How to Pay Back Your Student Loans Faster as an International Student 
May 12th, 2022 by Al C

international students in black academic dress standing

Student loans can be a helpful way to pay for college in the United States. However, they can become a big financial problem after you graduate. If you want to get rid of your monthly student loan payment, there are ways to pay off your student loans more quickly. 

Although it might not be easy, accelerating your debt repayment could be worth the sacrifices in the end if you’re able to pay off your student loans ahead of schedule.

How to pay off your student loans faster

If you want to pay off your student loans quickly, here are some strategies that could help:

1. Refinance for a lower interest rate 

repay international student loans faster

If you want to pay off your student loans faster, you might want to refinance your international student loan with a lender in the United States.

If you refinance your loan, you might be able to get a lower interest rate. This means that less of your money will go towards the interest, so you might be able to afford extra payments on your refinanced loan.

Keep in mind that many lenders in the U.S. don’t have a prepayment penalty, so you won’t have to worry about any fees if you decide to make extra payments. 

Some lenders offer discounts if you make your payments on time or if you sign up for automatic payments. For example, MPOWER Financing offers a 0.50% rate cut if you put your refinanced student loan on autopay and an additional 0.50% rate discount after you’ve made six consecutive payments using autopay.

Reducing your interest rate as much as possible can help make your loan more affordable as you work to pay it off faster.

2. Pay more than the minimum payment 

When you borrow a student loan, you usually agree to pay it back with fixed monthly payments over a certain number of years. But if you pay more than the minimum amount due each month, you can reduce the number of years it will take for you to repay your loan. 

For example, let’s say you took out a $35,000 loan at a 10.00% rate. If you paid $463 per month, it would take you 10 years to pay it off. But if you could increase your monthly payment to $513 ($50 more per month), you would get rid of the debt 1 year and 6 months faster and save nearly $3,500 in interest. If you could pay $563 per month, it would take 2 years and 8 months less to pay off the debt and save nearly $6,000 in interest charges. 

You may want to increase your payments on your loan. But before doing that, make sure that the loan servicer is applying the payments correctly. The servicer should be putting your extra payments toward your principal balance instead of saving them for future bills. 

3. Find a job with student loan assistance 

getting a job that offers student loan repayment assistance

Some companies offer student loan assistance benefits to their employees. If you are looking for a new job, it might be worth looking for a company that will help you pay back your student loans. Note that not all student loans are eligible for this benefit – you might need to refinance your student loans with a U.S.-based lender to qualify for employer-sponsored student loan assistance. 

4. Make biweekly payments 

If you are making monthly student loan payments, consider switching to biweekly payments. This means splitting your monthly payment in half and paying that amount every two weeks. Instead of paying $200 once per month, for example, you would pay $100 every two weeks. 

It will feel like you are still paying the same amount each month, but you will actually make the equivalent of 13 monthly payments in the year instead of 12.

Making biweekly payments on your student loans is an easy way to pay off your debt faster without much extra effort on your part. 

5. Ask for a raise or work a side hustle 

coworkers

Making extra payments on your student loans can be difficult if you don’t have any money left over in your budget. If you want to get rid of your debt quickly, you’ll need to find ways to make more money. 

You could ask for a raise from your employer or start working a side hustle, like driving for a ride-sharing service or doing freelance work online. If you can make more money, you can use that extra cash to pay down your student loan debt faster. 

6. Reduce your living expenses 

Besides making more money, think about ways to spend less money. This will free up more of your budget to put towards your student loans. 

One way to do this is by downsizing to a cheaper apartment or moving in with a roommate or two. If you eat out at restaurants often, try cooking at home instead. And if your car payment is tough to afford, consider trading in your car for a less expensive one. 

Look over your monthly expenses and identify areas where you can cut back. For example, if you can save $50 or $100 per month, that will help you pay off your student loans sooner.

7. Put a cash windfall toward your loans 

If you receive some extra money, like a bonus at work or a gift, it might be tempting to spend it on something fun. But if you want to get rid of your student debt quickly, you should think about using that money to pay off your student loans. 

If you need some extra motivation, use a calculator to see how much extra payments would save you in interest. Seeing how much time and money you could save might give you the push you need to stay on track with your debt repayment goals.


LIVE EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT
March 11th, 2022 by Al C

international student loan live event

On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, our lending partner, MPOWER Financing, will be hosting a special live session about a limited-time 2.00% interest rate reduction. This will reward international students applying for future semesters with a better rate (because it pays to be an early planner!).

The live session is to help students understand the finer points of this program and interact with MPOWER student loan experts.

Why should you attend the event? Well, to get answers to questions like:

  • What can you do to qualify for a lower interest rate?
  • What can you do to get your application approved faster?
  • Free Q&A session: Ask the panel anything!

The session takes place on Tuesday, March 15, 2022

9:00–10:00 a.m. EST (USA) / 9:00–10:00 p.m. BJT (China) / 6:30–7:30 p.m. IST (India)


Everything you need to know before doing MBA in the U.S.
December 30th, 2021 by Sagnik Santra

mba from usa

The U.S. is undoubtedly one of the best countries where you can pursue your MBA. Many top business schools offer high-quality education and help students explore their full potential. Studying in the U.S. is like a dream come true as students get the opportunity to learn with the best brains of this nation who have set benchmarks. At present, there are some of the best business schools offering MBA courses and scholarships in the U.S.

In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know before doing MBA in the U.S. So, let’s begin?

Why should you choose the U.S. to do your MBA?

mba from usa

There are many reasons you should choose to do your MBA in the U.S. The first and foremost reason is that the U.S. offers some of the best business schools in the world. These schools are known for their high-quality education and rigorous curriculum.

Additionally, studying in the U.S. exposes students to the industry’s best business practices and latest trends. American colleges are also known for their great networking opportunities, which can help students to build powerful connections in the industry.

Apart from that, studying in the U.S. is also a great way to improve your English skills. The U.S. is a melting pot of cultures, and you will get to learn a lot about the American way of life. Also, America being a developed country, you can explore various job opportunities after completing your MBA.

What are the eligibility criteria for doing an MBA in the U.S.?

The eligibility criteria for doing an MBA in the U.S. vary from school to school. However, most colleges require students to have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Some schools may also require work experience or a GMAT score. You can check the eligibility criteria from the official websites of business schools across the U.S.

Is MBA expensive in the U.S.?

An MBA is indeed expensive in the U.S. Most MBA colleges charge students a hefty fee for their MBA programs. The average cost of an MBA program from a top business school in the U.S. can be anything between $28,000 and $35,000 (excluding living expenses).

Even the living cost can be pretty expensive as well. You need to budget around $1,000-1,500 per month for living expenses in a major city like New York or San Francisco.

But luckily, you can find tons of full and partial scholarships to study in the U.S. If you are planning to pursue MBA in American colleges, make sure to apply for scholarships well in time.

How to apply for an MBA scholarship in the U.S.?

mba from usa

Most universities across the U.S. offer various types of scholarships to study their business management courses. Some universities may provide merit-based scholarships, while others may give you need-based scholarships. There are university-specific as well as general scholarships that are available throughout the year.

You can search for scholarships on the university’s official website or various scholarship portals. Please read the eligibility criteria and other important information carefully before applying.

Top business schools in the U.S.

When it comes to business schools and universities, America has a lot to offer. You can find numerous world-class MBA colleges in the U.S. The top business schools in the U.S. usually feature in the global rankings of the best business schools.

Some of the most popular and renowned business schools in America are:

  • Harvard Business School
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Columbia Business School
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

So these are some of the best business schools in the U.S. that you can consider for your MBA. Do your research and find the school that is best suited for you.

Top MBA programs offered in the U.S.

The top MBA programs in the U.S. are ranked on various parameters. They include value for money, network, quality of faculty members, student satisfaction, and placement statistics. Some of the most popular MBA degrees to study in American colleges are:

  • Full-Time MBA
  • Executive MBA
  • Part-Time MBA
  • Online MBA

So, these are some of the top MBA programs that you can consider if you want to study in the U.S. Now let’s take a look at some of the best MBA courses in the U.S.

  • General Management
  • Human Resource ManagementFinance
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • International Business
  • Rural Management
  • Healthcare management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Energy and Utility Management
  • Retail Management

Not only these but there are also many other specialized MBA courses available in American colleges. So you can choose a program based on your career interests and current academic qualification.

Top MBA scholarships in the U.S.

mba from usa

As we mentioned, MBA courses can be expensive in the U.S. But there are various scholarships available to help finance your education. Some of the top MBA scholarships that you can apply for are:

1. Harvard business school scholarship

It is a scholarship offered by Harvard business school. The scholarship is open to full-time MBA, DBA, and EMBA students. It is one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world. You can be offered both partial and full scholarships depending on your profile.

2. Columbia business school scholarship

Columbia business school offers a wide range of scholarships for both domestic and international students. You can avail yourself partial to full scholarship based on your profile and course requirements. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can also apply for a Ph.D. scholarship at Columbia business school.

3. Wharton Fellowship Program

The Wharton fellowship program offers scholarships to students from different backgrounds and countries. The fellowship program provides a full tuition waiver to students and provides a stipend for living expenses. You must meet specific eligibility criteria such as required grade, leadership skills, and career goals to apply for this fellowship program.

4. Chicago Booth MBA Scholarships

The Chicago Booth MBA scholarships are offered to students who have demonstrated excellence in academics, professional achievement, and leadership. The scholarships can range from partial to full tuition waivers.

5. MIT Sloan MBA Scholarships

MIT Sloan MBA scholarships are awarded to highly talented students with excellent leadership skills and academic success. To qualify for the scholarship, you need to meet specific eligibility criteria such as minimum GMAT score and GPA.

6. Yale SOM

If you plan to study at the University of Yale, you can avail yourself of several scholarships offered by the school. The scholarships are provided to students with excellent academic credentials and leadership skills. You can get both full and partial scholarships based on your profile.

Final thoughts

So there you have it! Everything you need to know before doing an MBA from the U.S. We hope this article has been helpful. Do your research and find the school that is best suited for you. Also, don’t forget to apply for scholarships that can help finance your education. Good luck!


Best International Scholarships for International Students
December 14th, 2021 by Al C

man smiling while sitting and using internationalstudentloan.com

In a world where the competition is increasingly fierce, it’s no wonder that scholarships are in high demand. In fact, for international students who have to pay higher tuition fees than their local counterparts, it can be a life-changing opportunity. Fortunately, there are many scholarship opportunities available to today’s international students.

This article will cover some of the best and most popular options for international students looking for international financial aid. We will also cover some important things that might help you in your scholarship hunt.

What is an International Scholarship for Students?

woman reading book as she studies abroad

An international scholarship, as the name suggests, is a financial award available to students who are not citizens of the country in which they are studying. International scholarships can come from a variety of sources, including governments, universities, and private organizations that support a student for his/her financial need.

It helps students to pay for their educational expenses while they are attending a university or college in another country. Most scholarships are either full or partial. In full scholarships, the student receives all the money they need to cover their tuition and living expenses. Partial scholarships give students a percentage of the money they need.

Types of International Scholarships

There are various scholarships available to students from other countries. The most common ones include:

1. Academic Merit based scholarships

Merit scholarships are awarded to students based on their academic or other achievements. Often, the selection committee will look for students who have shown potential in their chosen field of study.

2. Need-based scholarships

These scholarships are awarded to students who can demonstrate that they need financial assistance in order to attend university. The selection committee decides how much money each student needs, and bases the scholarship on that amount.

3. Career-based scholarships

These scholarships are offered to students who wish to study in a particular field of work after graduation. For example, there may be scholarships available for students who want to become doctors, lawyers, or engineers. These types of scholarships are usually very competitive.

4. University-specific scholarships

Scholarships are also available to students at particular universities or in particular fields of study. These awards are usually given by private companies in the university’s field of business, industry, etc. Such awards can be vital for international students who may not have many other scholarship options.

5. Government-specific scholarships

These scholarships are funded by national governments and international organizations such as the United Nations. They can be instrumental in helping students study at universities around the world.

6. Location-based Scholarships

Location-based scholarships are one of the most famous scholarships among international students. They are usually restricted to students who wish to study in a particular region, such as Europe or South America. It opens up opportunities for bright students who belong from rural areas of their home country.

There are many, many more types of scholarships available to international students studying outside their home countries. It is important to research all the options carefully before applying!

Best Study Abroad Scholarships for an International Student (Undergraduate Students/Graduate Students)

Graduate in the library

There are many different scholarship programs available for international students. However, not all of them are created equal. Some scholarships are more prestigious and difficult to obtain than others. Here are some of the best scholarships available to international students:

1. The Fulbright Scholarship (USA)

The Fulbright program is one of the most famous and highly respected scholarships in the world. It is offered to students who wish to study in the United States. The scholarship covers all expenses, including tuition, room and board, and travel. The Fulbright Scholarship is awarded through a competitive selection process in which students are judged according to their academic and leadership potential. It is regularly in the top ten of all scholarships available in the world.

2. British Chevening Scholarships (UK)

The Chevening Scholarship is offered by the British government to students who wish to study in the United Kingdom. The scholarship covers all expenses, including tuition, room and board, and travel. The selection process is highly competitive, and only the top students are chosen. It is one of the most prestigious scholarships available to students from around the world.

3. University of Alberta International Country Scholarship (Canada)

The University of Alberta International Country Scholarship is provided by the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) is open to international students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. It offers scholarships for bright students who have shown excellence in their previous academic work. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition and living expenses.

4. Cambridge Trust Scholarship Awards (UK)

The Cambridge Trust Scholarship Awards are offered by the University of Cambridge (UK) to international students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and potential in their chosen field of study. The scholarship is awarded for the full duration of a student’s program at Cambridge and covers the cost of tuition and living expenses.

5. The Humphrey Fellowship Program (USA)

The Humphrey Fellowship Program is a fully funded fellowship offered by the United States government to students from developing countries who wish to study in the United States. The fellowship covers all expenses, including tuition, room and board, and travel. Since it is a government-backed program, the Humphrey Fellowship is extremely competitive.

6. Bell Fellowship for International Scholars (USA)

The Bell Fellowship offers fellowships to future leaders and young professionals in the field of population and development. The program offers a two-year research and leadership training at one of the world’s leading universities, with a focus on social and environmental determinants of population health, aging societies, workplace and wellbeing, and social and family demography. Selected fellows receive a full scholarship that covers tuition, room, and board and travel expenses.

7. Rhodes Global Scholarship to Study in (UK)

The Rhodes Global Scholarship is for exceptional students from outside the UK to study at the University of Oxford. It was one of the oldest and most prestigious scholarships in the world. The Rhodes Scholarships were founded in 1902 by Cecil Rhodes and are open to students from around the world who have the passion to make a difference in their community. The scholarship awards full tuition, room and board, and travel expenses for two or three years of study at Oxford.

8. Chevening Scholarships (UK)

Chevening Scholarships, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, are available for postgraduate study in almost any subject at master’s level at participating UK universities. The scholarship is open to students from around the world who have been invited by a UK university to study for an English language master’s degree.

9. AAUW International Fellowship (USA)

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) offers International Fellowships for women who are not United States citizens or permanent residents. The fellowship is open to graduate students in any discipline and awards up to $30,000 per year for two years of study.

10. Civil Society Leadership Awards (USA)

The Civil Society Leadership Awards (CSLA) are open to emerging leaders from civil society organizations working in the following areas: human rights, social justice, peace and reconciliation, the environment, and women’s empowerment. The CSLA program provides fellows with up to $90,000 for graduate study in the United States.

Things to consider before applying for scholarships:

There are a few things that foreign students have to keep in mind when applying for scholarships.

1. Do your research: Make sure you do your research on the different scholarships that are available to you. There are many different scholarships with different eligibility requirements, so make sure you find one that is a good fit for you.

2. Get organized: Make a list of all the scholarships for which you are eligible and start applying. Applying for scholarships can be a lot of work, so make sure you get organized before you start.

3. Show your commitment: You should always show your commitment to the scholarship or award by writing a personal statement on why you deserve the scholarship and what it will mean for you to receive it.

4. Be prepared to accept rejection: There are many reasons why some applications might not be successful, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the scholarship that you applied for. There are many other scholarships available, so keep looking for other sources that offer scholarships.

5. Follow the instructions: Make sure you read and follow the instructions carefully when applying for scholarships. If you don’t follow the instructions, your application might not be considered.

6. Apply for multiple scholarships: Don’t just apply for one scholarship. Apply for as many scholarships as you can, because you might not get selected for the first one that you apply for. You can also get selected for more than one scholarship, so it’s always worth applying.

7. Focus on your academic excellence: Make sure you focus on your academics because scholarships are not the only thing that matter in your life. Make good grades, get involved in extracurricular activities, and volunteer.

8. Show your passion: Show the scholarship committee how much you care about whatever scholarship or award that you are applying for. If you have a strong passion for whatever award or scholarship, then the committee members will be more likely to select you.

Final thoughts

Studying abroad is the dream of millions of students for higher education. And what better way than getting a scholarship to support their financial needs. But getting a scholarship is not easy, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Make sure you do your research, get organized, and follow the instructions carefully. And don’t forget to have fun while you’re applying for scholarships! There are many different scholarships available, so you’re bound to find one that’s perfect for you. Best of luck!


International Student Financial Aid UK
November 30th, 2021 by Al C

three round white wooden tables

Studying in the UK doesn’t have to be expensive. While tuition fees are on the rise, international students can apply for funding through government grants, scholarships, and international student loans. For American students, both federal financial aid and international student loans are also available. Financial support is available to help cover living expenses as well so that’s not something you need to worry about when it comes time to study abroad!

Financial aid is often given by the government or a few private sources. These can be obtained by students who are going to study abroad and want to finance their education outside of their home country. In addition, financial aid is given by many organizations which help in making an individual’s journey smooth and easy but they do not cover all costs. They can cover up to a certain percentage of the total amount.

Whatever form of financial aid you get, it’ll only help you with your finances throughout your academic journey. In this article, we will be looking at the major types of financial aid available in the UK for international students including American students.

Financial aid in the UK for international students

four people watching on white MacBook on top of glass-top table

The UK government and UK universities offer hundreds of international scholarships, financial support programs, and student loans to international students each year. The government awards scholarships to students based on their performance in academics, sports, or any other talent they possess. These are awarded to help with tuition fees and living expenses while at university.

Application procedures for international scholarships vary from one scholarship program to the next. But most of them require you to research your options then submit an application form including academic merit credentials as well as personal achievements. You may have to write an essay or submit a portfolio for some scholarships.

What do UK Financial aid offers cover?

They can cover a wide range of costs depending on the kind of program you qualify for. But here are some of the most common ones:

1. Tuition Fees:

Tuition fees are probably the most expensive thing you’ll have to pay for when studying abroad. Financial aid can help with tuition fees. You may also be able to get a scholarship or award that covers the full amount of your tuition fee so you don’t need to take out student loans at all!

2. Living Costs:

The second most expensive thing you need to worry about is living costs. Some programs take care of your living expenses both partially and in some cases, in full as well. So you can focus more on your studies and less on rents.

3. Other Expenses:

A few sponsors can help with other expenses including academic costs like books, stationery, and equipment. These are usually included in the tuition fee but if they’re not then you may be able to get a scholarship or award that covers these too.

Different types of aid in the UK

person walking on concrete road beside brown concrete house near green high trees under white sky during daytime

There are many types of aid which are available for international students in the UK. Here are some of them:

1. Scholarships

These can be given by governments, universities, or even private sources to help with tuition fees and living expenses while at university. Scholarships mainly cover your tuition fee and living costs to help with the overall cost of studying abroad.

Scholarships are available to international students at all levels of their academic journey including undergraduate, postgraduate, and Ph.D. programs as well as many other courses too! They’re also awarded based on a variety of criteria so you can find scholarships that match your personal qualities or interests. You can even qualify for more than one scholarship as well.

2. Grants

Similar to scholarships, grants cover your tuition fee and living costs. They’re given by governments or UK universities for different reasons so they can vary in their eligibility criteria too! Grants are awarded based on merit but some of them also take into account the financial situation of the applicant’s family as well. You may need to submit documents before you get a grant so make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria before applying.

Grants are usually awarded for undergraduate studies but some universities offer grants to postgraduate students or Ph.D. candidates as well! You can also get a government-funded scholarship if your country has an agreement with the UK, allowing their citizens to receive funding while studying in the UK.

3. Federal Student Loan

These are big loans that you can use to pay your tuition fee and living costs. They’re called federal as they’re are a part of the government student loan programs and come with low-interest rates. They are a great option if your scholarship or grant is not sufficient to cover the expenses. Federal loans are also given to students who can’t get a scholarship or grant and need extra financial support for studying in the UK.

Federal Loans also called Stafford Loans which are divided into two types: subsidised (given with no interest) and unsubsidised (with interests). Federal loans offer all students including American students and other international ones Ph.D., postgraduate, and undergraduate scholarships.

4. Private Student Loan

These are loans from private sources that you can use to pay for your tuition fee or living costs. They’re not given by the government so they have higher interest rates and some of them may also require a co-signer since international students usually don’t have a credit history.

You should be careful before taking any private loans as they usually require good credit history and higher interest rates. You must compare different lenders in order to find a suitable option.

5. Work-study program

This is another type of program that can help international students. It allows you to get a part-time job while studying. It will help with covering your tuition fee and living costs. You’ll be able to work for up to certain hours (depending on the university) per week during academic sessions, allowing you more time for studies too!

A work-study program is usually awarded to undergraduate students. It’s available at different universities in the UK so you can look for work-study programs while applying for your course of studies.

How to apply for financial aid in the UK?

aerial photography of people sitting on chair

The process of applying for support is different at each university so you need to check their website or contact them directly. There are also scholarships that can be applied online without any additional documents but some require specific ones like high school transcripts and SAT scores for example.

Here are the necessary steps that you must follow to apply for funding like this in the UK:

1. Research:

The first thing you need to do is research the types of financial aids/international student loans available for students like you. It will help you find scholarships and federal loans that match your personal qualities or interests. It will also help you estimate how much money you’ll need to pay for tuition, living costs, and other expenses.

3. Compare

List down the best options that you found after researching. It’s important to compare different aid options and their eligibility criteria before applying for anything. You should also check the university website or contact them directly if you need more information.

4. Look for merit-based scholarships

These types of scholarships are usually given for academic excellence, specifically when a student has outstanding results during his/her course of study! Merit-based scholarship programs generally have specific criteria so be sure to check them before applying.

5. Read the documents

Read the documents of your chosen options carefully. They usually have eligibility criteria so you need to meet them in order to get approved for any federal or private loans or scholarships. You should also check the application dates and deadlines since it’s important to be on time when applying especially if a deadline is closing soon!

6. Apply

Apply as soon as possible so you don’t miss any important deadlines. The sooner you apply, the better chances of getting approved! You can also boost your chance by writing a compelling cover letter and resume that highlights your achievements and skills to impress potential sponsors or donors.

Key takeaways

1. You should research the types of financial aid available to international students.

2. There are different sources for private loans and work-study programs that can be part of your financial aid package.

3. Check university websites or contact them directly if you need more information about financial aid options.

4. Make sure that you meet all eligibility criteria before applying for any type of financial aid.

5. Read the documents carefully and apply as soon as possible to improve your chances of being approved!

Final thoughts

The UK is one of the most popular destinations for international students looking for a world-class education. However, the cost of tuition is very high so it’s important to look for financial aid options that meet your needs and requirements! This article will help you understand how financial aids work in the UK and how to apply for one. So make sure to read it carefully to find out the best ways of covering all your tuition fees without putting a big dent in your savings.


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.


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.


In School Student Loan Deferment
September 24th, 2021 by Al C

In today’s world where student loans are the norm, especially for international students, it is increasingly important to be aware of how you can defer your payments while still in school.

This article will take a look at what exactly student loan deferment is, how it works and how to request to defer your student loan payments. It will also discuss some resources for more information on this topic, including how deferment applies to federal student loans and private student loans.

What is deferment?

Let’s get started with the most important thing to cover – what does deferment mean? In general terms, deferment is when you are allowed to put off paying your loan for a time under certain conditions.

On the surface this seems like a great idea because you are allowed to stop making your monthly loan payments for a time – up to three years in some cases. However, deferring student loans should only be done if you have no other options because during the deferment period you are not reducing your loan balance but your loans accrue interest. This means the total amount you owe, and the total cost of borrowing will increase.

If you’ve borrowed from a private lender then your student loan debt will only increase if you stop making monthly payments. However, federal student loan deferment if you have subsidized loans or Perkins loans can be a good idea because you do not accrue additional interest on federal student aid during deferment.

In the case of international student loans, students who are enrolled at least half time may be offered a repayment plan by their loan servicer that includes a period when no monthly payment is required or the payment is significantly reduced. Often this is during full time studies and until up to six months after graduation.

Deferment, Forbearance and Loan Forgiveness

You have probably heard all three of these terms and you’d be forgiven for being slightly confused about the similarities and differences.

Deferment and Forbearance

Student Loan Deferment and Loan Forgiveness are very similar. Both are temporary solutions for borrowers struggling with student loan repayment. Deferment can be granted for up to three years and forbearance usually up to 12 months.

Both are available on most federal student loans, and interest is accrued during deferment with the exception of subsidized loans or the Perkins loan. Private lenders are not obliged to offer any kind of deferment or forbearance options, but many do – especially in the form of a payment plan where student loan payments are zero or greatly reduced (sometimes interest-only) during school and for up to 6 months after graduation.

Making use of approved deferment or loan forgiveness will not negatively affect your credit score – missing a payment before you have been approved will. However it will impact the length of time and the total amount you repay.

These options are short-term solutions, an income driven repayment plan may be a better option if you believe that your ability to repay your loan will be affected long-term.

Loan Forgiveness

As suggested by the name, this is when the lender writes off or cancels some or all of the outstanding payments remaining. This is only used in extremely rare occasions such as foreclosure, bankruptcy or some kind of government legislation.

How in school deferment works

To defer student loans, you need to meet the requirements set out by the lender (or the government). For example, you might have a maximum of 3 years where you can defer your loan.

To request deferment, you need to send your student loan servicer the completed application form and any necessary supporting documentation. If you qualify, they must grant you the deferment. It’s important that you keep making payments until you receive the official notification from them saying that the application was approved. If you stop making the required repayments before you get the approval, this can affect your credit in the future as it will be a missed payment.

How long does an in-school deferment last?

In-school deferment lets you pause your student loan payments while you are an undergraduate, graduate or professional student enrolled half time or more on an approved course of study at an eligible college and for up to six months after graduation. This includes studies on an approved graduate fellowship program.

How to defer student loans for grad school

The process of student loan deferment is the same for graduate programs as for any other students that qualify.

How many credits to defer student loans?

In order to qualify for student loan deferment you will need to be taking enough credits to be considered as attending school half time or more. In most cases an undergraduate is considered to be full time when taking 12 credits per semester – 9 for a graduate student.

References and resources about student loans and financial aid

For resources on International Student Loans visit the resources page.

If you are looking for an international student loan in the US you can find information here.

If you are studying in Canada loans are available for international students.

Find your international scholarship with the IEFA international scholarship search.


Login




Register | Recover password

Get the Financial Aid Newsletter!