Studying at a university in the U.S. is a great idea because it’s one of the countries that offer some of the best education in the world. Take a look at worldwide college rankings lists and you’ll see that U.S. schools rank very highly.
You’ve probably heard of many of them like Stanford University, Harvard or M.I.T.
There’s just no denying that choosing America as a destination for your international education is commendable. After all, what prospective students want is to get high-quality education for their degree, at a fantastic school, in a country that’s filled with great opportunities, right? However, it’s important to note that it can be difficult if you’re not from the U.S.
That’s not a problem, though, if you sort out all the documents, formalities, and agreements. There are also a lot of U.S. schools that actively target international student enrolments because it’ll help improve their diversity and enable them to attract the most talented individuals.
If you’re confused about what university to choose, then you’ve just found the perfect article! In this post, we’ll show you some of the best colleges for international students. We’ll also talk about the factors to consider, as well as the benefits of studying in the U.S.
So let’s take a look our list of some of the best American colleges for international students:
Location: New York City, NY
Columbia University is one of the best US universities for international students to study at. It is located in New York City, NY, and is at the 6th spot of Forbes top US universities for foreigners.
This university is also located in the upper section of Manhattan, New York, right in the center of the most “international” city in the globe – making it a wonderful place to study.
What’s more, the international student body represents around 15% to 17% of all its students. This also makes it the 20th most foreign student-occupied university in the US.
University of Southern California
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Next on our list, the University of Southern California – home to more than 18,000 international students. And just like the other top universities in this list, its foreign student population is also growing pretty fast.
Approximately 6000 new foreign students enrol at USC every academic year. And that number keeps on rising Niche.com even named USC as the third-best college for international students in the US, while Forbes placed them in the 18th spot.
Location: New Haven, CT
Then there’s the iconic Yale University which always features in the upper echelons of Forbes and College Factual’s top colleges for foreign students.
What makes Yale a great choice is that it has some of the most generous financial aid programs for international students of any school in America, with some sources saying it reaches up to $58,000 to $60,000 each.
New York University
Location: New York City, NY
New York University ranks 11th in Forbes and 10th in Niche.com’s top universities for international students. One of the things that makes this a great choice for foreigners is because they really welcome international applications. In fact, New York University currently ranks #1 for the highest international student population in the U.S.
Students at NYU can also easily integrate with the different thriving industries in New York, knowing that it’s also the global center for trade and finance. Foreign students are assured to benefit greatly from the bespoke curated university programs from this school.
Location: Cambridge, MA
Coming in last (but not least) in our list is Harvard University. This comes in at 6th place in College Factual’s list of top international student universities, and 24th in Forbes.
What makes this a great choice for international students is the high financial aid given to them, amounting to up to $60,000 each. This is expected to increase as the demand for more international students is rising.
There are also more than 10,000 overseas students at Harvard, with thousands of students expected to apply in the coming months for admission in future years. Harvard also placed huge importance on welcoming foreign students as can be seen in their published guide to “culture shock.”
Benefits of Studying University in the USA for International Students
One of the best things about studying university in the US is the level of quality of education you get. It’s not a surprise that more of the best universities in the world are found in the US.
Some of these are Yale, Harvard, MIT, New York University, and the University of Southern California, to name a few. These are just some of the most well-known names, but there are still hundreds of other prestigious colleges and universities scattered around the US.
You’ll also have lots of choices to upgrade your education knowing that each state has its flagship university. Furthermore, completing your studies at a US university will surely make you an elite candidate for your future employers.
Many degree options
Another nice thing about studying university in the US is that you have many degree choices to choose from. There are more than 5,000 universities in the US that offer undergraduate degrees.
There are even some that give you the freedom to combine your minor and major subjects, giving you lots of freedom on which career path you want. The United States is surely the best place to go if you want to try out different subjects and classes.
There’s no other country offering such a diverse range of courses and flexibility. You can even study the newest and unheard of subjects, or maybe interact with globally-renowned scholars who are going to guide you through your studying years.
A large number of universities also means you have lots of choices in choosing the kind of experience you want. Also consider their offered courses, location, size, accommodation, tuition fees, facilities, student body, and sports programs.
Enjoy the American student lifestyle
Whether you attend one of the many private colleges, community colleges or a public college, studying at university is not just about reading books and attending classes. You also need to live a good life and hang out with your friends while enjoying your youth, right? Well, all of those things can be found in an American university.
Studying in the US means that you can experience one of the most diverse and interesting cultures in the world. You can also interact with students from different corners of the globe so that you can be geared towards a global career.
Surely, most, if not every youngster has dreamed of living in the US at least once. Well, the easiest way to make that dream come true is to travel to the US for studies.
You can live on the university campus and join fraternities, clubs, or even sports teams to make your stay more worthwhile.
Improve your English
We all know that English is the universal language, right? This also means that the current job market needs professionals who have good levels of English. What better way of learning this language than by immersing yourself in an environment with English as its main language?
You’ll also get a better understanding of English even if you’re already good at it. The accent, vocabulary, and the way you use it to socialize and build your network will improve, which could then help propel your career.
Remember that you’re going to interact with native English speakers 24/7, so you can expect you’ll be good at it in no time!
Potential for an international career
US universities are well known for offering premium quality education. This means that companies would be more than willing to welcome fresh graduates with US degrees! This would greatly help you in your career’s success.
Studying in the US also puts you a step closer to a successful international career. You’ll have an opportunity to gain experience in your chosen career field from their Optional Practical Training program.
Studying in the US is ideal preparation for you in case you plan to work in an international workplace. You simply just have the skills and experience that many employers sought.
Things International Students Should Consider When Choosing a US University
The first thing you should consider is the location of your chosen university. It’s important to treat this as a major factor to your college-searching because this will affect your lifestyle, studies, and academic success.
If you love the culture, architecture, and history, then maybe Europe is for you. But if you’re the kind of person who loves to party, socialize with people, enjoy the beach while surfing, or perhaps soak under the sun, then the United States is definitely for you, most especially the coastal cities.
Consider your passion, hobbies, and personal interests when choosing a university. You surely don’t want to get rid of your favorite sports just for the sake of studying, right?
Being able to enjoy your passions aside from academics also increases your chances of success in your studies because you are more motivated.
Of course, you need to choose the university you want. It’s the time where you’ll spend most of your time.
Do intensive research on the university you plan to attend. Know its history, background, ideals, and the number of students there. Does it have a good reputation? Do you like to study there because of its reputation? Or maybe because of the programs it offers?
If you are a bit confused, you should speak to a professional education consultant so that you can arrive at the right decision.
This is one of the most important factors to consider. Ask yourself why you’re going to attend university. Is it because you want to pursue your dream career? Or is it because you want to follow in the footsteps of your parents who might be a doctor or an engineer?
If you still have no idea what degree to take, then know the course offerings of the university and how well-established their program is. There might be some schools that aren’t as popular as Cambridge or Oxford, but they might have specialty courses that are the best in the globe.
And last, but certainly not the least important is your budget. A huge challenge that stops students from studying in the US is the expensive tuition fees plus other education expenses and living costs.
Studying in the US might be expensive. But that’s because it offers world-class facilities, education, and instructors. However, you also need to note that there are many scholarship programs out there. There are even lots of universities offering a cheaper tuition fee to international students.
Also consider if you have families, relatives, or friends in the US. You should connect with them. Also consider the expenses of studying in the US, aside from the tuition fee.
Factor in housing, cost of food, transportation, and miscellaneous costs. Also, take note of international flights because you surely are going to go home now and then.
You may also be able to take out a loan to cover some of your costs.
Studying university in the United States to pursue a degree and achieve your dream career is possible. Not only can it open many doors in terms of academic and personal growth, but it can also advance your career in ways you never imagined.
The United States is renowned to offer some of the best educations in the world and experiencing this yourself will make you more superior to other job candidates in skills, talents, and experience.
You just have to choose the right university or college that will support you on this very crucial life journey. You can do this by first identifying your expectations and goals. Then look into the resources and degrees that the school offers. You can then weigh things out and see if it’ll help motivate you to pursue a career.
Until recently loans for international students in Canada were not widely available – but things have changed. Read on for more!
The Canadian Bureau for International Education reports that over half a million international students studied in Canada in 2018. That’s more than a 150% increase since 2010. As a result, Canada has overtaken France and Australia to become the 4th most popular destination for international students behind the USA, the UK, and China.
Once students have exhausted all other available sources of funding such as family support, personal savings, and financial aid from their school, they often need to turn to a student loan to cover any remaining costs of their studies.
This was very difficult to do until recently because of the lack of availability of loans to international students in Canada.
Now, International Student Loan allows these students to connect with loan providers where they can access loans without requiring any credit history, without needing any collateral, and even without a cosigner. These loans are available to students enrolled in Bachelor’s and Graduate degrees in any academic field from countries around the world at 300+ colleges and universities across the USA and Canada.
Students who will be graduating within two years – whether they are undergraduate or graduate students – may apply.
The Benefits Loans for International Students in Canada – without Cosigners
For this type of loan, you don’t need any credit history in the US or Canada, a cosigner, or any collateral
Complete your application online in just a few minutes
Receive a conditional offer from the lender
Upload documents the lender requires to complete your application.
The lender checks to make sure everything you have provided is in order, then sends you final approval of your loan
The lender contacts your school to confirm your enrollment status. Once this is done, your funding is disbursed directly to your school
How much will the loan cost?
Every case is different. This example is for informative use only. This is not a guarantee of costs as they will depend on your individual circumstances and the lender you work with.
An international (non-US, non-Canadian) student, studying a graduate-level program who borrows $10,000 US dollars can expect to repay $100.54 a month while they are studying and for the first 6 months after graduation. After this time the repayment would be $141.62 per month.
Why is Canada such a popular destination for international students?
The Canadian education system is internationally regarded as being of very high quality
Canada is considered a safe country with a tolerant and non-discriminatory society
96% of international students recommend Canada as a study destination, and 60% of international students say that they plan to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
Who are the international students in Canada?
The nationalities with the largest populations of students in Canada are:
Chinese ( around 28% of all international students)
Indian (approximately 25%)
US students represent only around 3% of all international students in Canada.
Where are the international students in Canada studying?
The Canadian province with the largest number of international students is Ontario (with almost half of all international students). The next most populous provinces are British Columbia (a quarter) and Quebec (about one tenth).
Find out more and apply for your International Student Loan in Canada today:
Studying abroad and specifically in the US is a dream for millions of students around the world. More than a million students apply for colleges in the US every year. But most of the students and their families can’t afford the tuition fees and other related costs. In 2019 international students paid over $26,000 per year for public colleges and $32,000 for private colleges on average.
So, how do they pay their international college tuition fees?
International Student Financial Aid:
Financial Aid for international students varies depending on the school and the degree chosen. This financial aid most commonly provides financial support to graduate students, and it is less common for undergraduate students.
Most of the financial aid for international students comes from research and teaching assistance programs. These programs provide paid research and teaching responsibilities to graduate students. Also, financial aid can be funded by grants and scholarships as well. Unlike a loan, you don’t have to repay these types awards in the future.
Also, it can depend on the country you come from, your family assets and background, your merits, existing student loans, and other factors.
Some scholarships are based on the country you come from or your average grades, chosen subject or skills. Some of the scholarships depend on your TOEFL score. There are also sports scholarships available in some schools. You must do proper research on the scholarships available in your school to see if you are eligible or not.
When you find a scholarship you’re eligible for, contact the scholarship administrators and apply for it. It is an effective way to reduce your overall tuition fees. Also, you might be able to win scholarships by winning contests and competitions.
International student loans provide financial support to students who want to study in the US. Mostly through banks and private organizations. The terms and policies and interest rates vary between lenders and organizations.
Private student loans are more expensive than federal student loans, but international students are usually excluded from Federal programs. You should consider choosing scholarships and grants as sources of financial aid first. If there is still a gap between the funds you have and the cost of your education, you should consider getting an international student loan.
Repayment also varies depending on the terms and policies of the lender you choose for your student loan. There are multiple ways you can repay your student loans: Immediate Repayment, Full Deferral, and Interest Only are the standard methods to repay student loans.
It may seem like it is very challenging to cover all the costs to study in the US. But it is not impossible. There are multiple opportunities available for you to explore.
Please note: You should be aware of scams and scammers while looking for funds. There are people ready to take the advantage of you, so always go for reputable and verified schools and lenders.
The IIE have released their latest data covering international students in the USA and American students studying abroad – here are the highlights we discovered:
International Students in the US:
Over 1 million international students studied in the US in the academic year 2019/20, this includes those taking an academic program and those on OPT (Optional Practical Training).
That represents over 5% of the total number of enrolled students in the US, but it is roughly 20,000 students lower than the previous period. Early indications suggest that due to the pandemic international student enrolment in 2020 could be down by as much as 16%.
American Students Abroad:
Almost 350,000 US students studied abroad for academic credit in 2018/19 which is the latest data available at this time.
That’s almost 2% higher than 2017/18 – continuing the trend which has been increasing year after year for over 10 consecutive years.
Incoming Student Data:
Incoming students to the US came mainly from China (35%) and India (18%).
The top 10 countries of origin for incoming students were:
California was the state that hosted the most international students in total (over 160,000 international students).
The most popular school in the US for international students was New York University – hosting over 20,000 students from around the world!
Outgoing Student Data:
Outgoing US students’ top destinations were the UK (11%), Italy (11%) and Spain (10%).
The top 10 destination countries for US study abroad students were:
Fiqah, from Brunei, is pursuing a Masters degree in Documentary Filmmaking at New York University and hopes to diversify the film industry by putting underrepresented groups in the spotlight. Based on her entry we thing the future holds great things for her!
You’ve researched the total cost of attendance, done all your calculations and budgeting, you’ve applied for as much financial aid as you can from your school, and you’ve even been awarded a scholarship – but what if you’re still not sure if you can cover all of your costs?
Well, the good news is that an international student loan can help – but don’t just take on a loan without first understanding what you’re getting into.
What is an International Student Loan and How Do They Work?
International students have fewer options than domestic borrowers. Unless you’re an eligible noncitizen who can qualify for federal student aid, you will have to borrow from a private lender, as federal student loans are reserved exclusively for US citizens.
International Student Loans are specialized private education loans that are available for international students who are studying in the USA or Canada. We recommend that you only apply for international student loans after exploring all other options like scholarships, personal funds and other options.
Undergraduate students and graduate students can apply.
A number of lenders offer student loans for international students, but most require the borrower to have a creditworthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to join the application. The co-signer will need good credit to be approved and to help you get the most competitive rates.
If you’re not able to find a co-signer, some lenders do offer loans without a co-signer, but only at select colleges and universities, and you’ll usually pay higher interest rates on these loans.
If you need to borrow money to help pay for university, it is important to understand how these loans work before you sign the paperwork.
Student loans typically have lower monthly payments and lower interest rates than other types of private loans, and repayment terms are also usually more relaxed. But remember that the total cost of the loan is greater than the amount borrowed due to the cost of borrowing. Most lenders don’t require full payments while you are still attending school, in fact many offer a period of time after graduation before repayments even start.
The funds of your student loan will normally be paid out (disbursed) directly to your school at specific times to pay for direct university-related expenses. Funds are not usually transferred directly to the student, however any surplus funds will be paid into your nominated bank account after you have covered all of your university costs.
How do I apply for a private student loan?
One option is to research all the private student loan lenders and fill out all their applications. This can be time consuming and frustrating, because you may find out after all that work that you aren’t eligible for a loan with that lender.
Another option is to first find out if you are eligible and compare lenders using the loan comparison tool at internationalstudentloan.com/apply – it takes less than 10 seconds to find out if a lender is available for you based on your school and circumstances.
You can then apply online directly with the lender, knowing that they should have a plan that works for you.
After that, approval of your loan can happen in just a few weeks.
Who is eligible to apply for these loans?
To apply you should not be a U.S. citizens or permanent resident, and you must be attending an eligible U.S. or Canadian college or university. In most cases you must be attending full time – part time students may not be eligible. Undergraduate students as well as those taking graduate degrees may apply in most cases.
Also, borrowers are required to have a creditworthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen permanent resident for most lenders. You and your co-signer will undergo a credit check.
Loans that do not require a co-signer are available at a number of schools, and these will be shown in the loan comparison tool. If you do not have a creditworthy co-signer and you are an undergraduate student you may find it harder to secure a loan until you are within 2 years of your expected graduation date.
Your field of study usually doesn’t affect your loan application, although there are special categories of loans for medicine.
Like all private education loans, loan funds can be used for education-related costs including tuition fees, books and supplies, other school fees, insurance, transportation, room and board (living expenses) and other school-related expenses.
Speak to your school’s Financial Aid Office to check their published Total Cost of Attendance which will give you an official estimate of the total amount of funding and financial aid you will need to cover all of your costs.
Begin by using the loan comparison tool. This will show you the options available to you and allow you to choose the lender best suited for your situation and needs.
You will then apply directly with the lender. You and your co-signer (if required) will need to complete the entire online application thoroughly and supply any documents requested by the lender.
Interest Rates Explained
When you take out a loan through a lender, you will be responsible for paying back the amount of money you borrowed (called the principal) plus an additional amount charged by the lender for the loan known as the cost of borrowing.
This interest rate is calculated based on an “index” plus a margin that will add an additional percentage interest rate depending on your or your co-signer’s creditworthiness. Every lender’s range of rates varies so it is important to do the loan comparison and review the interest rate and repayment terms.
The two most common indexes used for international student loans are the Prime Rate and LIBOR Rate.
When your application is approved, the lender will provide information on your specific interest rate and you can then decide whether to accept the loan or not.
Interest begins to accrue (build up) as soon as the funds are disbursed to your school. Interest will accrue on your loan while you are in school, even if you are allowed to defer repayments until after you graduate.
After you select the loan that works best for you, you will need to review the terms or contact the lender directly with any questions.
Repayment terms will depend on the lender and details of the loan you choose. It is important to consider how much your monthly payments will be, when these payments will start, and how long you may be able to defer (delay) beginning to pay back the loan (known as periods of forbearance). The repayment period typically ranges from 10-25 years, however the larger the loan the longer the repayment period.
You may be offered the following repayment types by your lender:
You may be able to defer payment of both the interest and principal until up to 6 months after graduation as long as you continue to be enrolled full-time. Payments can be deferred for a maximum of 4 years – the typical length of a degree.
Lenders may refer to deferral as periods of forbearance.
Interest Only Repayments
You start making repayments while you are at school, but only pay the interest for up to 4 consecutive years of full-time study. You can then defer repayment of the principal until 45 days after graduation. With an interest only repayment type you may have to start repaying the principal immediately if you drop your course load to part-time.
You immediately start making payments on both interest and the principal once the loan has been issued and disbursed.
What about Federal Student Loans?
Federal loans and federal student aid are not normally available for international students.
What is the FAFSA I always hear about?
FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Even though international students are usually not eligible for this type of aid, your school may require you to complete the application in order to help them determine your eligibility for other funding.
What if I have specific questions about my loan?
Once your loan has been approved, if you have any questions you should contact the lender directly for support.
We really hope this helps you with understanding your international student loan!
InternationalStudent.com has organised a contest for international students every year for 15 years to create a video on an aspect of their student life and on their experiences or hopes of studying abroad.
Despite the very different landscape for international student travel we ‘re experiencing in 2020, InternationalStudent.com is bringing the contest back-and this year it has a special tagline: “Life After Lockdown“.
The concept is simple:
Create a video about one or both of the following, up to 2 minutes long:
How COVID-19 has affected your experience of international education or of cultural exchange abroad
Your ideal international education or cultural exchange afterCovid-19
Do this well enough to impress the judges, and you could win the $4,000 top prize.
There are also prizes for entries in the 2nd and 3rd places, as well as $1,000 for the winner of the Viewers’ Choice Award that is voted on by the InternationalStudent.com community!
If you’re reading this then you must be interested in comparing Study in the USA vs. Study in Canada as an international student.
Well, you’re in the right place – because in this article we’ll cover some of the major benefits of studying in these countries.
So let’s dive right in with
Why you should consider studying in the US
Flexibility in deciding your major field of study
48 of the top 100 universities around the world are reported to be in the USA. One of the biggest factors that differentiates US colleges from other universities around the world is the flexibility in academic fields.
You are not usually required to decide your major until after your second year of study. Most students will use these two years to pursue different academic interests before they settle on a major. In most other nations, students are required to decide their field of study before they even apply.
A varied, general education
Most colleges in the U.S. require you to take general education or core courses.
These give you the opportunity to learn about a wide range of academic subjects – not just your major or concentrated research area. These “liberal arts” courses cover topics from writing to science.
Opportunities for internships & career prospects
You can get a head start on your career with an internship – which most US colleges offer. You can get hands-on experience and gain real-world exposure to your field, plus the chance of better-paid work after graduation because you already have some in-work experience.
U.S. colleges and universities are renowned for offering a huge variety of sports, clubs, societies and activities outside of the classroom. Whatever you’re interested in – you’ll find it on campus!
Students from all over the world study in the US. When you’re one of them, you’ll have the ability to meet new people from different cultures every day, learn new languages, make friends and learn about other cultures.
Specialist International Student Assistance
Many schools have a dedicated office entirely devoted to helping their foreign students with any needs. They might assist you with improving your English, or dealing with visa problems , financial aid and even adapting to cultural differences in your new home.
One important thing to note with studying in the US is that it can be very expensive – significantly more expensive than many other countries around the world. you can learn more about how to fund your education in the US in this article:
A Canadian degree is just as valuable as a degree from the United States , Australia, or the United Kingdom.
Canadian universities perform well in international rankings, and Canadian Universities rank in the top 50 universities worldwide.
Whether you’re attending a university, college, or technical school, there’s no doubt that a Canadian education is a world-class education.
For most students looking to study abroad, expense is the most significant barrier.
And while international students at Canadian universities do pay higher tuition fees than domestic students , the average annual tuition for a Canadian undergraduate degree for a foreign student is significantly lower than the United States, Australia, or the United Kingdom.
Foreign students also need to find housing and fund their daily life. Relative to many other top destinations for foreign students the cost of living in Canada is quite affordable. And when you add the average annual cost of living being lower than other countries with average annual tuition fees which are also lower, Canada seems like a very good opportunity, indeed.
Remember that loans for international students in Canada are also available if you need additional funding:
While Canada is a fairly affordable option in global terms, studying abroad is unquestionably costly.
Thankfully, foreign students in Canada are entitled to work up to 20 hours per week during school term time and full time (30 hours per week) during scheduled breaks such as vacations. Most students don’t need a work permit to work while they are studying.
Personal safety is another big reason many students choose to come to Canada. It can be scary to study abroad, because you leave your family and friends – your safety net – in your home country. Canada was ranked 8th most peaceful nation in the world by the Institute for Economics & Peace. Canada’s location and relative isolation offers a bit of a buffer against most international disputes.
Canada has a freely-elected government, and Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the basic rights and freedoms of people living in Canada. Canada’s reputation around the world is that of an inclusive and non-discriminatory country. Immigrants make up 20% of the entire population of Canada and Canadian laws ensure that all people are shielded from discrimination regardless of their circumstances.
Opportunities for Immigration
As an international student you usually get temporary status in the country where you study. When you graduate, you usually need to return home.
Unlike many countries, though, Canada has a number of programmes that enable the transfer of international students to permanent residence status after their studies. Options such as the Post-Graduation Work Permit allow students to stay and work after graduation on an unrestricted work permit, and give them the opportunity to gain some Canadian work experience. Most Canadian provinces have Provincial Nominee programs for applicants with experience studying or working in the province, and the points-based immigration system rewards Canadian work and study experience. About half of all international students consider applying for permanent residence in Canada after their studies end.
Canada is one of the world’s biggest economies, and there are plenty of incentives for graduates to work. You have the ability to meet and network with leaders in your chosen field. And you can gain valuable experience working for industry-leading companies in Canada while you study, or after graduation.
If you want to return to your home country, your Canadian education and enhanced language skills in either English or French might provide global opportunities.
If you choose to live in Canada, Canadian employers appear to favour Canadian work experience over international work experience , so your student and work experience could make you stand out above other applicants!
So there you have it! Some great reasons why you might want to choose to study in the US or Canada! Let us know in the comments where you want to study!
Repayments of federal student loans in the United States will be paused automatically between March 13th 2020 and September 30th 2020 and interest is being temporarily set at 0%, meaning that if you are in receipt of a federal student loan your payments will stop during this time and there is no penalty for doing so in terms of additional interest being accrued. This policy was included in the CARES Act which was signed into law by the President on March 27th. You may, if you choose to, continue to repay, but this is optional.
However, the U.S. Department of Education does not have legal authority over private student loans, and they are not covered by the CARES Act. This applies to federal student loans that have been refinanced through a private lender. Note that some FFEL Program loans and Perkins Loans are not owned by the federal government.
So, how will you be affected by the Covid 19 outbreak?
Some private lenders are offering students relief, such as temporary forbearance.
The good news is that private lenders are taking the current situation into account and are making accommodations for those students who suffer economic hardship and may struggle to make their student loan payments – they will work with you to give you options and find the best solution.
For the most up to date information you should contact your lender directly to find out about making payments – especially if money is a big concern for you at the moment.
We will summarize the range of options that may be available to you due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and you should check directly with your lender which ones are available through your account.
The key message is this: If you can’t afford to make the payments on a private student loan, you should contact your lender as soon as possible. They might be willing to offer solutions, such as a forbearance, which would suspend your payments for a short time, meaning that you would not default on your loan, and would thereby protect your credit.
Remember, though, interest will likely still accrue if your private loan payments are paused, and this could ultimately increase your monthly payment, and the total you pay over the term of your loan.
Here are some of the most common new initiatives that private lenders have put in place:
Up to 3-month (or 90-day) forbearance period – a temporary pause on your repayments. Some lenders have left this open ended for “as long as the national emergency continues”
Waiver of late payment fees
Temporary reduction of interest rates
Temporary reduction of repayments
Extension to loan repayment term
60-day forbearance with options to extend
If you have questions about your rights, contact customer service or your account manager at your lender to receive the most up to date information.
Q. I have some federal and some private loans – what does this mean for me?
If you have both federal and private loans and focus on making the payments of the private loans while qualifying federal loans are suspended.
Q. Do I need to apply to suspend my payments or interest?
For Federal programs, no. For private lenders you should contact them as soon as possible.
Q. Do I need to pay a fee to suspend my payments?
No – if you are contacted by someone requesting a fee to assist you with your student loan and offering this type of service be aware that it may be a scam.
All international students find out during their course of study that money matters. Having enough money to pay for all the necessary expenses is an important facet of international student life. Students must budget and keep an eye on their finances to ensure that they do not spend too much, but also that they make the most of their time abroad. So where do most international students spend their money, and how can they appropriately budget?
Living expenses: International students find that the bulk of their costs are spent on their living expenses. This includes rent, water, electricity, internet, cable, and other housing expenses that can add up quickly. Be sure to think about these monthly costs and make your decisions wisely as these are typically services you contract for a designated period of time.
Food: International students have to eat too! Buying groceries each week can be expensive, so plan ahead and try to use up everything you purchase. While eating at a restaurant can be fun, it is often more expensive (not to mention, not very healthy!) so be sure to consider how frequently and which restaurant you want to indulge in. To save money, meal plans or a strict budget can do the trick!
Entertainment: The opportunity to get out and have some fun with your friends is paramount to an international student’s social life. But these costs can also add up. Trips, movies, sports games, bars and shopping can get expensive if you’re not careful. International students should budget out monthly “fun money” to enjoy themselves and relax outside of class – just watch out and make sure to account for it.
Other bills: While this category is very broad, there are a number of other items that you’ll need to consider depending on your personal needs. You will likely need a cell phone which come with monthly fees and can costs hundred of dollars depending on the cell phone plan. You may also find that you need a car to get around, which can add on gas charges, car insurance or even monthly finance payments. Credit card bills and gym memberships will go right on top of those costs as well so be careful about what contracts you sign and make sure that you can keep up financially!
Course materials and supplies: Next to tuition and room/board, course materials and supplies are one of the most expensive fees in an international student’s life. Students must pay for their books, software, lab fees, and perhaps even athletic fees. Some classes may even require that you have special materials beyond the normal pen and paper such as a specialized laptop computer or calculator. Oh, and don’t forget about parking permits!
With a well thought out budget and some planning and caution international students can avoid spending too much money and running up there bills. While students may have a few things to spend money, sacrifice and financial responsibility will always pay off!
Need more help budgeting for school? Check out our resource on How To Budget where you will find more great tips along with a spreadsheet to start budgeting for the next school year!