international student credit card in the future.

4. When filling out an application, answer all questions truthfully and pay close attention to detail because if there are any errors, your application might be rejected which will take more time to reapply for the credit card.

5. Monitor your credit card activity so you can avoid being charged with over-limit fees or late payment fees.

6. Always read the fine print of any credit card offer before signing up for any credit card because it will help you know exactly what to expect once the account is opened.

Final thoughts:

Applying for an international student credit card is easy as long as you know what to do. By following these top tips, you can easily apply for a great card that will suit your needs and help you build good credit history.


Breaking News: Borrow up to $100,000 if you’re studying in the U.S. or Canada
October 29th, 2021 by Al C

Borrow up to $100,000 if you're studying in the U.S. or Canada

Are you an international student in the U.S. or Canada?

You can now borrow up to $100,000 for your studies from MPOWER Financing! That’s a lot of money that will help you pay for tuition, housing and other expenses while studying here in North America. It’s also flexible enough to cover unexpected costs like books and transportation fees. And with MPOWER’s flexible repayment plan options, it’ll be easier than ever to repay your loan after graduation so you can get on with life without worrying about debt hanging over your head.

We know how hard it is to manage finances when you are studying abroad so we’ve made this process as easy as possible for you to find out if you are eligible for a loan with one of our partner lenders. If you’re ready to apply right away just use our loan comparison tool.

You can also find out more at MPOWERfinancing.com


The shocking student loan debt statistics for 2021
October 25th, 2021 by Al C

As time goes by, the average student loan debt continues to rise. While students should only have to focus on their education and future, student loans are becoming a major concern for both students and their parents.

From tuition fees to books, many students are spending thousands of dollars before even they become graduates. It doesn’t end here, student loans have a significant impact on the average 21-year-old college graduate’s income. In fact, it also affects their average yearly earnings for the rest of their lives.

It’s almost impossible for an average student to get admission to good colleges in the USA or Canada without scholarships, federal student aid, or financial support of some kind. Therefore, average students can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on tuition fees and other course materials each year. Thus, private student loans are the only solution to their problem for many.

The only problem with that is most students don’t know how much exactly they will earn after their bachelor’s degree. If students had enough knowledge about the average student loan debt, average tuition fees, and average salary after graduation, they would be able to solve this problem more easily. That’s why we are here to help.

We have gathered a bunch of information that you as a student must know. So keep on reading and get familiar with the average student loan debt!

Average student loan debt: $27,975

For average students in the USA and Canada, the average student loan debt at the time of graduation is $27,975. This average student loan debt varies from school to school and course of study.

For example, the average graduate with a law degree owes more than the average student with an engineering degree. That’s just how it goes, students in the USA and Canada owe over $27,000 at the time of graduation.

Average student loan debt per year: $9,410

It’s a well-known fact that average tuition fees for colleges and universities are more than ever before. The average student loan debt per year is $9,410. It’s not just average students in the USA and Canada who are facing this problem. Students in the UK also seem to be under a lot of pressure with average student loan debt per year that reaches up to £10,000!

Average monthly student loan payments: $775

Students who live on their own and those who live with family members have to pay $775 as monthly payments. This number seems to be normal, but what’s not normal is the average amount of interest students have to pay back after their graduation.

The average interest rate on student loans: 6.5%

The national average interest rate on student loans is 6.5%-8.50%. This percentage will depend on the public market rates and the rate the school sets.

However, even if this percentage is a lot lower than credit card interest rates and bank loan rates, it can still affect your average income after graduation. Since it takes a few years to pay off student loans, most students rely on their parents for support and financial aid.

Average college tuition fee: $30,000-$45,000

In the last 10 years, average college tuition fees have increased by 2 times. In fact, the average college tuition fee is now $30,000-$45,000 per year.

In some universities and colleges in Canada and the USA, you might even need to spend up to $50,000 a year if your study program is more demanding.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular colleges in Canada and the USA with their average tuition fees. Most of these average college tuition fees don’t include the cost of living and other expenses that students need to pay. So these fees are only for your college education.

$52,000 – Columbia University (New York)

$51,000 – Sarah Lawrence College (NY)

$50,000 – George Washington University (Washington DC)

$49,560- New York University

$47,950 – Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts (New York)

$44,000 – William Paterson University of New Jersey

$43,000 – Northwestern University (Illinois)

$40,520 – Georgia State University

$39,970 – Northeastern University

Other costs that students usually forget about:

Books and course materials. For example, if you’re planning to study medicine, we’re talking about hundreds of dollars per semester for books and course materials. Transportation fees and living costs. You will also need to pay for your transportation since you can’t always rely on public transportation or your parents drive you to school and college. Let’s see how much do they cost on average:

1. Living costs:

Living cost varies from one city to another. It depends on the average rent price in your city, plus other expenses that you have every month. Let’s just say it costs around $800-$1000 per month for living costs if you live alone or with a friend.

2. Transportation cost:

If you’re studying at a university or college that isn’t close to your home, you will need to pay for transportation on daily basis. An average student who drives to school might spend up to $50 per week on gas and other costs. If they are taking the bus, it’s safe to say that this amount can be higher depending on how far they need to travel.

3. Food cost:

It’s normal to go out with your friends and family for dinner, drinks or fast food. This can be very expensive if you do this every day! Let’s say it costs you $50 per week just to eat outside and socialize.

4. Books and course materials:

Most schools and colleges expect their students to have their own books and course material. The average cost of a book is approximately $200-$250 if the textbook is new. If you’re studying engineering or medicine, you’ll need other study materials such as laboratory kits, CDs, and software.

5. Other expenses:

You might need to visit the dentist or doctor for a checkup. If you need glasses, contact lenses, or other medical aids, don’t forget to add this expense too! Other expenses like going out or entertainment are also included.

Federal student loan debt vs private student loan debt

If you need to take Federal student loans or a private student loan, here’s what you should know. Federal loans have better conditions and lower interest rates than private loans. For example, the federal government sets their student loans interest rate depending on the type of study program and the year you’re in at school. On the other hand, private lenders set their own interest rates. They are usually higher than federal rates, so it’s better to avoid them.

The average federal student loan in the USA is $36,000. In Canada, this amount can be higher or lower depending on your province of residence and what study program you’re taking at a college or university. In order to reduce the loan payments, you can take a look at their plans such as the Federal Family Education Loans.

When it comes to private student loans or direct loans, the average is $14,400 for graduates with bachelor’s degrees. On the other hand, students who drop out of college or university have more than $20,000 in private student loan debt on average.

You can find information about private international student loans here:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is CompareStudentLoans.png

What country is #1 in student loans?

The USA is the country with the highest student loan debt in the world, so it’s no surprise that they also have one of the highest average college tuition fees. On average you need to pay $35,000 if you study at a US university or college after high school.

In 2017, student loan debt has reached a new record in the USA. It currently amounts to $1.33 trillion which means every American owes an average of $37,172. It’s even higher than the car and credit card loans.

It’s not the tuition that’s causing the problem, but the cost of living which is very expensive in most cities. Cities like New York and Los Angeles have a very high cost of living. And the same this is happening in Canada. With high tuition fees and living costs, it won’t be surprised if we reach $100,000 in the next few years.

What would happen if you fail to pay your student loans?

If you fail to pay back your student loan, this can lead to serious problems

1. Increased interest rates:

If you default on your student loans, the federal government can increase the interest rate for their federal loans. This means that instead of paying 6% (the current interest rate), it will be 18-23%, which is very high! The interest rates could increase more if you take direct loans or personal loans from private student lenders. And if you can’t manage to find a suitable job you will find yourself in more debt.

2. You can’t pass the background check:

If you want to work for the government or join the military, you will need to pass a thorough background check. One of these is passing a credit score check. If your credit score is low, it means that you’re not reliable with money and this isn’t something you want to show on your background check.

3. Bad credit:

If you fail to pay your student loans, the federal government will send your account to a debt collection agency. If they can’t contact you or get you to pay back, this will affect your credit score and ruin it. This means that if you want to buy a house in the future, take out a loan for any other reason, or simply need a credit card, you won’t be approved because your credit score isn’t good.

4. Lawsuits:

If the debt collection agency fails to get in contact with you or can’t help you pay back, they will sue you for the money that you owe. If the court decides that you need to pay it back, they will take your bank account, tax refunds, and wages. This means that if you have any savings or are planning to get a big salary raise in the near future, it will be taken away from you by the courts!

Student loan debt reaches $2 trillion in 2021

We are in the last quarter of 2021. According to the student loan statistics and the federal reserve bank, the total student loan debt has reached a staggering $2 trillion. That means the average debt is $25,000 per person.

The cost of living has risen dramatically since 2007 and it’s expected to rise even further. The total number of students attending public universities has also risen to an all-time high and the cost of living is higher than ever before.

The cost of health care, food, and shelter has risen dramatically over the past few years which means that people spend much more on these items. This leaves less money for anything else like student loans.

In total, student loan debts have crossed the auto loans and private loans in the USA. And the number of people with student loans is expected to rise by about 1 million every year. The average net income of students has also fallen, which means that they have less money to spend on other things like loans and credit cards.

So what does this all mean?

The outstanding student loans will only continue to rise and it’s likely that we might reach $3 trillion in the next few years. The cost of living will continue to rise, which means that even if you don’t have student loans, life would be pretty expensive.

The average wage is already not enough to pay back your loan and it’s likely that we might reach $30,000 in the next few years. This means that if you want to continue your education and borrow an additional $30,000 for college expenses, you will have to pay back about $60,000 in the next 10 years.


Is Sallie Mae legit?
October 11th, 2021 by Al C

College lecture hall

Sallie Mae is a private student loan lender that can help you get the money to pay for school. And the simple answer to the question above is YES -it’s one of the largest and best regarded providers of private student loans in the U.S. and has been operating since 1973.

Sallie Mae, or Sallie Mae Bank, offers student loans of all types and sizes, giving students more options when borrowing than ever before, including to underserved groups – like DACA recipients or foreign residents who are seeking education in America and are usually ineligible for federal student loans.

In this post we’re going to cover some of the most common questions we get about Sallie Mae and private student loans in general.

What are the benefits of a Sallie Mae loan?

There are a number of benefits to a Sallie Mae student loan that set them apart from some other private loan companies.

Accessible for more applicants

With federal student loans and many private student loan lenders, eligibility criteria restrict many groups from accessing the funds they need to pay for their education at an American college or university. Sallie Mae does not exclude part-time students, international students or those with DACA status.

Loan forgiveness for death or disability

Sallie Mae will forgive, or “discharge”, the loan balance if the student is permanently disabled or dies – including in cases where it is the parents who are the borrowers and not the student themselves. Not even federal Parent PLUS loans have this benefit.

Cosigner release option

After 12 consecutive months of making your loan payments on time you can request that Sallie Mae remove your cosigner from your loan. Of the other private lenders that offer cosigner release, the majority only do so after several years of making payments on time.

Are there any drawbacks to Sallie Mae loans?

Like all private loans, there are pros and cons. Here are the lowlights of a student loan from Sallie Mae:

Fees for late or returned payments

Compared to other lenders, Sallie Mae charges a fee, or a higher fee, for making monthly payments late, or failed (returned) payments. A returned payment is when your payment “bounces” due to insufficient funds. At time of writing a fee of $20 is charged for these. For late payments the fee is 5% of the payment amount, or $25 – whichever is lower.

College student studying

Credit check required

In order to see if you qualify for a student loan from Sallie Mae, you have to complete the application and they will carry out a credit check which will potentially affect your credit score. Some alternative lenders pre-qualify applicants to give them an idea of if they would qualify and what typical loan terms would apply without carrying out a full credit check.

Now that we’ve looked at the main pros and cons of Sallie Mae Bank compared to other lenders, let’s take a closer look at what kinds of loan are available and more detail on Sallie Mae as a loan servicer.

Student loan options

Sallie Mae offers the following types of student loan:

Undergraduate student loan

Sallie May undergraduate student loans allow dependent students to borrow additional funds over and above the maximum amount they can borrow with a federal student loan. You can borrow between $1,000 and the total cost of attendance over 5, 10 or 15 years without origination fees and without prepayment penalties.

Professional training loans

Whether it’s culinary training or another type of technical or trade school, Sallie Mae’s Career Training Smart Option Student Loan allows students to borrow from $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance over 5, 10 or 15 years.

Loans for graduate programs

If you’re studying for a master’s degree, Sallie Mae offers graduate school loans that have no origination fees. The repayment term for the graduate loan is 15 years and includes a 6-month grace period after graduation.

MBA loan

If you’re attending business school, and studying for your master’s in business administration you can apply for a loan to cover all of your school-certified expenses. There is a 6-month grace period on this loan and you can defer payments for up to 48 months while you take on an internship.

Also available

Sallie Mae also offers student loans for those enrolled in Dental, Medical or Law school.

Eligibility

You must meet the following requirements in order to qualify:

  • Be 18 or over in most states
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If you are a DACA student or foreign resident and you have a U.S. citizen cosigner you may be eligible.
  • You or your cosigner must demonstrate sufficient income to repay the loan.
  • You or your cosigner must undergo a credit check.

Repayment

There are a number of repayment plan types.

With deferred repayment no payments are required until after graduation and the end of any grace period.

On a fixed repayment plan a fixed amount is paid every month until graduation (or the end of any grace period) and then the borrower begins to repay the principal and interest.

With an interest repayment plan the borrower makes payments against the interest accruing on the loan during school and then begins to pay off the interest and principal after graduation / grace period.

Do you need a cosigner?

International and DACA students do require a cosigner but U.S. students do not.

Don’t forget to search and apply for other types of financial aid like scholarships and tuition waivers before relying on a loan.

Funds from private loans, like federal loans, are usually disbursed directly to your school to cover tuition and other expenses paid directly to the school before any remaining funds can be sent to your own bank account.

If you would like to apply for a student loan first check your eligibility. You will be shown any lenders that have a suitable program for you and be able to compare their terms and interest rates.


Things to Consider Before You Study Abroad
September 10th, 2021 by Al C

international students face many challenges including financial ones

There are many reasons why study abroad is not for everyone. You need to be aware of the costs, benefits of studying at home or abroad, and the pros and cons of taking out student loans for study abroad before you can make a decision on whether or not it will work best for you.

Study Abroad Costs

Remember that the cost of studying abroad is not just tuition, but also many other expenses such as accommodation and living expenses. A study abroad program is not cheap.

To make the most of your money, it’s important to budget accordingly. Consider everything you need to live like at home: food, clothing, transportation, books and school supplies, entertainment, insurance (health and travel), and incidentals (phone service, toiletries).

When you do this math ahead of time with realistic figures for your destination country, it’s easier to know what you can afford and if you’ll be able to go.

For help with budgeting and other practical questions see our budgeting guide [here].

What you might gain from studying abroad (or not)

Studying abroad is a great opportunity for a student to broaden their horizons and experience new cultures, countries, and lifestyles. It is an experience that will give them new perspectives on life that will have a great impact on them for years to come. Studying abroad will help their resume as they often learn different languages and customs.

But if you choose to study in your home country instead, you’ll benefit from having your parents or other family members available to help you when you need it. Your family will be in the same time zone, and much closer should an emergency arise. You won’t have to deal with language barriers either; instead, everyone speaks your language!

But maybe even more important than all of these is that studying abroad isn’t for everyone.

Don’t be pressured by parents, friends, or family members to do it if you’re unsure about doing so. It takes time to adjust when studying abroad in a different country, so before you commit to something that will change your life forever, consider your options carefully.

Taking out a Student Loan for Study Abroad

federal student aid is not usually available for international students in the U.S.

It’s rare for students or their families to be able to cover the full cost of a study abroad program without additional financial aid.

Many students get study abroad scholarships or are able to work to help pay for costs, but sometimes they need to take out a student loan. If you’re considering this option -and it is an option- be aware of the pros and cons of getting a student loan for studying abroad.

Student loans for study abroad are different from student loans for studying in your home country.

For U.S. citizens or permanent residents, federal student loans can be used for study abroad programs as long as you meet all the criteria. There are also private study abroad loans. If you choose to study your entire degree program abroad then you may still be eligible for federal funding or private “foreign enrolled loans”.

For other international students the availability of loans to study abroad depends upon your nationality and your destination country. U.S. federal loans are not available for international students in studying in the United States, but there are some federal student aid programs that can help certain groups like DACA recipients. Non-citizens would need a private international student loan.

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Understand the pros and cons of taking out student loans for study abroad before making a decision

private loans can support your international education dreams

A student loan is a type of loan that enables you to pay the costs of your education. It can also cover for the cost of living, books, and even tuition fees. The great thing about a student loan is that it is quite manageable, as the monthly repayment is calculated to be manageable for a student or recent graduate.

As there are a limited number of lenders that specialize in international student loans, you’ll be working with a company that has the expertise you need in this area rather than a generic lender. This means you can expect a higher level of service at every stage of the application process.

On the other hand, the bad side is that student loans are not as common as other types of lending, and therefore there is less information about them.

Of course, the main downside of a loan is that you have to repay it plus interest, and since you’re probably going to be a student or fresh graduate with little income, the repayment may seem difficult at first. Student loan debt is no joke if you let it get out of hand and borrow more than you need (and more than you can afford to repay).

Student loans for study abroad can also be quite tricky because you have to take into consideration things such as the currency exchange rates and the different cost of living abroad.

At internationalstudentloan.com we match our readers with the best student loan lenders based on their situation. If you want to use educational loans for your studies, we hope this will help you select the right lender and loan for you.

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Research schools abroad and in your home country to make sure you make the best decision for you

there are many financial aid options for international students

Before you can really decide if studying abroad is the best option for you, you should research your options both at home and overseas to find the right combination of school or university plus course plus location.

You may find that some schools abroad are better suited to your needs than similar schools in your home country, and if this is the case then studying abroad is probably a good option for you.

Or you may find that there are similar options in your home country and studying abroad doesn’t suit your needs.

When you’re looking to study abroad, learn as much as you can about the school you want to attend; don’t choose a course purely because it’s cheaper than similar courses at other universities and colleges.

Other considerations:

Safety

It’s easy to take your safety for granted when you are near home, but when you’re abroad there are additional considerations such as crime and health risks, which can affect your study abroad experience. When picking a campus and housing location, keep this in mind. Ideally your campus should be located in an area where you feel safe, as should your living arrangements.

Language skills

Another consideration is language issues. For example, if you are from a non-English speaking background and want to study in the United States, you’ll need to demonstrate good English language proficiency when applying for or enrolling at an American college or university. You may be able to take some English language proficiency courses before starting your degree course, but this will depend on the college or university you choose and how intensive it is.

Money issues

The cost of living in different countries is very different, so don’t assume that the tuition fee for a college or university abroad is similar to what you would pay at home. For example, English universities charge international students up to three times more than domestic students, and in some countries international students can pay up to ten times more than locals.


At internationalstudentloan.com, we are dedicated to helping students get the best student loans possible for their education abroad. We’ll help you find the right lender and loan combination that suits your needs so you can focus on what’s really important: studying!

As a new graduate with little income, it may seem difficult to repay your student loans at first but our partner lenders have experience working with international students who want to study abroad. You can rest assured knowing that after signing up for an educational loan from one of our approved lenders, you will be matched with someone who understands how your brain works when making decisions about your student finances.


International Student Financial Aid Guide
August 27th, 2021 by Al C

Financial resources for international students

International student financial aid is a necessity for almost all international students wishing to study abroad and often times it can’t be obtained without applying for an international student loan.

Many international students, however, need a loan in addition to any awards or scholarships received. So what are these loans and how do you get them?

In this article we will explore both topics in order to provide some basic understanding of the complicated world of financial aid for international education, international student loans and how they work.

Read on if you would like some clarity into this confusing topic!

Why international financial aid is necessary

Financial aid for international students is necessary for almost all international students because the cost of studying abroad is more than the average student can afford – even with financial support from their family.

The average cost of studying abroad for a year can range anywhere from $30,000 to more than $70,000

Some of the most expensive in demand countries include the United States and the United Kingdom.

In both cases the tuition fees are more expensive for international students, and you need to add in other necessary costs such as accommodation and food.

The cost is around three times higher than what a student would have to pay at home for the same program.

How to get financial aid for international students

It is not easy to get financial aid as an international student and it requires you to work hard in order to obtain it. The first place to look for financial aid is with the school or university you will be attending.

Federal financial aid is not usually available for international students

In most cases students going to a school in the U.S. must first complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and apply for any government funding available – this is often the case even though international students are not usually eligible for federal aid.

Most universities have their own financial aid options and scholarship programs that international students can apply to. Some are merit-based while others are need-based. It is important to complete your application as soon as possible as most programs and scholarships only have a limited number of positions available.

There are also many scholarships for international students offered through private organisations that can be applied for online and there is no shortage of options. Search the database of international scholarships at www.iefa.org/scholarships.

Often times these scholarships have specific requirements, such as a minimum GPA and/or language proficiency but there are also general scholarships available. Once you have completed your application, it will be reviewed by the selection committee and if selected, you will be awarded a scholarship.

Lastly, remember that an international student loan is only a last resort after all other funding has been exhausted – it should never be used instead of applying for scholarships and/or government funding.

international undergraduate students

There are a small number of lenders who specialize in loans for international students, but they are not available in every country or at every school or university – a lender must have a suitable program for your chosen institution and you must meet their other lending criteria.

Another factor in the availability of loans for international students is that some lenders require you to have a cosigner (also known as a guarantor or co-borrower) who is legally responsible for repaying your loan if you fail to do so. That cosigner must be a U.S. permanent resident.

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Paying back your international student loan

Repayment of an international student loan will depend on the terms set out when you took the loan. Different lenders will have different repayment terms and interest rates.

Some lenders will allow you to defer repayments until after graduation while others will want you to start repaying your loan immediately.

Whatever repayment plan you have, your lender will be able to give you the exact details about how much you will have to repay and when – and you should be able to see the total cost of borrowing (including all interest and fees).

International student financial aid is a complex topic and it’s important for prospective students to research their options before making any decisions. There are many ways you can get financial assistance, but the first place to look should always be with your school or university. Your institution may offer scholarships that don’t require an essay; these are often need-based programs so if you’re struggling academically, this might not be a good option.

The next step would be to search the database of international scholarships at www.iefa.org/scholarships where there is no shortage of opportunities available (although some do have specific requirements).

Lastly, remember that borrowing money shouldn’t ever substitute applying for other sources of funding such as government grants or private scholarships – international loans should be used as a last resort. It is also important to look at the terms and conditions of your loan and understand where you currently stand financially before taking on any financial responsibility – if you have to take out an international student loan, make sure that it’s done with care.


How does studying abroad work?
August 18th, 2021 by Al C

Studying abroad is a great way to broaden your world view

Studying abroad is a great way to broaden your world view, build on your education and learn about different cultures. It’s also a great chance to make friends from other countries who can help you with your language skills. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, read on!

This article will answer questions about studying abroad such as: what are the steps and how it works? Who should do it? How much does it cost? What are some of the benefits of studying abroad? And more!

What do you need to study abroad?

Studying abroad is a great opportunity, but it’s also a challenging experience. You can’t just decide to study abroad and go. You need to know what you’re getting into first, including how studying abroad works and if it’s the right choice for you before making your decision.

If you’re thinking about studying abroad, start by asking yourself these questions:What do I want to get out of the experience? How will it help me in my career? Do I know where I want to live and/or study abroad? What am I willing to sacrifice for my education?

After that, make a plan. You’re going to need to decide on a host country and choose from available study abroad programs. Depending on your host country destination and the country where you are a citizen you may need a student visa. Make sure you apply for any student visas well in advance! Look at the costs of your departure, including airfare to get there. Think about some of the cultural differences and how that might affect you.

If this sounds like a lot of work, it can be – but it’s worth it in the end.

What about funding?

If you want to study elsewhere in Europe or another part of the world, you will probably have to apply for some programs and grants

If you want to study elsewhere in Europe or another part of the world, you will probably have to apply for some programs and grants.

Some of these grants are selective, so you can’t just apply for them if you want to! To find out more about studying abroad, we recommend that you visit your school’s international office or website. They have tons of information and many of them can help you with applying too.

There are also some scholarships available only for minorities or students from another country that are very competitive to get. Some of these scholarships will provide you with money to pay for your studies and living expenses, so this might be the right choice for you if you want to study abroad but don’t think that you can afford it.

How does studying abroad help you?

the long-term benefits in future career opportunities can't be understated when you enter the job market

Some people are reluctant to study abroad because they’ll be far from home or they worry about culture shock from being immersed in a new language and place. That is completely understandable, but studying a program at an international university can be a very rewarding experience. You’ll definitely get out of your comfort zone and learn more about yourself and different cultures in the process!

And the long-term benefits in future career opportunities can’t be understated when you enter the job market after returning from your host university. Hiring companies look at the way they can benefit from candidates’ experiences abroad where they have learned cultural awareness and communication skills better than they could domestically.

Studying or living in abroad will change you as a person. This is, of course, completely different than studying or living in your home town or even a different city in your country. Studying overseas will give you the opportunity to forge friendships with people from around the world – not just your new home.

You’ll get to know how things work differently there and are able to learn a little bit more about yourself while experiencing something completely new and foreign.

How long do you usually study abroad?

Most of the time that you study abroad it’s through a university program at your home university, which will usually take at least one semester. Some programs will be shorter depending on what you’re studying and where you are going to study, and some will be longer – such as a full academic year.

Some students chose to take their entire degree program at an international school – this is known as being “foreign enrolled”.

So it basically depends on the program and university you want to study at. There will be a lot of different programs to choose from, so you’ll have to make your pick!

Is Studying Abroad expensive?

Depending on where you study and how long for, studying abroad can be expensive. Many students get grants or scholarships to study abroad and have a job while they are studying. This is important to watch out for because sometimes the costs of living in another country will be more than you expected.

Tuition fees

A major reason for the difference in costs in your home country versus going abroad will be the tuition costs, which could range from being completely free to being much more expensive then if you were a domestic student.

Living costs

Travel and accommodation also add up. If you intend to fly home every vacation then this will not only severely diminish your overall experience, but will also cost a lot. Similarly the choices you make regarding where you live will have a big impact. Private accommodation is often the most expensive, while university dorms can be cheaper and really comfortable. To get really immersed in the culture, host families are a great option, and are often reasonably priced.

Depending on the place you go and your financial situation, planning ahead will help you get the most out of studying abroad.

What is the cheapest study abroad program?

If you want to study abroad, do your research and plan ahead. Make sure that the place you pick really is the best choice for you and your family (if they are joining you). If you want to study abroad in Europe, look at what your university offers and see if they have any programs that match your career and life goals.

Here are some of the cheapest countries that offer affordable study abroad programs:

  • Norway
  • Germany
  • France
  • Mexico
  • India
  • Poland
  • Argentina

How do I find a study abroad program?

If you’re a high school student and planning to study in college, there are many different programs that your university offers. Some of them will even provide you with financial aid just for studying abroad.

We recommend you to go to the college’s website or talk to the international office if you’re not sure what options are available. Many of them will have scholarships and financial opportunities for students who want to study abroad.

Also, you can look for scholarships to study abroad that are offered by other organizations and will help pay for your studies in another country and living expenses.

The main thing is to decide on the course and university you want to attend and then plan how to get there.

Which country is best for study abroad?

Different countries have different opportunities available for studying abroad

Fancy going to Costa Rica? The Dominican Republic? Maybe the Czech Republic or New Zealand? There are just so many options and no way for us to tell you which one is right for you. You can get a lot of information on the internet about different places you might want to study in, not just from the universities, but other resources too. This is good because you’ll be able to understand what the living expenses are like and how much it would cost you to go there for a semester or a year.

Different countries have different opportunities available for studying abroad. Some countries require you to learn the language of the country or have some background in their culture and traditions.

Some of the countries that offer the best living conditions and where you can feel comfortable living in are:

  • Italy
  • Spain
  • France
  • Germany
  • England
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Poland

The United States of America is also a country that has very good living facilities and great universities to study in.

Is studying abroad really worth it?

For many students, it is very hard to decide whether studying abroad is worth it or not. It can be very rewarding, but also one of the most expensive parts of their education. So, should you study abroad? 

Studies have shown that students who study abroad are more likely to graduate in four years and get jobs after they’ve graduated than those who have not. Plus, students with study abroad on their resume are in more demand for jobs today. 

It is also important to know that the university where you study will help you find a job after graduation. They might offer you money or internship opportunities just for going there and studying with them! That’s why many people think that studies abroad should be a part of the public university system because it is a great skill that employers want and need.

So it is definitely worth it!

The best part of studying abroad:

The best part of being an international student is that you can live in a different place and explore the culture of another place. You get to meet new people and make new friends from around the world. People also say that the experience they have outside their home helps them grow up faster and become more mature.

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Are you an American student interested in studying abroad in Europe?
June 30th, 2021 by Al C

Street in Paris - Study abroad

Each country in Europe offers an amazing opportunity to study abroad. US students benefit from living and studying in a multicultural academic environment where you can find a plethora of courses taught in English. 90% of study abroad programs require English test scores from non-native speakers.

If you study abroad, even if language learning is not your primary objective, and even if you take only english-taught courses, you will inevitably learn a new language and uncover secrets of a new and different culture.

If you choose a host university in a European country you will make new friends, benefit from high quality higher education and experience the kind of cultural immersion that is not possible in the US – and all at an extremely affordable cost as tuition fees for study programs in popular European destinations tend to be lower than many domestic colleges.

The UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Portugal and the Nordic nations are some of the most popular countries that receive the most foreign students each year. Europe is full of cuisines, languages cultural activities, and is a relatively small geographic area making it easier to explore than you might think.

Europe is fascinating. A collection of 50 nations each with its own distinct identity.

Europe is one of the most popular study abroad destinations in the world. Immerse yourself with a homestay in Barcelona, step into the world of international business with an internship in Brussels. Develop your drafting and design skills in Berlin or hone your filmmaking chops in Prague. Celebrate Bastille Day by the Seine, or “The White Nights” by the Neva. Explore world renowned museums in some of the most beautiful cities in the world and choose from a truly diverse range of study programs and cultural excursions you won’t find at home.

Popular destinations

With so many amazing courses offered at some of the top universities in the world, it can be hard to choose between all of the European countries and the study abroad programs at universities there. There are, of course, some countries that will naturally spring to mind when you consider your options, but some of the more overlooked European countries also happen to be more affordable (and off the beaten path). If you want to expand your options beyond the stereotypical destinations, you could also consider many “less popular” destinations in Eastern Europe, for example.

But let’s start with some of the most popular European destinations:

United Kingdom

London (UK)

The United Kingdom (UK) attracts a wonderful mixture of thousands of international students from all over the world every semester. The country boast over 150 institutions to study. The UK is home to some of the world’s most prestigious and top-ranked universities, and there is a long tradition of welcoming foreign students year round.

International students flock to the UK for the incredible cultural experience, unmatched higher education standards, and history.

Spain

Spain is a hugely popular study abroad destination for Americans – especially those that want to learn Spanish as they study. Thousands of students choose to study at higher education institutions in Spain every year, placing it in Europe’s top 10 Study Abroad Countries in Europe.

Spain is known for both cultural experiences and culinary arts. Local history and culture make it a great study abroad destination. Enjoy tapas bars, great food, football and the country’s rich history.

If you’re looking for a dynamic, exciting, culturally rich experience, vamos a Espana!

Portugal

Portugal

Portugal is another popular destination for studying abroad in Western Europe. The country offers over 300 days of sunshine every year, a wide range of beaches, vineyards and wine. Enjoy the sun, food and nightlife, while taking a study abroad program at a historic university.

Switzerland

Switzerland is known for its beautiful mountains, delicious cheeses, yummy chocolates, and clean towns. Tuition fees at most public universities are the same for all foreign students, irrespective of where they are from, meaning that even though it can be an expensive destination, you are not penalised over an EU student when it comes to tuition fees. You have the chance to learn four languages – French, German, Italian, and Romansh in Switzerland. When you’re not hitting the books you can make the most of your study abroad experience and enjoy the beauty of the Swiss Alps, explore picturesque towns, and taste some of Switzerland’s mouth-watering cuisine.

Italy

Rome

Italy is home to a wide range of excellent academic institutions. International students are warmly welcomed in the country’s universities. Italy is known to have some of the best fashion design programs in Europe if you are interested in fashion, design, art and similar courses.

Immerse yourself in Italian culture and enjoy the Italian way of life!

Denmark

Denmark regularly ranks on lists of the most liveable, safest, and happiest places in the world. Why wouldn’t you want to explore the study programmes offered there?

The Danes are known for their sense of togetherness and cohesion, good news for international students trying to make new friends and adjust to a new culture and way of life. Danish universities are set up to promote creativity and innovation, so this is an ideal place to pursue creative courses.

Study Abroad Programs in Europe

Social sciences, life sciences, computer science, natural sciences, language studies, public relations, law, human rights, information technology, history or any other program – you will find the perfect course if you study in Europe.

International Students

Europe is incredibly welcoming to international students from all over the world. Europe has one of the highest study abroad participation rates globally. The European Union is dedicated to promoting cooperation and collaboration between countries including the USA, and higher education is one area where this is particularly prominent.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Europe can vary greatly depending on where you study, overall, however, if you’re coming from a big city in the US you’ll feel like the cost of living is generally lower unless you choose to live in one of the big cities like London, Madrid or Berlin.

Scholarships for studying abroad in Europe

Students working

European universities and government agencies offer scholarships to students studying in Europe. There are also scholarships offered in the US, such as Fullbright and Gillman scholarships.

For the most comprehensive international scholarships listing, see www.IEFA.org

Safety

Study abroad students should be vigilant when travelling in tourist hotspots as these tend to attract pickpockets and as a result petty thefts are fairly common. To avoid this, don’t leave valuables unattended and stay alert in crowded areas. Overall it is very safe to study abroad in Europe, and your university will be able to provide plenty of information about particular areas to avoid or anything to be wary of.

Study Abroad Loans

Study abroad loans are designed to help students from the US to cover the costs of their studies abroad on short programs of up to one year. That may be a short summer program of a few weeks, a single semester or a full academic year. Depending on your chosen program you could study in multiple countries in a single year (for example staking one semester in France and another in Italy).

Study Abroad Loans are available in the same way as if you required additional funds to cover tuition in the US – they are administered through your “home university” – the university in the US that you are enrolled at as a full-time student.

You may use federal funding, including federal loans, to finance short study abroad programs. For more details visit: https://www.internationalstudentloan.com/study_abroad/

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Foreign Enrolled Loans

Foreign Enrolled Loans are for those students who enrol directly as a full-time student at a foreign university not just for a semester or two, but for the duration of their entire course of 3 or 4 years.

There are only a small number of lenders that can assist with this type of funding, and you can find more details here: https://www.internationalstudentloan.com/foreign_enrolled/

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Frequently asked questions

Which country is best for study in Europe?

Leaving for college abroad is an exciting time in a student’s life. However, choosing where to attend can be overwhelming. Students often pick their school by location, programs offered, or scholarships available. Ultimately it’s a personal choice depending on your preferences and interests. There are many things that students should take into consideration, including cost of living, safety, and culture.

Which is the cheapest country to study in Europe?

Generally speaking in Western and Northern Europe the cost of living is more expensive, while in Southern and Eastern Europe it is cheaper. However the cost of living can vary greatly within a country – depending on whether you live in a big city or a smaller town. You should find the universities that you would like to attend, and get advice from the financial aid office or international student advisors. Remember that tuition fees for foreign students can range from free to very expensive depending on your program and you must factor that in.

What should I study abroad in Europe?

The program you choose to study in Europe depends only on your chosen career path or major. Whatever you choose, you’ll find a study abroad program that meets your needs. Of course, if you are a languages student, then it makes sense to visit and study in a country where you can use your language skills in daily life and really benefit from the language learning opportunity.

How much does it cost to study abroad in Europe?

It can be significantly cheaper to live and study in Europe from day to day – but don’t forget the additional costs like travel expenses and insurance, plus the extra money you might spend exploring the continent in this once-in-your-life experience.


What’s the difference between foreign enrolled and study abroad loans for U.S. students?
May 27th, 2021 by Al C

US Student study abroad

Studying abroad is a great way to broaden your horizons and experience different cultures. It’s also an excellent opportunity for students to improve their language skills, or study subjects that are not offered in their home country. International students overwhelmingly report benefiting greatly from the experience during their time abroad and in the impact on their future careers as well.

One of the most frequently asked questions U.S. students ask themselves when they’re considering a study abroad program is whether they should apply for a foreign enrolled student loan or a study abroad loan?

This blog post will help explain the difference between these two loans so you can make an informed decision about how much money you need to borrow while you’re away from home.

Financial Aid

The first thing we always suggest to US citizen or permanent resident students who want to study abroad is to focus on all types of financial aid that they are eligible for as well as private student loans. In the case of US citizens, permanent residents and eligible non-citizens, this means looking for federal student aid, federal student loans, grants, awards and scholarships. Interest rates on federal student loans are usually more favorable than with a private loan program.

Getting an international student loan from a private lender would be the next course of action if for some reason you didn’t apply for the FAFSA, or you didn’t meet the deadline, don’t qualify for federal aid, or if you still need additional funding to cover the cost of your international education experience.

If you’re already attending college in the US speak to the financial aid office and the study abroad office at your school for their guidance.

International Student Loans

Study Abroad Loans for China

The international student loans we will discuss in this blog post are “Study Abroad Loans” and “Foreign Enrolled Loans“. These 2 loan types are for American students outside the US studying at schools or universities that are approved by the US Department of Education.

The difference is in the type of study abroad program that you are taking.

Study Abroad

These student loans are for those students taking on a short period of international study at an eligible school around the world – often short programs, a semester or a one-year course.

Study abroad students are enrolled at their “home” college, and only travel to international schools for part of their degree. For this reason more private lenders are available for these loan programs because more U.S. schools are approved.

It’s likely that there are study abroad counsellors to advise you on your funding options and help you chose the perfect university to visit.

Find Study Abroad Loans here.

Foreign Enrolled

These loans, in contrast, are for a US citizen, a permanent resident or an eligible non-citizen, who decides to enrol full-time at an overseas college for the duration of their degree – and these are for undergraduate and graduate students.

Foreign enrolled students have no “home” college in the U.S. because they are a full-time international students at their chosen university. This means that funding, and in particular loans are available at fewer schools, however there are many! You can check if your school is eligible here. For a school to appear on the lenders’ lists where a loan program is an option, they must first be approved for federal loans through the U.S. Department of Education.

Find Foreign Enrolled Loans here.

Eligibility requirements for student loans

Students studying abroad are no different from those studying on home soil in the eyes of the lender. No matter where you are studying, you will need to prove that you are creditworthy (meaning that you have good credit).

Because many students do not have enough credit history in their name to demonstrate creditworthiness, it is highly recommended that they ask a US cosigner to join their student loan application.

A cosigner (co-borrower, sponsor, or guarantor) joins the loan application in order to help the primary borrower to qualify, to improve the chances of securing a favorable interest rate on the student loan, and most importantly to guarantee to the lender that if the primary borrower fails to repay their student loan, the cosigner will do so.

With a cosigner, lenders will be able to use their credit score when making the decision on whether to approve the application.

Loan amount

Getting some or all of your education overseas can be expensive. The maximum loan amount that you can borrow will be set by the lender you choose, but your school must also approve this as you may not borrow more than the total cost of attendance.

Interest Rates

Interest rates on these loans are set by the provider. Applying with a cosigner is recommended to get the best interest rate available. To learn about fixed and variable interest rates see our resource here.

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