Study Abroad Loans FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Study Abroad Loans

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  • 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 study abroad loan?

    • Students who are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents (with appropriate CIS documentation) participating in a studying abroad program sponsored or recognized by your eligible home institution in the U.S.
    • Students and co-signers must have a valid social security number and pass a credit check

    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 can study abroad loans be used for?

    Study abroad 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.

    What student loans are available?

    We have designed the study abroad 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 student abroad 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. Before you apply for private loans, you should apply for as much as possible in federal student loans including:

    • Stafford loans (subsidized and unsubsidized)
    • Parent PLUS loans
    • Graduate PLUS loans

    Should I apply for federal loans or private loans?

    You should always apply for as much in federal loans as possible before you resort to private loans. However, for our study abroad loans there is no need to complete a FAFSA, other benefits of the study abroad loans include:

    • Borrower up to the total cost of attendance, less other aid
    • Flexible repayment terms
    • Thousands of approved schools

    Do all foreign schools offer federal financial aid?

    No. The school must be accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and be eligible to participate in federal student aid programs. Federal financial aid is available only to students attending eligible institutions. Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) toll free to find out if a school is eligible: 800-4-FED-AID. U.S. federal aid at international institutions is available only in the form of Stafford and PLUS loans.

    If my school doesn't participate in the federal program, can I apply for a private student loan instead?

    No. Schools must be approved by the Department of Education to offer the private student loans listed above.

    My school is not on the list, can I still get a loan?

    If you will be studying abroad and need a loan to finance your studies overseas, you must receive credit at your home school. Your sending school must also appear on our eligible school list. If not, 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 study abroad students.

    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 study abroad students.

    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 I do not have a co-signer? Or, what if my co-signer is a non-US citizen?

    While students are not required to have a co-signer, having a co-signer will increase the likelihood of obtaining a loan and may also improve the chances of qualifying for a better interest rate. Students who do not have a cosigner must have good credit and a long credit history. The guidelines of what qualifies as good credit are variable depending on the lender. 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.

    Are there application deadlines?

    No. You may apply for a study abroad 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.

    How do I start the process?

    1. Complete and submit the FAFSA. You can fill out the FAFSA online at
    2. Get your Student Aid Report (SAR). We recommend you wait 24-48 hours after filing the FAFSA online, then call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at (800) 4-FED-AID (433-3243) and ask to have the eight-page hard copy of the full SAR mailed to you. If asked about this request, explain that you are attending a foreign school that does not have electronic access to your SAR data and that you need to send the eight-page detailed SAR to the school once the Federal Student Aid Information Center mails it to you. (Ask to speak to a supervisor if necessary.) When they mail you the detailed SAR, you should keep a copy for yourself and send the original to the school's financial aid office for review.
    3. Begin the loan application process.

    When will my student loan be disbursed?

    Disbursement dates are set by the school in accordance with federal regulations. The first disbursement date on a federal loan cannot be any earlier than 30 days before the first day of the loan period.

    Checks will be made co-payable to the school and you and will be sent to the school, unless they request otherwise. (Some institutions are required to delay delivery of federal funds to first-year undergraduates who are first-time borrowers.)

    To avoid unnecessary delays:

    • File the FAFSA and get the eight-page SAR.
    • Sign the MPN and send it to the school with the correct school certification form. (Both are available for download from each loan page.)
    • Have the school send the MPN and the school certification to Sallie Mae, P.O. Box 9425, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9425.
    • Private loan applications must be certified by the school and returned to Sallie Mae, P.O. Box 9435, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9435.

    Are there any regulations about cashing my student loan checks for study abroad?

    If you are studying abroad, you need to know about important federal regulations affecting the cashing of student loan checks. The Currency and Foreign Transaction Reporting Act restricts the total amount of endorsed checks that are transported into or out of the United States.

    If you intend to carry or mail one or more endorsed student loan checks into or out of the U.S. and the individual check or checks total more than $10,000, you are required to notify U.S. Customs and Border Protection beforehand.

    If you choose not to cash your student loan checks through a bank abroad, please file the Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments form (PDF, 136KB) (FinCEN Form 105) only if your student loan checks have been endorsed before entering or leaving the U.S.

    You can get the FinCEN Form 105 from the link above, at all U.S. ports of entry and departure, and from Please note: If your student loan check(s) have not been endorsed, you are not required to file a currency reporting form.

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