10 Best International Student Loans In USA This Year
International students studying can qualify for loans that cover more than just tuition. Here’s our list of the best international student loans in the U.S.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best International Student Loans In the US
- What Is an International Student Loan?
- How To Get an International Student Loan in the U.S.
- Tips for Comparing International Student Loan Lenders
- Other Financing Options For International Students
International students often have fewer student loan options available than other borrowers. Unless you’re an eligible non-citizen and can qualify for federal student loans, you may need to turn to private student loans.
As an international student, you will not only need your tuition expenses covered, but you may also have to pay for other expenses like travel, accommodation, and relocation costs. Student loans can help pay for part or all of your education-related expenses.
Banks and private lenders offer student loans to international students, but you may need a cosigner with good credit to apply. Some loans don’t require a cosigner, but they may come with higher interest rates.
We have reviewed the best private international student loans in the U.S. for 2023. Compare these lenders to see which loan offers the best terms that will suit your needs.
10 Best International Student Loans in USA in 2023
|Lender||Scholaroo rating||Fixed rates starting (APR)||Variable rates starting (APR)|
Best overall for international studentsVisit website
Best for student supportVisit website
Best for no application feesVisit website
Best for stidents with a cosignerVisit website
Best for low interest rate loansVisit website
Best overall for rewardsVisit website
Best for international students without a cosignerVisit website
Best for cosigner policiesVisit website
Best for customer service and student supportVisit website
Brazos Student Loans
Best for students in TexasVisit website
Best overall for international students
Best for student support
Best for no application fees
Best for stidents with a cosigner
Best for low interest rate loans
Best overall for rewards
Best for international students without a cosigner
Best for cosigner policies
Best for customer service and student support
Brazos Student Loans
Best for students in Texas
#1 College Ave
#3 Prodigy Finance
#4 Sallie Mae
#8 Citizens Bank
What Is an International Student Loan?
Although federal student loans are popular among U.S. students looking to pursue higher education in the U.S., they are not accessible to international students. They need to apply for private student loans from banks or private lenders in the U.S. to fund their education.
Today, loans for international students are very accessible, especially if they have a qualified cosigner with good credit. The repayment terms and interest rates for these loans can also be extended so you can afford the repayment after you graduate.
Most international student loans require a cosigner who will be legally obliged when you fail to pay. Cosigners typically need to be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with good credit.
How To Get an International Student Loan in the U.S.
International students need to ensure that they qualify to study in the U.S. so they can be eligible for an international student loan.
Here are the basic steps to qualify for an international student loan:
- Meet the basic requirements: Most lenders have a minimum requirement set for borrowers. This is not any different for international students. All applicants must come from an eligible country and be enrolled in an accredited university or college. They must be planning to stay in the U.S. while attending school and must qualify for a student visa (enabling them to study and stay in the U.S.)
- Estimate your cost: The cost of higher education varies based on the courses chosen and the preferred institution of study. A student should have a total amount of how much they need to cater for their tuition and cost of attendance expenses before seeking a loan. You should factor in tuition fees, accommodation, travel expenses, and school supplies as well as food. Schools provide a certified cost of attendance expenses and as an international student, you need to liaise with your school to know the expected future expenses.
- Identify Potential Lenders: There are many lenders in the U.S. who offer financial aid to international students. Most lenders that serve international students are private loan lenders since federal loans are only limited to U.S. citizens. Private student loans have different terms, eligibility requirements, and repayment options. They also offer a capped amount of money to each individual borrower. With the amount you need at hand and what the lender is willing to give an international student, you can choose what amount is likely to cover 100% of the cost of attendance.
- Have a cosigner: To apply for an international student loan in the U.S., most lenders require a cosigner who must be a citizen or a permanent resident. The co-signer takes on the obligation to repay the loan if the international student fails to repay. Additionally, the cosigner must have a good credit score and must have lived in the U.S. for the past two years. They can be a relative or a close friend who can help you get credit because nearly all international students cannot get credit on their own.
- Apply for a loan: Most lenders accept online applications and have straightforward requirements. To ensure a smooth process, make sure you have all the documentation ready. Some of the documents the lender may ask for include identification, proof of residence, a valid passport and visa, academic record, and proof of admission to your university.
Tips for Comparing International Student Loan Lenders in the USA
There are a few things to consider when looking for lenders to finance your education as an international student studying in the US. By looking at the factors provided below, you would be able to compare the lenders in a better way and choose the best one for you.
- Loan Rates: Different lenders offer different rates to international students which may be higher than usual. It is best to choose a lender with lower rates as it will help reduce your monthly payments and the total loan payment. You can use the student loan calculator below to check how the different rates you are getting will affect your payments.
- Loan Terms: Longer terms help to reduce the monthly payments on your loan. However, bear in mind, that the total loan payment increases with longer terms. Choose the lender that offers the terms best suited to you.
- Discounts: Some lenders offer discounts that can help lower your loan payments. A popular discount typically offered is a reduction in your interest rate if you set up AutoPay. Some lenders also offer a discount if you already have other financial products with them, for example, a bank if you have an existing checking account with them. Even a small interest rate reduction can lead to significant savings over the term of your loan.
- Hardship Offers: Some lenders offer forbearance options to borrowers, to help them in case of a financial setback or unemployment.
Other Financing Options for International Students in the U.S.
Private student loans can help cover the majority of college-related expenses, including tuition and other expenses related to your studies. However, if you don’t meet the requirements for a private student loan, there are a few other options available to you.
- Scholarships: There are scholarships available to international students studying in America. Some are merit-based, some need-based, and some may be based on the area of study. You can find a range of scholarships right here on Scholaroo.
- Colleges and Universities: You can look up a college or university in America that offers financial aid assistance or certain tuition discounts for international students. Some colleges have these programs in place to attract high-performing and talented individuals from around the world. International students can contact the financial aid office in their institutions to see what options are available to them.
- Part-Time Jobs: This is an option for those who are able to work part-time in the U.S. while they study. Some people get weekend jobs if they are studying full-time if their student visa allows them to work in America. What you earn might not cover a huge chunk of your educational expenses, but it can definitely contribute and help reduce your financial burden to a great extent.
Who qualifies as an international student in the U.S.?
An international student is a person who is not a citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S. and enters the country specifically to study. International students study part- or full-time in the U.S. and have moved to the U.S. for this purpose only.
International students need to be enrolled in an accredited institution of learning and obtain the entry qualification for the current level of study in the U.S.
Can you get international student loans without a co-signer in the US?
Although most lenders require international students to have a cosigner, international students attending certain institutions in the U.S. can apply without a cosigner. Prodigy Finance and MPower are two lenders that provide international student loans without a cosigner
What is the best student loan for international students in the U.S. with a cosigner?
College Ave is the best loan to apply for international students in the U.S. with a cosigner. It is one of the most popular and sought-after loan providers in the country that offer loans that can cover 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance. They also accept students enrolled part-time.
Can international students get loans in the U.S.?
International students can qualify for private student loans. They are not eligible for federal student loans from the U.S. Department of Education.
How to get a study loan in the U.S. for international students?
International students can apply for a student loan from private lenders in the U.S., but most of these loans require borrowers to have a cosigner. See our list of international student loans above, along with their requirements and terms.
Can a non-U.S. citizen get a student loan?
Non-U.S. citizens can’t get federal student loans, but they may qualify for private student loans. Check with your college or university’s financial aid office for more information.
What is the best loan company for international students?
If you don’t have a cosigner, Prodigy Finance, and MPOWER are two options for international student loans. If you have a cosigner with good credit, you have many other options available, including Sallie Mae, Ascent, College Ave, and Citizens Bank.