Sometimes what you hear about studying abroad is not exactly what you meet. Some students actually get admission to study abroad only to get there stranded. You don’t want to be like one of these. However, while it may not be easy for you to get loans like the native students, you can actually get an international students loan without a cosigner. The Mpower students loan for international students, for example, can provide you loan to study in the USA with no cosigner.
Getting a loan as a student isn’t so easy as you may have been told. However, you may find some private loans easy to access. But these easy loans have restrictions on the amount you can receive, while still charging higher interest. Besides, most of them will still require you to get a cosigner who is creditworthy to access loans at a fair interest rate.
Because your cosigner must be the US or Canadian Citizen, depending on your country of study, you may find it hard to get one. Yet a student loan cosigner makes it easy for you to access and qualify for loans with lower interest rate.
So, we’ll proceed to disclose to you the ways you can get student loans as an international student with no consignor. But first, let’s lay down the building blocks for the topic. We need to answer some question, like, is it impossible for international students to get loans?
Can International Students get Loans?
Of course, International students can get loans to pay for college in the USA or Canada. It may be difficult to go about it as we hinted above, but it is not impossible. However, getting an international student loan will depend on your noncitizen status and having a cosigner.
You will be able to access any kind of loan – ranging from federal to private loans – in the USA as an international student if:
- You’re an eligible noncitizen: This is a noncitizen who indicates as “eligible noncitizen” on their FAFSA application and writes down their 8 to 9 digit alien registration number (ARN). Also, when this student’s name and ARN is matched with the U.S Department of Homeland Security, it must come out clean. This status makes you eligible for the Federal Aid, FAFSA, and other Federal aids.
- There’s a cosigner to sign for you: If you’re not an eligible noncitizen and you have a student visa, go find a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and has good credit. If your cosigner has a credit score of 690 or higher, you can access private loans with competitive interest rates.
- Any private loan meets your need: If you can’t access Federal aid and you have no cosigner who is a USA citizen, you can still get a loan as an International student. You only need to find a lender with products designed for International students.
How to Shop for an International Loan
So, now you know you can get a loan as an International student studying in the USA or other parts of the world, what’s the next step?
The next step is the decision making step. Yo have to check the loan requirements you meet as an international student and decide which way you’ll get a loan.
If you want to get right into a private loan, then you’ll to do the following:
- Compare loan features. Your factor of comparison here is the interest rate. Look for and compare private international loan offers you qualify for with a good interest rate. Also, factor in the grace period for payment. Will the lender postpone payments if you have trouble paying them? How long can they postpone payments? Also, find out if there are origination, prepayment or late fees. In addition, check how easily you can reach the lender by phone, email or live chat if you encounter any issue.
- Settle for a fixed interest rate. Some lenders offer you fixed interest while some offer variable interest rates. If a lender gives you the choice to pick one, however, pot for the fixed interest rate. Because a fixed interest rate won’t increase over time, it is a safer bet than a variable interest rate.
- Visualize the bottom line. It is best to weigh the cost and benefits before deciding to take any kind of loan. It is best for you to factor this in while getting your international student loan. Utilize loan calculators to see what kind of payment you’ll face after borrowing for multiple years.
We’ll state again that there are only very few private loans that are international students friendly. Most will require you to have a cosigner. So, the question now is:
Why do International Students Need Cosigners?
Every system has its requirements. In your home country, you may not have heard about cosigners before. But in the USA, you need a cosigner as an international student and here are the reasons for this.
Poor credit score and credit history
Every lender wants to be certain you can pay back the loan they are giving you. So, how do they know if you’ll be able to repay your loan as and when due? This is where credit score and credit history comes in. You must have been borrowing for a long time to have a high credit score and credit history. But you’re an international student in the USA trying to get a loan for maybe the first time. You see now that your lender would find it hard trusting you to repay your debt.
Insufficient Students Income
Let’s face it, how much are you earning while studying? You may not be working at all as it is, but your private loan lender requires you to be receiving income if they’ll give you a loan. This is an assurance to them that they’ll get their money back. However, you may not have acquired all the required skill set from college that big employers need. You may be working while studying, however, but the lender may not be satisfied with your income.
Very High-Interest Rates
Some students manage to be creditworthy – especially if they’ve stayed in the country they’re studying for long. They may also have sufficient income to service the loan repayment, however. But then there’s a new challenge – high-interest rate. The private lender doesn’t want to lose in any way, so they may make up for your loan insecurity by charging you a much higher interest rate. You may be able to afford to repay the loan even with the high interest but in the long run, it could be very detrimental and limit your repayment options.
With all these limitations, you then see why you need a cosigner. The U.S citizen cosigner who is creditworthy will turn the table around for you and you’ll get the best loan to pay for your schooling.
Requirements Cosigner Must Meet
So, you decide you like the idea of cosigners, the next step is finding one. This can prove very difficult because the private lender requires the cosigner to possess the following:
- Good Credit Score and Credit History. You need a cosigner in the first place for this reason – to provide additional security on your loan. Therefore your cosigner must prove that they can make the payment for you if the need arises. The lender gets this proof, however, from the cosigner’s credit history and score. You’ll basically be looking for a cosigner with a credit score of 690 and above for full cover.
- US Citizenship or Permanent Resident. Getting a US citizen or permanent resident to cosign your student loan is usually a very challenging task for international students. This is because you are new to town and may not know enough of this kind of people to trust you enough to cosign for you.
- A Stable Source of Income. This is a vital requirement for cosigners. They must not have an income source that fluctuates. The private lender will usually ask your cosigner for recent pay stubs to prove that they will be able to make payments.
- The Willingness to Cosign a Loan on Your Behalf. Again, this boils down to trust. How will you get a US citizen who may not be your family or relation sign on your behalf? Cosigners are usually careful to agree to cosign on international student’s behalf. This is because their credit will be hurt if the international student fails to make the necessary payments on the loan. Not very many people won’t mind taking this risk.
Finding a Loan Cosigner as an International Student
Are you asking yourself after reading all these if it is possible to even get a cosigner? Oh yes, you can get a cosigner relentless of the limitations. Here’s what you need to do:
Get Family or Friends to Cosign
If you decide to study abroad, it is best to choose a location where you have close family or friends. Thus, if you’ve chosen to study in the U.S or Canada do not only ensure you have friends or family there, but also that they are citizens or permanent residents. You may also want to check that they have good credit history and are willing to sign for your loan. International students and permanent students studying in the USA mostly use family and friends to help cosign their loans.
Enquire About University Alumni Associations
Some universities are very considerate of the international student’s plight in acquiring loans. These universities have programs in place to help you with the dilemma of getting a loan with a cosigner. These programs involve alumni who may have been in your shoes before but now base in the US. Thus, it will be easier for them to offer to cosign private loans for students who show commitment and academic promise. It may be worth it to check out for this option before applying to a university in the US, Canada and abroad.
Consider an Online Loan Cosigner Matchup
While you may not be able to find a family or friend who meets the cosigning requirements, there are several people willing to cosign for international students. The only problem is you can’t find them. Fortunately, the internet makes things easy for all of us. You can search for cosigners online who are willing to cosign on your behalf. You can do your search on social media platforms or use the more trusted Cosigner Finder website. Check the link below!
Anyway, this post is not about finding cosigners for your international student loan. And of course, finding cosigner isn’t really easy. So, you need to eliminate the cosigner and still get the loan. Your next question now is:
How Can I Get a Loan Without a Cosigner?
So, you can get a loan as an international student but you may need a cosigner to do that. What you need to know now is that, yes, you can also get good loans with no cosigner. Here’s how:
Private Loan Through an Online Lender
Even though there are several private lenders who’ll require you to get a cosigner, there are actually some that don’t require cosigners. These private lenders mostly operate online and they specifically target international students and others who may have trouble qualifying for a loan or getting a cosigner.
Here are the best private loans you can get as an international student studying in the USA or Canada with no cosigner:
This private lender is new and they offer student loans for international students who are attending college in the USA or Canada. MPOWER Financing began operation in 2016 and it is based in Washington, D.C. The unique feature of this private loan option is that it doesn’t require cosigners, credit history, or collateral. Students of more than 190 nationalities can get loans through MPOWER.
Also, it offers a fixed interest rate for loans from $2,001 to $50,000 on a 10-year repayment term. You can also opt for interest-only payments for the first six months after graduation. This is a wonderful option that’ll help you pay for tuition and/or other education-related expenses.
Additionally, MPOWER students loan factors in the school you will be attending, your expected graduation date, your grades and scores, and internship experience. They do this to protect their investment. MPOWER students loan also look at future earnings. Thus it monitors whether the student you are taking on too much debt.
Mpower’s student loan process may sound lengthy but you can actually get an initial approval response in about 15 minutes. However, you’ll have to provide the necessary information they need for their loan formula. Also, MPOWER offers courses on financial literacy to help you manage your finances if you take advantage of them.
This lender is specifically designed for international students and others who may have difficulty obtaining a private or federal loan in the US. Stilt also give loans to immigrants, including international students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) holders. If you can’t get a cosigner, Stilt offers loans with competitive interest rates starting at 7.99%.
Stilt is one of the top picks because they list very few qualification requirements. Also, the loan process is really quick with Stilt. You can receive a decision within 24 hours after completing the application. Meanwhile, Stilt doesn’t partner with universities, which means that you are eligible to apply irrespective of your college.
Stilt used to be the only option if you want to refinance your international student loan without a cosigner. But not anymore. However, you can also start building credit with a Stilt loan.
This lender offers private student loans to international students with no cosigner needed. Prodigy was founded by three MBA students in 2007. These students saw the need for education loan options for overseas students studying MBA in the USA. This makes the loan suitable for international students acquiring an MBA degree.
Prodigy doesn’t use the traditional model for determining risk with borrowers, however. It uses what it calls a “borderless model” to determine your potential and other factors beyond just using a credit approval approach. Their loan is available to students in 150 countries, and you can get loan approval in about 30 minutes.
International students can get a postgrad student loan with Prodigy or refinance an existing loan. Also, Prodigy gives you a six-month period of grace after you graduate before you start repaying your debt.
However, to be eligible, you must meet Prodigy’s requirements, including living in a country that Prodigy services. Also, you must gain acceptance into an eligible school and program Prodigy supports – which must be an abroad school.
Sadly, Prodigy’s selected universities are the highly ranked universities and there’s a restriction on the areas of study the loan covers. Also, the loans originate from a U.K.-based entity, and the repayments are not reported to credit bureaus in the U.S.
Additional Financial Aid for International Students
Well, it’s all about not getting stranded abroad as an international study student. While you can get private loans with no cosigner, they are not your only option of funding your study abroad.
Here are additional means of funding your study abroad as an international student.
This may be the first option for any student as they offer no credit check, a large amount of funding, and more flexible modes of repayment. However, international students do not qualify for federal loans, because you must have a green card to get this kind of financial aid. Go ahead and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) anyway. This is because your FAFSA will be used to determine your eligibility for any financial aid provided by your state or public college.
Private and Academic Scholarships
Scholarships are very common for students studying at any part of the world – USA, Europe, Australia, Asia, and even Africa. There are scholarships by subjects and scholarships for developing countries. You are qualified for some scholarships by simply applying for a school. World Scholarship Forum also saves you the time of scouring the internet for scholarships. Check out our scholarships for International Students!
Take advantage of scholarships as some are fully funded while some others will provide you with assistance for tuition alone.
Family and Personal Savings
Even though paying college tuition outright is the best option, you may not have enough resources to achieve this. Therefore, before planning to study abroad, try to get the estimated cost of your study and save towards it. This may not be easy for you, so, you may involve your family members. Ask for their support and also extend to your friends as well.
It is possible to get loans as an international student to study in the USA, the UK, Canada, Europe or any part of the world. However, you may not be able to meet the requirements of these loans, of which getting a good cosigner is one. Again, yes, you can get a loan as an international student in the USA or Canada without a cosigner. This is possible by taking advantage of private online lenders like MPOWER, Stilt, and Prodigy to get students loan. Read these options carefully to be able to decide which loan suits your need best.