7 Best International Student Loans for the USA
Coming to America as an international student has been Michael Adebayo’s dream since he graduated from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, three years ago. He watched his coursemates relocate for their masters and often wondered how some could gather such funds.
He stumbled upon a student loan to the United States but was confused about how it worked. Michael wanted to know how to repay such a loan and when he could start servicing the loan.
Do you need a loan to study in the USA? International students can access more loan options than ever. You don't have to worry about collateral or a Social Security number (SSN) before getting approval for some loans. We have listed some loans you can consider as an international student.
Best International Student Loans
Earnest provides different student loans, like graduate loans, that need no co-signer if they meet some criteria. However, some international students must provide co-signers (permanent residents or citizens who meet borrower eligibility requirements).
a) Earnest offers graduating students a nine-month grace period
b) Students can skip a payment once a year
c) No fees
a) No loans for part-time undergraduate students
b) No co-signer release program
Interest-only: A student with a co-signer can pay only the interest that accrues each month while in school and during the grace period.
Fixed: Students must make a fixed $25 monthly payment while in school.
Deferred: Full payments are deferred while in school and for nine months after graduation.
Full payment: students with co-signers can opt to start making full monthly payments while in school.
- Available in all states and the District of Columbia (excluding Nevada).
- The co-signer must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Students must have a physical address in the U.S.
- Students must have an SSN or ITIN.
- The co-signer must have a credit score of 650 or above and a credit history of three years or longer.
- A co-signer must have an annual income of at least $35,000.
- Undergraduate students must be enrolled at least half-time.
- The school must be a Title IV-qualified, not-for-profit, four-year institution.
MPOWER offers student loans to international students without a co-signer who's a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Students can get approved without a co-signer or a credit check.
a) No credit score or history
b) No need for a co-signer
c) Autopay discount of 0.25%
a) Only a single repayment term
b) Charges an origination fee and interest-only payments in school
Interest-only: Students have to make interest-only payments while in school and during a six-month grace period, after which they can make full monthly payments.
- Available to students attending select schools in the U.S. and Canada.
- A U.S. citizen, permanent resident, DACA recipient, asylum seeker, refugee, or visa holder can get approval.
- Enrollment at an eligible school.
- You must be the age of majority in your state of residence.
Juno uses prospective borrowers and gets private student loan companies to offer student loans. It does not require a credit check, but DACA and international students need a co-signer.
a) Lower interest rates
b) No commitment and no fees
c) Available for DACA and international students
a) Lengthy approval process
b) Limited to partner lenders
c) Must enroll to view potential rates
Deferred payments: No payments until nine months after graduation.
Fixed payment: A fixed $25 monthly payment until nine months after graduation.
Interest-only payment: Make payments only to cover the interest that accrues on the loan until nine months after graduation.
Full payment: Starts nine months after the loan is disbursed.
- Student must be a past, present, or future student of a Title IV accredited, not-for-profit university in the U.S.
- Loans are available in all 50 states and D.C.
- Additional borrower and co-signer requirements depend on individual partner lenders.
Credible can help students get pre-qualified with multiple lenders at once. In addition, you can receive a loan that covers your total school cost. However, you must research to understand how each lender works.
a) You can compare rates from multiple lenders
b) No application fee or a hard credit check
c) Works with seven lenders
a) Does not partner with all major lenders
b) Borrowers require additional research
c) Lender terms vary
Full payment: Full interest-and-principle payments, which save the most money over the course of the loan.
Fixed: A fixed amount ($25) every month before beginning full payments.
Interest-only: An interest-only repayment plan allows students to make monthly payments to offset the interest accrues while in school before beginning full payments.
Deferred: Students can postpone making any payments until after graduation.
- Use the loan for education purposes only
- A qualifying credit score (or a co-signer with one)
- Be enrolled in an eligible education program
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident with a Social Security number
- A qualifying income and debt-to-income ratio (or a co-signer with one)
- Be at least 18 and hold a high school diploma or equivalent (or have a co-signer).
Ascent offers international students several student loan options, particularly for graduate studies. The repayment terms vary based on loan type. Repayment can be postponed after graduation for up to 9, 36, or 48 months, depending on the loan program and situation.
a) Flexible repayment terms
b) 1% cash-back graduation reward
c) Referral bonuses
a) International students must have a co-signer
b) Outcomes-based loans are limited to part-time students
Deferred: Students can defer payments while in school and during a grace period after graduation.
Interest-only: students can pay interest as it accrues in school and during the grace period.
Fixed: Students can pay a fixed $25 monthly in school and during your grace period.
1. Co-signers must have a minimum annual income of $24,000 for the current and previous year.
2. Co-signers must meet a minimum credit score.
3. Loans are available in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories.
4. International students must have a creditworthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
5. Be able to submit proof of income.
Citizens Bank provides different types of graduate student loans, with a 0.25% interest rate discount for automatic payments. However, students need a creditworthy co-signer (U.S. citizen or permanent resident).
a) Loyalty discount for customers
b) Co-signer release is available
c) Borrowers can get multi-year approval
a) Not available for community college students
b) low aggregate limits
Deferred: Students can defer payments while in school and during the six-month grace period after graduation.
Interest-only: Students can opt to make interest-only payments while in school and during your grace period, after which they can make full monthly payments.
Immediate: Students can make full monthly payments shortly after they receive loans.
- Available in all 50 states.
- International students must have a creditworthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Students must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution.
- Students cannot have any prior student loan defaults.
- A co-signer must have a reasonably strong credit history.
Prodigy Finance offers loans to graduate students who want to study in the U.S. or another country. However, Prodigy loans aren't available in 23 U.S. states.
- No co-signer
- Can use loans in 20 countries
- Only available to graduate students
- Interest rates are variable
- An administrative fee
- Only certain schools are eligible
Deferred payments: Monthly payments are deferred until several months after graduation
- Students must be enrolled at a school and in a program the lender supports.
- The student must come from a country the lender supports.
Pay4Me App can help international students get study loans from MPOWER and Prodigy Finance. With the app, you don’t have to struggle with limited funds for your study abroad.