The world of loans may seem intimidating at first glance, but by educating yourself it becomes a lot easier to manage. By using our Loan Comparison Tool your loan search will be narrowed down to provide you with lenders that work with your citizenship status and your school. Although, we make the process of finding a loan simpler, when it comes to comparing loans what is it that you should look at? Below are 3 key things to look for when comparing loans.
1. Low APR
APR stands for annual percentage rate; although represented as a percentage it should not be confused with your loan’s interest rate. The APR is usually higher than the fixed or variable interest amount that the loan offers you because in addition to the interest rate it takes into account additional fees (origination, disbursement, application), length of the deferment period, and how interest capitalizes. Often times lenders will provide you with an attractive interest rate, but not mention what fees may be found in the fine print. The usage of the APR system was required by the government to protect individuals from bad loan practices from banks. Your loan is a long term investment, so using the APR is a better way to quantify the real costs of loans and a lower percentage means the less you´ll be paying in the long run. Read the rest of this entry »
If you are a US student planning to directly enroll in a foreign university, one of the most important things to stay on top of are the deadlines. Having a solid timeline outlined for applications (university, financial aid, loans) will help ensure that you take advantage of all financial assistance at your disposal. If you have made the decision to take out a private student loan, make sure that you have exhausted all your other options: scholarships and savings (and FAFSA if you are a US student). The college application process can be overwhelming, but here are some key loan tips to help ease the stress.
1. Ask and You Shall Receive Knowledge is power; the more informed you are the easier your decisions will be. Foreign universities may have a different system than what you are familiar with, so it is a good idea to get in contact with the financial aid department. Opening a line of communication with the school´s financial aid advisors can help you create a solid financial plan. You can normally find the financial advisors’ contact information published on the school website. Here are some ideas of what may be worth asking: Read the rest of this entry »
There are those of you about to enter into world of loan repayment who may have heard about this thing called loan consolidation. You think you have an idea of what it means, but just aren´t quite sure. Well don´t let the technical jargon throw you off. Here´s a nice little break down to start you off on the right track. First important fact, loan consolidation can be achieved through a federal or private lender.
Consolidation vs. Refinancing
When one speaks about consolidating loans, they are referring to combining multiple loans into one. This allows you to have one bill and one easy monthly payment. In comparison, when you refinance, rather than combining loans, you take out a new loan under new terms in order to pay off other existing loans. If looking to work with a federal lender, the only option is loan consolidation. However, if dealing with private lenders, you consolidate your loans into one easy monthly payment by refinancing; the goal being to ideally receive a lower interest rate under those new terms. Read the rest of this entry »
Are you interested in becoming a foreign enrolled student? Perhaps you’ve never heard the term; but, if you have dabbled with the idea of completing a full degree program outside the United States, then we’re talking to you. Those of you who have thought about applying to a foreign university, for a bachelor’s or master’s degree, may have been put off by the thought of how much it´s going to cost. What you may not be aware of, however, is that there are funding sources available to you. Here are some key resources to keep in mind when making plans to pay for a degree abroad. Read the rest of this entry »
Unlike scholarships and grants, student loans have to be paid back with interest. Therefore, you should always seek other “free” sources of funding before resorting to student loans. However, most students will require at least a small loan to cover the cost of their education, especially international students, whose funding sources are even more limited. But did you know that there are actually several benefits to taking out student loans? In this article, we will discuss five surprising ways student loans can help you.
1. Cover the Cost of your Education
Whether you need to cover just a few thousand dollars left over after a generous scholarship, or you have no outside funding and you need a loan for the entire cost of attendance, an international student loan can help pay for your education in the United States. Loans are especially helpful in covering a gap leftover after all the other various sources have been exhausted, but you can also take out a loan for the entire cost of attendance if you’re approved. If an American education seems out of reach financially, student loans can put it within your grasp.
2. Show Proof of Funds to Get a Visa
In order to get a student visa to study in the United States, you need to provide proof of funds. You may be able to use your loan to show the U.S. government that you have enough money to pay your tuition as well your daily living costs. While loans are not always accepted as a proof of funds, if you work with your school’s financial aid office as well as its Designated School Official (who assists with visas), your loan may help you get a visa. Read the rest of this entry »
Today is the day! Our Financial Aid Fun Contest has officially begun! Here is the first question to answer correctly in order to be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card!
“What is a cosigner?”
And the Winner of $100 is: Islam Taher
“A cosigner is someone who guarantees that if the borrower cannot pay back the loan, they will be legally responsible to pay back the debt. In other words, the cosigner is taking on a huge responsibility for the international student loan or study abroad loan since they are being asked to accept the responsibility of paying back the total loan amount plus any interest.”
Simply add us on Facebook or Twitter. Just submit the correct answer to the question by posting it on your feed and tagging us, posting it on our page, or submitting it directly on this blog as a comment below. We’ll announce the winners the following week. Don’t worry if the winner is not you. A new question will be announced next Friday – you have three questions and three chances to win during the next three weeks!
This opportunity is brought to you by InternationalStudent.com, the premier resource for students studying internationally, and your’s truly, International Student Loan. Remember, now is the time to apply for an International Student Loan if you need one. See if you’re eligible here.
Now is the time to prepare yourself for the school year ahead. If you’re planning to apply for a student loan, make sure you know and understand the terms and conditions of your loan options so that you can make an informed decision and plan ahead to repay your loan accordingly. If you’re like most students, these loan details can be confusing! But we’re here to help.
Join us for our Google Hangout – “Student Loan Terms Explained”. We’ll define and explain the terms you need to be familiar with when evaluating your loan options to put you on the right path to financial success.
“Student Loan Terms Explained” Google Hangout
Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 10 a.m. EDT
Can’t make it? Don’t worry – the video will be available afterwards to view anytime. You can view past hangouts and informational videos here.
Additionally, we are constantly sharing and providing resources and cool info for international students. Be sure to join us on YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook to stay in touch and to learn about more financial aid opportunities. Keep in mind that the best time to apply for your loan is in July at August, at least 6 weeks before your classes begin. Click here for more information.
We know first hand that wading through the jargon of legal documents can be extremely stressful. Since a complete list of student loan lingo would stretch around the block and back, we’ve opted for practicality and broken down (what may be the most important) 3 terms you must understand to evaluate student loans.
Deferment – Allows you to temporarily delay payments on your student loan.
Finding a US cosigner is the most important thing for any international student looking to apply for a student loan. That’s because all international students (and most US students) are required to have a US cosigner living in the US, who is a US citizen or permanent resident, but also has good credit. Check out our newest whiteboard where you can learn everything you need to know about US cosigners in under 5 minutes.
For any international student considering taking out a student loan for studying abroad it is vital to know what APR is and how it affects them. APR stand for annual percentage rate. Understanding the APR to your loan can be a bit confusing, as most people tend to confuse APR and interest rate. The APR on a loan is expressed as a percent point, which is generally higher than the interest rate. APR gives more of the total cost of a loan including the interest rate and the costs to borrow from the bank. The APR was mandated by the government in order to stop bad loan practices from banks. While students may get a great low interest rate, there may be many hidden costs that offset the great interest rates. Since every lender uses the same calculation to determine the APR that they will offer, the APR can be used to compare the real costs of loans from several different lenders. When shopping for a student loan, it is a good idea to compare the different APRs being offered by lenders. Here are a few tips to find the best APR while also getting an understanding of the expectations of the APR and your interest rate. Read the rest of this entry »