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If you are interested in applying for an international student loan, it's important to plan in advance so that when it comes time to apply, you'll be ready. International student loans and study abroad loans have an approval process where the lender evaluates your financial ability to pay and the likelihood that they will get paid back the principal plus interest.
When it comes to students, whether US or international students, this financial history can be quite limited – or nonexistent. This makes it tough for lenders to evaluate the borrower's ability to pay. To resolve this issue, almost all international students and most US students interested in applying for a loan need a cosigner to be accepted. This article will discuss how to find the right cosigner - one that meets the lender requirements and provides you with the best interest rate available.
A cosigner is someone who guarantees that if the borrower cannot pay back the loan, they will be legally responsible to pay back the debt. In other words, the cosigner is taking on a huge responsibility for the international student loan or study abroad loan since they are being asked to accept the responsibility of paying back the total loan amount plus any interest.
If you are an international student looking to apply for a loan, almost all US lenders will require that you have a cosigner. On the other hand, if you are a student who is a US citizen, a cosigner can increase the likelihood of approval and improve the interest rate offered. Many students, especially undergraduate students, have very limited income and credit history. Whether or not you require a cosigner, there are two important reasons a cosigner can help with your international student loan:
During the application process through lenders that require a cosigner, the lenders will review your application to consider whether they are willing to issue a student loan. The lender will evaluate whether they believe they will be paid back by looking at the financial history of the borrower and cosigner, asking:
The interest rate is the cost of borrowing money. Depending on the creditworthiness of both the cosigner and borrower, the interest rate can fluctuate within a range. Someone with good credit will get a more favorable interest rate since the risk the lender is undertaking is less.
A cosigner must be a US citizen or permanent resident who has lived in the US for the past two years with good credit. Trying to find out how to find a good cosigner can be difficult, so use the following guidelines:
Your cosigner should have a steady income, a stable job, and an established credit history. Some lenders will look at how long your cosigner has lived at their current address and how long they've been employed at their current job.
Since the cosigner is taking on the obligation to pay back loans in case the borrower cannot, it's important that the cosigner can afford to cover these expenses. International student loans and study abroad loans will look at the total income of your cosigner and their total debts (mortgage, car payments, credit card debt, and any student loans they may have on their own).
In the United States, credit history is evaluated by a credit score that is based on outstanding debts and payment history. Lenders evaluate your cosigners existing and past loans looking to see whether they were paid on time.
If you are an international student, finding a cosigner can be a bit tricky since they do have to be a US citizen or permanent resident. Most students first look to their family members to act as their cosigner, but in some cases, it's possible that they will not meet these requirements. Borrowers can also find an extended family member or friend to cosign their international student loan or study abroad loan. In fact, a cosigner doesn't have to be a relative at all, your cosigner can be anyone who meets the general requirements and is willing to cosign your loan. Your cosigner should have a social security number, current address and phone number, references, and employment information.
If you are evaluating your international student loan options, you should plan in advance and figure out your approach on how to find the right cosigner for your loan. Once this part is done, it will help you expedite the loan application process and give the financial help you need to fund your education overseas. If you're not able to find a cosigner you will want to see if you're eligible for a no-cosigner loan.