Details on International Student Loans

International Student Loans | Frequently Asked Questions | Apply Online

International Student Loan is pleased to bring you the first loan comparison tool for international students. We understand that studying in the United States may require you to secure additional financial aid to make that dream possible. That's why we have developed a private loan comparison tool of all lenders that provide loans to international students. We have made the loan process easy, quick and simple, comparing those lenders that will help secure your education to the United States.

Private International Student Loans

Many international students studying in the United States will find that expenses can add up! With tuition, books, transportation, and living expenses, many international students may soon realize that they cannot financial support their educational studies entirely on their own. However, don't let this deter your dream of getting an education in the United States. That's where private student loans come in! Private student loans are available to international students to help cover these costs while studying in the US.

Cosigner Requirements

All international students must have a US co-signer in order to apply for a student loan. A co-signer is legally obligated to repay the loan if the borrower fails to pay. Often times, the cosigner is a close friend or relative that can assist in getting credit since most international students cannot receive credit on their own. That co-signer must be a US citizen or permanent resident, with good credit, who has lived in the US for the past two years. Learn more about how to find a cosigner.

Application Process

You can begin the loan application simply by doing a loan comparison that will allow you to choose the lender best suited for you. To make the process go as quickly as possible, you and your co-signer will need to complete the entire online application thoroughly. Initial credit approval or denial is very quick and typically takes 2-6 weeks from initial approval.

Interest Rate Explained

When you take out a loan through a lender, you will be responsible for paying back the amount of money you borrowed (called the principal) plus an additional amount charged by the lender for the loan (called interest).

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. The two most common indexes used for international student loans are the Prime Rate and LIBOR Rate:

Prime Interest Rate
This index is determined by the federal funds rate which is set by the US Federal Reserve. This is the rate in which banks lend to one another and in many cases the interest rate which commercial banks charge their most creditworthy clients.
LIBOR
Like the Prime Rate, the LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) is the interest rate that banks borrow from other banks. This rate is based on the British Bankers' Association and used on the London interbank market. The rate is an average of the world's most creditworthy bank's interbank deposit rates for overnight and one year terms.

When evaluating the loan, the lender will clarify which index the plan uses. Then, there will be an additional margin that will be added to this index based on the borrower's individual criteria, including the co-signer's credit history. Based on their creditworthiness, an additional interest rate will be added to the index which will be the total interest rate you owe. This will appear on your final loan paperwork as Libor + 2.8%. The application is free, and when your application is approved, your specific margin will be disclosed to you. At that point you can accept or refuse the loan. Currently the rates are anywhere between 2.25% APR and 9.11% APR.

Loan Repayment

Repayment will depend on the loan option you choose. Many international students must consider this as an important feature of their loan since most students cannot work while they study in the United States. Because of this, it is important to consider how much the monthly payments will be, when payments will begin, and how long students may be able to defer paying back the loan. The repayment period typically ranges from 10-25 years, however the larger the loan the longer the loan repayment period. There are standard repayment plan options depending on the loan you select:

Full Deferral
Students are able to defer payment of the interest and principal until 6 months after graduation as long as full-time status is maintained. Students can defer payments for a maximum of 4 years consecutively which is the typical length of a degree seeking student
Interest Only
International students only pay the interest while in school, up to 4 consecutive years, and can defer the principal until 45 days after graduation or when students drop their course load to part-time.
Immediate Repayment
Payments on both interest and principal are due immediately once the loan has been issued and dispersed.
Watch videos and learn more with our International Financial Aid Resources center

Find My Student Loan

Use this comparison tool to find the right international student loan, study abroad loan, or foreign-enrolled loan for you.