International Student Loans
IEFA has partnered with the leading provider of international student loan programs to provide students around the world with financial aid options to fund their education abroad. Through this site, you will gain access to the only loan comparison tool designed specifically for international students. Simply enter in your information to the loan widget and you will be shown the loan options that are available to you. There are up to 8 lenders who are currently providing financial aid to international students, and more will be added as time goes by so start searching today!
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for a student loan?
You can compare lenders and apply right online. Instant approval of your loan can be as quick as a few weeks. Click here to start your loan application.
Who is eligible to apply for international student loans?
- Students who are not U.S. citizens or non-citizen permanent residents and who are attending an eligible U.S. college or university.
- Borrowers are required to have a creditworthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen permanent resident. Students who are not U.S. citizens or non-citizen permanent residents and who are attending schools outside the U.S. are not currently eligible for our loans.
What loans are available?
We have designed the first ever international student loan comparison tool that will match you with lenders based on your needs. Simply complete a quick application and we will match you with all of the available lenders. To see which loans work for you, check out our international student loan comparison tool. With these loan options, students can borrow up to the full cost of their education, minus other aid received. Our loans help students save money, build good credit, and pay off their student loan faster.
What can international student loans be used for?
International student loans, like all private education loans, can be used for education-related expenses including such things as tuition, books, fees, insurance, transportation, room and board and other school-related expenses.
What is the maximum loan amount that I can apply for?
You can apply for up to the total cost of education, minus other aid, as determined by your school. To determine your maximum loan amount, or what can be included in your loan, you will need to contact your school's financial aid office. After you apply and receive credit approval for you and your co-signer, your school must certify the amount of the loan.
I'm a non-US citizen nor a US-permanent resident studying in a destination outside the US, am I eligible for a loan?
Unfortunately, our loan programs are for international students from anywhere in the world studying in the United States, or for US students studying abroad. We do not currently have a program for international students studying elsewhere in the world, even with a US co-signer.
What if no lenders appear on my comparison tool?
Unfortunately if there are no lenders that appear after you do the comparison tool, then we do not have a loan program for the school. Our best advice is to contact your school, as they should know if there are any loan programs available to their international students.
When I take out a student loan, how much do I pay back and when?
The interest rate and repayment will depend on the loan option and lender you select. After you select the loan that works best for you, you will need to review the terms or contact the lender directly with your questions. The interest rate is calculated based on an index plus a margin that will add an additional percentage interest rate depending on your cosigner's creditworthiness. Based on their creditworthiness, an additional interest rate will be added to the index which will be the total interest rate you owe and at that point you can determine whether you'd like to proceed. Every lender's range varies so it is important to do the loan comparison and review the interest rate and repayment terms.
What if I do not have a co-signer? What if my co-signer is a non-US citizen? Or, how can I find a co-signer?
Unfortunately a co-signer is required for all international student loan programs. The co-signer must be a US citizen or US permanent resident, with good credit, who has lived in the US for the past two years. Non-US citizens or non-US permanent residents cannot act as a cosigner. Although we are not able to assist with finding a co-signer, it is common to ask close friends or family members.
Can I apply for an international student loan before being accepted to my school?
While you can begin the loan application prior to being accepted to your school, you will need to be accepted with your student visa to finalize the loan.
What if I need to show proof of funds before I obtain a visa? Can I show this loan as satisfying this requirement?
Some students are able to use loan approval as proof of funds, but it's not easy and it's up to the school and consular officer if they'll accept a loan approval as proper funds. You would need to apply for the loan now, list the school you plan to attend, get initially approved based on the credit of your co-signer, then use that initial approval to complete your acceptance to the school.
I need proof of funds before I can enroll, can I use loans?
Typically you need to be admitted and enrolled, and have your visa, in order to apply. Some students are able to use loan approval as proof of funds, but its not easy and its up to the school and consular officer if they'll accept a loan approval as proper funds. You would need to apply for the loan, list the school you plan to attend, get initially approved based on the credit of your co-signer, then use that initial approval to complete your acceptance to the school.
You will also have to provide a valid student visa in order to finalize the loan. After you apply and receive credit approval for you and your co-signer, your school must certify the amount of the loan. The proceeds are then disbursed directly to the school.
My school is not on the list, can I still get a loan?
If your school does not appear on our eligible school list, then we unfortunately do not have a loan program for you. We recommend contacting your school directly as they may know if there are any loan programs available to their international students.
Are there application deadlines?
No. You may apply for an International Student Loan at any time.
If I obtained a loan last year, can I get another loan again this year?
Yes. You can reapply each academic term for a loan.
What is an International Student Loan?
Federal student loans are popular with US students in the USA, but they are not available to international students. International Student Loans are specialized private education loans that are available for international students who are studying in the USA. International students will have to apply with a qualified co-signer and should only apply for international student loans after exhausting all scholarships, personal funds and other options.
Before applying, please visit these international education financing guides:
- International Education Financial Aid (IEFA)
- International Scholarships
- International Financial Aid Blog
Lenders typically give better terms for better credit history, so when you apply find a co-signer with the best credit history to improve your rates and fees.