The cost of a US college education continues to rise. The average cost has increased by approximately 25% over the last 10 years alone. As a result, an increasing number of students are turning to alternate sources of funding to finance their higher education goals.
Both domestic and international students alike are making use of an increasingly varied array of school-sponsored or third-party scholarships and fellowships, as well as a wide variety of private loans.
Still, while increased costs affect all students, solutions may not be available to all.
For example, although Pell Grants are a mainstay for many domestic students, foreign nationals studying in the US on any “J” or “F” visa are not eligible to participate in the program.
In a similar way, the regulations regarding student loans are likewise different for domestic and international students. In this case there is a considerable difference between what is encouraged and what is required.
Consider, as an illustration, the issue of a cosigner for a student loan.
According to Citi Student Loans, for instance, “most undergraduate students will need to apply with a creditworthy cosigner” in order to meet the company’s income- and credit history-based eligibility requirements.
If a domestic student can satisfy these requirements on their own, however, no cosigner is necessary. The same is true of almost every private lender.
By contrast, almost all international students need a cosigner.
Indeed, by and large a US-based (citizen or permanent resident) cosigner with good credit is considered de rigueur for lenders and is therefore all-but obligatory for borrowers.
In this way the cosigner’s country of residence and credit history serve as an additional insurance on the part of the lender (and make the loan’s eventual collection that much easier).
In the end, though, it is important to stress that while not all loan options require a US cosigner, for an international student loan it is important to check with your college or university before applying.
By contacting them directly you can ensure that the loan in question is a good fit for you.
Loans Without a Cosigner for International Students in the US
If you are or are planning to become an international student inside the US, you will usually be required to have a cosigner when applying for a loan.
Cosigners for international student loans must be US citizens or permanent residents, and they must have lived in the US for the past 2 years. They must also have good credit history. Non-US citizens and non-US permanent residents cannot act as a cosigner for loans.
Although most international student loan applications require a cosigner, international students attending a select few colleges and universities in the US and Canada are able to apply for a loan without one.
If you’re not able to find a cosigner, then a “no cosigner loan” could be the best option for you.
Since most international students in the US do not have any credit history, a cosigner joins the standard international student loan application process. Loan approval and rates are then based on the creditworthiness of the cosigner.
The cosigner is then also legally bound to repay the loan if the borrower is unable to pay.
With no cosigner loans, instead of looking at credit history, lenders look at your academic success and career path, as well as other factors when assessing you for the loan. Some of the factors they will consider when you apply include your home country, graduation date, and what school you attend.
International student loans are typically only for non-US citizens studying in the United States. However, loan options now exist at a number of select universities for those who want to study in Canada!
Loans for International Students in Canada
International students in Canada may now apply for a student loan without a cosigner!
International Student Loan is now working with a lender that is able to offer loans to international students, including US students studying at select schools in Canada. Until now it has been very difficult for international students to fund their education in the Great White North, but thanks to MPOWER Financing and International Student Loan, there are now a number of schools in Canada where loans are available without a cosigner.
If you are studying in one of the eligible schools, you can apply for a student loan to cover the costs of your education including tuition, housing, food, insurance, and textbooks.
Remember, with this type of no cosigner loan, rather than looking at your or your cosigner’s credit history, lenders look at other factors such as your academic record and career path, your home country, expected graduation date, and what school you will attend.
Students who are not US citizens or permanent residents and those attending schools outside the US/Canada are not currently eligible for an international student loan.
Finding and Comparing No-Cosigner Loans
If you’re an international student and would like to explore the option of a loan that doesn’t require a cosigner, you’re able to use our loan comparison tool to see if your school has one available. If they do, you can then research the terms and conditions of the loan and apply directly through the lender.
When researching a loan, here are a few things to consider:
How much you can borrow
The interest rate (and whether it’s fixed or variable)
The repayment period
When and how your funds will be disbursed
Once your loan application has been reviewed you will receive further details on your loan. These will include the interest rate and the amount you can borrow. These will vary by lender and depend your situation.
As an example, no-cosigner loans through our partner have a fixed interest rate and allow you to borrow up to $50,000 total over 2 years. You must state how much you would like to borrow on your application. The approved amount along with your designated interest rate will be assigned to you after your application has been reviewed.
If you are approved for a loan, funds are disbursed directly to the college or university.
To give you an idea of the length of time that is required, the entire process usually takes about 6 weeks, so be sure to plan accordingly.
As an international student planning to study in the USA, there’s no doubt that you’ve already started to contemplate the financial implications of this decision, and you are probably wondering what your options are for financing the cost of studying outside your home country; and you’re quite right to do so – as you may already have realised, there is little information about sources of financial aid for international students who want to study in the US, and often the information that you can find is unclear or even misleading – especially when it comes to unscrupulous lenders (or even loan scams).
But don’t let this put you off your search. We have created this extremely useful post to give you as much information as we can to help you fulfill your dream of studying in the USA and finding the funding to enable you to do that.
Here at International Student Loan we recommend that you first talk to your college or university before pursuing any other alternative funding sources. They may be able to guide you to their own funding opportunities or specific contacts that they have established themselves that are able to assist non-US residents studying in the US.
There are 3 main offices you should contact at your university:
The Financial Aid office
The department or faculty office of your chosen program of study
The Office for International Students (often called the Office of International Student Services)
Much support for international students in graduate programs in the US is provided by the universities and colleges themselves in the form of teaching assistantships and research assistantships. These are often based on academic merit and not on financial need. In most cases you would be required to pass the Test of Spoken English (TSE) in order to qualify for a teaching assistantship, but check with the school you’re interested in.
Some foreign schools have exchange programs with schools in the US. These exchange programs often include financial aid for the students. If you are already studying at a university in your home country and would like to find out about this type of exchange program the office for international student services at your home university would be the best place to contact.
Once you have established the financial aid that you can access through your chosen university or college, it is time to start looking further afield for other, alternative sources, too.
According to the Association of International Educators, more than two-thirds of international students in the US receive help from their families, in addition to their own resources, to fund their study in the US. Whatever outside help and financial aid you receive, you will also need to use your own funds and probably rely on support from family and friends to pursue your dream of an education in the USA.
Organizations in your home country
One of the best sources of financial aid for international students comes from organizations in their home country that want to invest in and develop the education of talented students, recognizing the benefits that an international education can provide.
Your own government may provide financial aid (often on the condition that the recipient of the aid returns to their home country on completion of their studies). We suggest you make contact with your country’s ministry of education and or ministry of culture.
Private organizations such as businesses, religious groups, and charitable foundations may also offer support in the form of financial aid for international students – often this is linked to the background of the student or the chosen field of study. We advise you to search online for these opportunities, and speak to local educational institutions who may be able to refer you to these programs.
Some of the organizations that offer funding for international students studying in the United States are:
The United Nations
the Organization of American States (OAS)
The International Maritime Organization
The International Telecommunications Union
The League of Red Cross Societies
The Soros Foundation
The World Health Organization
The World Council of Churches.
These awards are extremely competitive and are mostly for graduate students rather than undergraduates.
You usually have to apply for this type of funding from your home country, so if you have already embarked on your educational journey in the US you may not be eligible. It is therefore important for you to research these opportunities well before you travel.
The Fulbright Program works two ways: U.S. citizens may receive funding to go to a foreign country and non-U.S. citizens may come to the U.S. (Foreign Student Program, Visiting Scholar Program, Teacher Exchange Program, etc.).
In order to be considered for Fulbright programs, foreign candidates must demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, leadership potential, flexibility and the ability to interact successfully in the USA.
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals, and artists from abroad to conduct research and study in the United States.
Fulbright grants are offered in many academic disciplines, but not in clinical medical research (research involving patient contact). Fields of study cover mathematics and sciences, the fine arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Applicants are required to take the TOEFL and GRE or GMAT exams. Professional education, such as medical schools, is not eligible. Fulbright students are required to be on J-1 visas for the entire duration of their sponsorship.
You should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate, the Fulbright Commission office, or educational advising center for information about applying to the Fulbright Program in your country.
Of course, we couldn’t write a post on our own site about international financial aid and not mention international student loans. International student loans are available to help students cover the cost of their education so they can attend the US college or university of their choice.
With international student loans, students can borrow up to the total cost of their education minus any financial aid received. Our loans work for all nationalities, and students can apply from anywhere in the world including from their host country.
US institutions are attracting students from around the globe and applications from Europe are on the rise. The number of UK students looking to study a graduate program in the US continues to increase, and undergraduate programs are only just behind. This article will tell you all the basics about international student loans for students from the UK who hope to study in the US.
There are over 4000 US institutions, many of which offer programs in specialisms many of us have never heard of. This allows students to find the degree that’s right for them, adding something unique to their CV.
One of the main deterrents for studying in the US continues to be funding. While university fees are subsidized in the UK, tuition fees and living costs in the US are on the rise. Many students now seek a student loan to support their education expenses.
FindingInternational Student Loans for Students from the UK
The easiest way to be considered eligible for a US student loan is to find a co-signer who is also an American citizen. A citizen with a good credit rating is the perfect candidate to cosign your loan, making the application process much easier. Many lenders offer loans to students with co-signers who have proof of income, as they can act as a guarantor for the funds.
A cosigner must be a US citizen or permanent resident who has lived in the US for the past two years and has good credit.
Your cosigner should have a stable job with a steady income and an established credit history. Lenders may look at how long your cosigner has lived at their current address and how long they’ve been employed at their current job.
Your cosigner is taking on the obligation to pay back your loans in the event that you cannot, so it’s important that the cosigner can afford to cover these expenses. International student loans and study abroad loans lenders will take into account the total income of your cosigner and their total debts (mortgage, car payments, credit card debt, and any student loans they may have on their own) when reviewing a loan application.
In the United States, the cosigner’s credit history is evaluated by a credit score that is based on outstanding debts and their payment history. Lenders will evaluate your cosigner’s existing and past loans and whether they were paid on time.
Cosigner Not Required?
However, this is not an option for everyone. If you do not have a cosigner and you’re looking for international student loans for students from the UK there are specialist lenders who offer this service. Lenders such as MPower Financing understand how difficult it can be to secure funding. They support students in the visa and college application process as well as providing funding, to reduce the stress over expenses. There’s information about finding a loan without a cosigner here.
To compare the best student loans for British students looking to study in the US, then look no further than our comparison tool.
As greater numbers of students from around the world are traveling to study a degree in the US, and tuition fees are rising, international student loans are growing increasingly necessary. Indian students, alone, accounted for 17.9% of the total foreign students in the US in 2017-18, second only to Chinese students at 33%. This article discusses the best international student loans for Indian students who want to study at a US institution.
The Indian Loophole
To be considered eligible for an F-1 visa and to be accepted to a US academic institution all international students must show proof of funding. This basically means that you, as a student applicant, must show you can afford to attend the college or university of your choice. You may pay for your education through personal funds, an academic scholarship from the institution, or through a student loan.
The most difficult part of applying for a student loan as an Indian student is finding the necessary evidence to be considered eligible. Indian banks often require supporting documentation showing the student’s acceptance to a US institution before considering a loan. However, most US institutions require proof of funding before offering a formal acceptance.
The simplest option is to seek a loan through a US bank specializing in student loans or a specialist lender. US lenders understand the difficulty with needing to provide supporting documentation for the university application and offer advice and help during this process.
MPower Financing is a dedicated lender of international student loans and one of the options available to Indian students. The company understands the difficulties many international students have with finding funding and a co-signer. MPower takes the hassle out of the process by keeping everything clear and supporting both the visa and university application process. MPower also can provide loans without a cosigner at select universities in the USA and Canada.
It’s always interesting to look back at the previous year to get a feel for what’s going on in international education. Of course, we’re particularly interested in finding the perfect student loan for international students. So here are some key facts about international students in the US and US study abroad students.
Whether you’re a foreign student studying in the US, or a US citizen dreaming of studying abroad, we hope you enjoy learning a little more about the state of international education right now.
According to research carried out by The Institute of International Education (IIE), 271,738 international students enrolled at a US institution at the start of the 2017-2018 academic year. This is down almost 7% compared to the 2016-2017 figures (290,836 international students) and a further decline from the peak of 300,743 international students recorded in 2015-2016.
The total number of international students in the US was 1,094,792. This is up 1.5% on the previous year, but the rate of growth is at its lowest for over 10 years and a significant change from the 10% growth in total international student numbers in the US in the 2014-2015 academic year.
One encouraging trend is that international students represent a growing percentage of total student numbers. International students now represent more than 1 in every 20 students in the US (5.5% of all students). This has grown year on year.
In terms of the distribution of international students in the USA, we looked at the 10 most popular states.
The highest concentration of international students is in California. In 2016-2017 there were 156,879 international students in California. This rose 3.2% to 161,942 in 2017-2018.
The state with the biggest increase in international student numbers was Massachusetts. Massachusetts saw a staggering 8.4% increase in international student numbers to 68,192 compared to 62,926 in the previous academic year.
The following were notable in their decreases but remain amongst the top 10 most popular states for international students:
The most popular schools, colleges, and universities for international students in the US may or may not surprise you. Amongst the top 5, we are proud to say that no-cosigner loans are available at all of them.
Coming out on top with a total of 17,552 international students was New York University, New York, NY. No-cosigner loans are available at New York University.
The largest number of international students in the US are on Undergraduate programs (442,748), with 308,953 Graduate students enrolled. There were 203,462 international students in the US on Optional Practical Training courses. There were also 65,631 international students on other, non-degree courses.
The three most popular fields of study for international students studying in the USA were Engineering (with 21.3% of all international students), Business and Management (17.9%) and Math and Computer Science (17.0%).
If we turn our attention now to US students studying abroad, the latest statistics available are for the 2016-2017 academic year. This year saw the number of US students studying abroad rise a modest 2.3% over the previous year to a total of 332,727 students.
More than 25% of these students (85,786) enrolled in STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Business was the next most popular field of study, with Social Sciences coming in third.
The 292,467 US undergraduate students studying abroad in 2016-2017 represented 1.8% of the 16,298,944 total US undergraduate enrolment.
64.6% of US students studying abroad in 2016-2017 did so for a short period (e.g. a summer or a study period of 8 weeks or less). 33.1% spent a semester (or one or two quarters depending on the institution) abroad. Only 2.4% studied abroad for the long-term – an academic or calendar year (or more).
Where do US students abroad study?
Europe hosted the vast majority of US students studying abroad. Latin America & the Caribbean came in second and Asia took third place.
#1 – Europe, 181,145 total US students (54%)
#2 – Latin America & Caribbean, 51,513 US students (15.5%)
#3 – Asia, 38,621 US students (11.6%)
24,790 US students (7.5%) studied in more than one region in the 2016-2017 academic year.
On a country level, 39,851 US students were studying in the United Kingdom in 2016-2017. This represents 12% of the total number of US students studying abroad. The UK is the largest single concentration of US study abroad students.
#11 – over 6,000 US students made South Africa their home for part of their studies
#13 – almost 5,000 students experienced student life in the Czech Republic
Besides the 332,727 students who enrolled in courses leading to academic credit, 36,975 US students attended over 400 other institutions and took part in non-credit work, research, volunteering, and internships abroad.
If you’re interested in finding out more about your options as a US student studying abroad please visit our Study Abroad pages.
Are you planning to study abroad? There are International Student Loans available for students in your position who need funding. This might be for a semester or a full degree program.
Here at International Student Loan, we’re here to help. Find the information you’ll need to make an informed choice and apply for funding.
What a student loan can cover:
Tuition fees, books, accommodation, transportation, health insurance, and anything else an international student might need.
We’ve prepared this post as a one-stop overview of the information you’ll need whether you’re a student, parent, student- or financial-aid-advisor! We hope you’ll find the student loan that works for you!
Financial Aid for Non-US citizens studying in the US:
International Student Loan
There are International Student Loans available for non-US citizens studying at a college or university in the United States. It’s very common for foreign students to apply for loans to help pay for college. Studying abroad can be very expensive once all the costs have been added up.
We have a student loan comparison tool will match you with eligible loan options which you can review and choose the loan that works best for your circumstances.
Most international students inside the US will need a cosigner when applying for a loan. They must be a US citizen or permanent resident who has lived in the US for the past 2 years and has good credit history.
Financial Aid for Non-US citizens studying in the US at select schools (No Cosigner Loans):
No Cosigner Loan
As mentioned above, most international students inside the US will need a cosigner when applying for a loan. Although a cosigner is required in most cases, international students attending a small number of colleges and universities in the US are able to apply for a no cosigner loan. If you aren’t able to find a cosigner then a no cosigner loan could be a good option for you.
Most international students in the US do not have credit history. With no cosigner loans the loan approval is based on the cosigner’s credit history, along with your academic success and career path.
Financial Aid for US citizens studying abroad through a US school:
Study Abroad Loan
If you are a US citizen or permanent resident you may be eligible for a study abroad loan if you are participating in a study abroad program at an approved school in the United States. You must receive credit at your home college or university. If you are not sure if your school is eligible, see our complete list of eligible schools.
Our loan comparison tool lets you compare loans and find the loan that’s most suitable to meet your needs – and you can apply right online.
US students that need a student loan should complete the FAFSA and apply for Stafford Loans as well as applying for a Study Abroad Loan or Foreign Enrolled Loan.
Stafford loans are fixed-rate loans for undergraduate and graduate students attending college at least half time. They are provided under a federal government program, so interest rates can be very competitive.
International Student Loan provides student loan information so that you are better informed and equipped to make the right decision on funding your studies. Whether you are looking for international student loans, foreign enrolled loans, or study abroad loans, we aim to always provide you with the very best of foreign student loan opportunities.
Finding a student loan for your international education can be difficult – but it doesn’t have to be with the help of internationalstudentloan.com
Most students hear the myths about student loans before even attending college. Others simply don’t understand whether a student loan is right for them. This article will debunk some of the major myths surrounding student loans and help students choose the path that’s right for them.
If you don’t have the family finances, you can’t attend college.
Although universities in the US can be very expensive, they are not only for the rich. There are several scholarships you can apply for at every college and university. You can also apply for a student loan to support your study finances. The most important thing to focus on is grades and personal development. Think about getting excellent test scores and building your extra-curricular or voluntary experience to make your application stand out.
Student loans negatively affect your credit score.
Okay, if you don’t make your loan repayments then this is true. But managing a student loan well can be a great way to boost your credit score. By making regular repayments, you’re positively impacting your credit. This means it can make it easier to take out a credit card or another loan in the future.
You will forever be in debt.
You will be repaying a lot of money, probably over a long time. However, graduates are earning an average of $17,500 a year more than non-graduates, making the cost of college worth-while. No one wants to think about paying back a debt, but following this system could help you become more employable and increase your income in the long-run.
Interest on student loan repayment never changes.
Despite signing a contract when you took out a student loan, the amount of interest charged can still vary throughout the repayment. Be careful when applying for a loan that you understand all the small print. This includes how and when to repay the loan, as well as the interest due. The amount of interest owed can vary year to year, so check in the initial terms what you’re agreeing to. Make sure you have an idea of how much you’ll be repaying once you graduate to prepare for this.
Forget your loan until you graduate.
Your loan shouldn’t be the first thing you’re thinking about when you wake up. However, it’s important to acknowledge how you’re getting your money and use it wisely. Interest is mounting from the minute you take out your loan. So, unfortunately, you’re building up debt the whole time you’re studying. If you have the ability, you can start repaying your loan while still studying. If you don’t have enough to do this, consider starting a savings account to put aside whatever money you do have for when you gradate. This will help alleviate the pressure of repayment.
After receiving numerous video entries for the InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest, the 12 finalists, including the Viewers’ Choice Winner have been announced!
Like every year, students from around the world put all their effort, time, dedication and creativity into their video entry to express their desire to experience life outside their home country. Each entry was thoughtful and the InternationalStudent.com team had a difficult time narrowing the list of entries.
We invite you to meet the 12 finalists and hear their stories, as from that bunch three lucky winners will be chosen for the first, second and third place! As in past years, this year we have an incredible judging panel who will determine the three winners which will be announced on the last day of the International Education Week: November 16th.
Make sure you watch the Viewers’ Choice winning video: Leaving Routine Behind, where Kaleema Lowery shares with us how her life has become a routine that doesn’t bring her greater happiness. She wants to see the world, meet new people, learn new languages, make new memories and especially leave the routine behind! But she can’t do everything at once and for now, she chose South Korea where she’ll have the opportunity to live an experience different from what she has been living at home.
If you’re interested in entering this Travel Video Contest next year make sure you sign up to receive the latest alerts from InternationalStudent.com.
It’s never too early or too late to think ways to save money as an international student. Whether you’re just applying for colleges, in your second year or close to graduation, it’s always good to have a loan repayment plan. It’s something many of us take for granted, something you don’t have to think about until after university. However, planning ahead makes for better financials once you have to start paying back the debt.
Avoid Unnecessary Spending
Sure, it’s tempting to spend all the money as it comes in. I mean, that’s what it’s there for, right? But think ahead, that money can help you out in an emergency, or be saved for you to use once you graduate.
That’s not to say don’t spend your loan on college essentials like books and living costs. And make sure you enjoy your time in college; socialise, take part in extra-curricular activity. But try to avoid spending your loan frivolously where possible.
A couple of great ways to do this is to look for student discounts when shopping and eating out, and buy second hand – books, sports equipment, home decor etc. Why spend a fortune on new books when students from the previous year are earning some extra cash by selling their one-year-old copies?
Get a Savings Account
Different loans come with different conditions and some may require a certain type of bank account to pay into. However, where possible, look for the bank account with the best interest rates and with no withdrawal restrictions. If you’re think about saving some of your student loan each month, the interest you earn in a good savings account can balance out the interest you’ll eventually owe on your loan repayment. It’s a great way to earn extra money by really doing nothing. Check out some of the best options here.
As much as you may want to ignore your loan, keeping on top of it will prepare you for repayments once you finish university. Check out the National Student Loan Data System to see how much you owe and learn about repayment options early on.
Get a Part-time Job
Once you’ve got into the swing of college life, look at your schedule and see what free time you have to earn some extra cash. A part time job will help build your resume as well as giving you some extra money to save or spend on leisure activities while saving your loan.
With high university costs, it’s common for students to work while studying. Have a look at jobs available on campus and in the local area. Just make sure, if you’re an international student, that your visa conditions allow for part-time work. Alternatively, consider remote working opportunities from around the world through companies such as FlexJobs. Remote work gives you the opportunity to work from home and often helps you avoid issues with your visa status. Just remember to declare taxes on your earnings in your home country.
Your New Best Friend – Tax-deductibles
If you decide to work in the US once you graduate, it’s important to learn all about tax deductibles. This might sound dull but it can actually save you thousands of dollars! If you’re paying off a student loan, you might be eligible for an interest deduction on your federal taxes. This is based on the interest paid on your student loan.
If you plan ahead, start saving early and take time to learn about the student loan terms and repayment options, you’ll be financially prepared once you graduate. So, don’t let the debt hang over your head, there are many simple ways to save money as an international student. Prepare early to fully enjoy the college experience!