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 can use the only loan comparison tool designed specifically for international students.
Simply enter your information into the comparison tool above and you will be shown the options that are available to you. There are a number of lenders who are currently providing financial aid to international students, and more will be added as time goes by so start searching today!
How do I apply for a student loan?
You can compare lenders and start the process online. Approval can be as quick as a few weeks. You can begin the process by using the loan comparison tool on this page or visit International Student Loan.
Who is eligible to apply for international student loans in the US?
Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents and who are attending an eligible U.S. college or university.
In most cases borrowers are required to have a credit-worthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. However, there are loans available at select schools that do not require a cosigner, depending on your situation as the borrower.
Who is eligible to apply for student loans in Canada?
Students who are attending an eligible Canadian college or university may use the loan comparison tool on this page to find an international student loan in Canada.
Who is eligible to apply for study abroad loans?
Students who are US citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply for study abroad loans if they are participating in a study abroad program through an approved school in the United States. The student must receive credit at their home college or university. If you are not sure if your school is eligible, use our loan widget to see if your school is on the list. Your school must be accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Secretary of Education and be eligible to participate in federal student aid programs.
Who is eligible to apply for foreign enrolled loans?
Students who are US citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled at a foreign university are eligible for a foreign enrolled loan if their university is eligible. To see the complete list of eligible schools here.
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 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 Canada, 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. When selecting a lender you will need to review the terms or contact the lender directly with your questions. If you go with a lender that requires a cosigner 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. Every lender's range varies so it is important to do the loan comparison and review the interest rate and repayment terms. If a lender does not require a cosigner the interest and repayment rates are established in a different way. For example, with MPOWER, the interest and repayment is determined based on the borrower's future potential. While they do not require a credit score, they do need to review a detailed credit report to verify payment history and good standing.
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?
A cosigner is required for many international student loan programs, but not all. If a cosigner is required they 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 cosigner, it is common to ask close friends or family members. If you do not have a cosigner you will want to explore lenders that do not require a cosigner.
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 cosigner (if you have one), 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, 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 may have to apply with a qualified cosigner 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:
Lenders typically give better terms for better credit history, so if your lender requires a cosigner find a cosigner with the best credit history to improve your rates and fees.