Student Loan Dictionary
If you have been researching international student loans, you are likely confused by the plethora of difficult terms
on your international student loan. Have no fear; below please find enhanced definitions for a greater understanding
of the useful vocabulary pertaining to your international student loan.
- Accrued Interest
- Interest on your loan that has been acknowledged but not yet paid or
received. In the case of the borrower, accrued interest would not have been paid and in the case of the lender,
accrued interest would not have been received.
- Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
- AGI measures what portion of income can be taxed. Essentially,
this is the total income less a number of nontaxable items, for example, medical expenses.
- While you might be thinking amortization has something to do with amor,
unfortunately it is actually referring to a type of debt repayment. More specifically, amortization signifies
paying back borrowed money in an organized fashion, via weekly, monthly or annual installments.
- Amount Due
- The final value owed by a certain deadline for a good or service. Particularly
pertaining to taxes, the amount due is a larger sum than total tax payments made beforehand.
- The APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, is an interest rate calculated on a yearly basis. The
APR differs according to the individual loan as well as the lender providing the loan.
- Award Letter
- The letter sent by a university verifying the eligibility of student for
- The person that has successfully applied for and been granted a loan.
- An accounting term, this refers to when the price to obtain an asset or item is
included in the total value of that item. For example, if you are ordering a product online, you likely have to
pay shipping costs. Thus, you are paying for the asset and the additional cost to acquire that item.
- Certified loan
- If your loan is certified, it means that the university where you are studying
is required to confirm that the loan amount provided is correct. This serves to ensure that the amount withdrawn
corresponds to need and is not in excess.
- Consolidated loan
- One loan results as a combination of several, separate loans. When
consolidation occurs, the repayment period is often extended and the monthly payment is less.
- If you are an international student studying in the United States, in order to withdraw a loan in
most cases, you need either a United States citizen or permanent citizen to serve as cosigner. This person is
equally responsible for the loan, and, thus, must repay the loans with you.
- Cost of Attendance (COA)
- The sum of the price for attending a university in a year. This
estimated value includes tuition, room and board, as well as additional collegiate expenses.
- If you are creditworthy, it means that you have a positive credit rating and are
a candidate for receiving credit or withdrawing loans.
- Credit Report
- A credit report provides a potential borrower’s credit history to a prospective
lender. This report includes a variety of information, both personal and fiscal.
- Credit Score
- This is a grade given between 300 and 850 based on credit history and rating.
- Default occurs when the borrower breaks the agreement previously established with the
lender. For example, default can result due to tardy or no payments.
- Deferment occurs due to postponing of loan payment or minimization of installation
- An individual or group that has refused to pay loans on time and in full.
Consequences vary from a late fee to serious legal battles.
- Disbursement concerns spending money, often in the form of payments. For
students, this usually pertains to the lender issuing a loan to the borrower.
- Disbursement Date
- When the lender grants a loan to the borrower.
- Due Date
- The date when loan payment is due. This varies based on the individual agreement
between the borrower and the lender.
- An endorser, like a cosigner, is a person who supports your loan withdrawal and is
equally responsible under the law for repayment.
- Enrollment Status
- The amount of credits taken in a semester, which influences financial aid.
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
- The estimated funding given by a student’s family annually.
Financial aid is calculated accordingly.
- An online signature that signifies an agreement between two parties.
- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a document that students can complete
and submit each year requesting financial support.
- When the borrower is not able to defer loans, in some cases, the lender permits a
cease or decrease of loan payment for up to 12 months time.
- Grace Period
- The amount of time in between missing the loan payment due date and the
penalization date, during which a borrower is not yet punished.
- Grade Point Average (GPA)
- The average score of all classes completed.
- Graduate student
- A student who pursues an education in the form of graduate studies.
- Gross Income
- The total sum earned by a person before taxes and other deductions are taken into
- A government agency that protects lenders in the case that the borrower defaults and is
not able to
repay the loan. Without a guarantor, it is difficult for borrowers with a poor credit rating to receive a loan.
- A percentage value accrued annually based on the loan amount. It requires payment.
- Interest Rate
- An additional charge, which is aggregated to a loan. Directly related to the amount
the interest rate increases based on the size of the loan.
- The individual or group that approves and distributes the loan to the borrower. With the
lender determines the terms on your international student loan, especially regarding the logistics of repayment.
- The London Interbank Offered Rate, or the loan rate paid between banks.
- A loan refers to the lending of money to later be reimbursed, in addition to interest
- Minimum Monthly Payment
- The minimum amount that a borrower is required to pay on a monthly basis
in order to
maintain a positive credit rating.
- Origination Fee
- A fee required of the borrower at the beginning of the loan application process in
finance the corresponding preparation by the lender.
- The origin of applying for and eventually the issuance of a loan. This involves a
interactions between a borrower and a lender, with the borrower providing both personal and financial data, and
the lender using this information to determine the type of loan that is applicable.
- The total amount that has been withdrawn, without interest, that the borrower still owes
- Private Loans
- A loan issued by a private lender. It is also known as an alternative loan.
- Promissory Note
- A written and signed agreement, indicating a promise between a lender and a
borrower to repay a
loan, including interest rates and other fees, by a predisposed due date.
- The process of paying back a loan to the lender. Normally this is done incrementally, for example, on
a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- A SSN is a unique number, specific to each United States citizen, as
permanent residents, and is used to identify each person. It can also be used to view credit ratings.
- Stafford Loan
- A set loan value offered to higher education students in the United States.
- Subsidized Stafford Loan
- This loan is affirmed by the federal government and is distributed
according to need.
It does not accrue interest prior to graduation.
- An official document, provided by an accredited university, that indicates the
by a student and the corresponding grades for each course.
- The total cost for course instruction, as well as the credits and courses taken at a
- Undergraduate student
- A student pursuing undergraduate studies at a university.
- Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- A loan that is affirmed and distributed by the federal government
according to need.
It does accrue interest prior to graduation.
- Variable Interest
- Interest that varies according to the state of the market and current cost of
Now that you have an improved knowledge base concerning international student loan definitions, hopefully you can
move forward feeling more at ease. While the process of obtaining student loans might seem daunting, comprehending
international student loan terms is the first step to achieving a beautiful education.