Best College Loans For International Students

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Studying in the United States comes with a hefty price tag, and one viable solution to finance tuition is applying for a private student loan. While federal student loans offer numerous advantages in comparison to private loans. They are exclusively available to U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens.

Consequently, international students are left with the only viable alternative—private student loans—to cover their college tuition and associated educational expenses.

College Loans For International Students

Fortunately, international students have various options to choose the right student loan that suits their specific needs. In this blog post, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best international student loans, along with other pertinent information.

Notably, these loans do not require a Social Security number.

College Loans For International Students With A Co-Signer

Adding a co-signer to a private student loan will enhance your chances of getting approved for the loan and also lead to lower rates.

International students should add a cosigner to their loan application to make sure that they get the best terms.

Here are some of the lenders that offer student loans to international students:

College Ave

College Ave. is a lender based in Wilmington, Delaware. It provides student loans to undergraduates, parents, and graduates, and for career training.

International students can get loans via College Avenue if they have a United States Social Security number and a co-signer. The loan can be used to pay for either graduate or undergraduate studies, dental school, law school, medical school, and master’s degree programs.

Furthermore, the loan term ranges from five to fifteen years. And College Ave provides multiple repayment options, which include deferred, interest-only, and flat payments. It can also cover the total of the school-approved cost of attendance.

College Ave. Cosigned Loan  
Fixed rates (APR) 4.49%–16.99%
Variable rates (APR) 5.59%–16.99%
Rate discount 0.25% for automatic payments
Loan amount $1,000–100% of the school-certified cost of attendance
Repayment plans Full, interest-only, $25 fixed, or deferred
Repayment term 5, 8, 10, or 15 years
Fees Late payment fee

Ascent

Ascent is based in San Diego, and it has started offering private student loans. The platform extends student loans to DACA recipients, international students, and United States-based students looking for funding for graduate and undergraduate degrees.

An international student must have a cosigner to be able to get a student loan from Ascent. The co-signers can be discharged from the loan after 12 timely payments if the primary borrower is a United States citizen. Or if the United States citizen has permanent resident status.

The loan period for international students ranges from 5 to 15 years, with in-school interest-only repayment available. The international student can defer repayment for up to nine months after they leave the school.

Ascent Co-signed Student Loan  
Fixed rates (APR) 4.49%–16.99%
Variable rates (APR) 6.16%–15.59%
Rate discount 0.25% for automatic payments
Loan amount $2,001 to $200,000
Repayment plans Interest-only, $25 fixed, or deferred
Repayment term 5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years
Fees Late payment fee

Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae is one of the best lenders among private student loan lenders. This company was established in 1972 as a federal student loan servicer.

Sallie Mae provides loans for graduate and undergraduate university students as well as financing for career training. International students can also borrow from Sallie Mae if they have a cosigner.

Furthermore, Sallie Mae enables interest-only, deferred, or fixed repayment options while in school and also after graduation.

International students who get permanent residency status can also apply for cosigner release after they make 12 timely principal and interest payments and if they meet the credit score requirement.

Sallie Mae Cosigned Student Loan    
Fixed rates (APR) 4.50%–15.49%
Variable rates (APR) 6.37%–16.70%
Rate discount 0.25% for automatic payments
Loan amount $1,000–100% of the school-certified cost of attendance
Repayment plans Interest-only, $25 fixed, or deferred
Repayment term 5–15 years
Fees Late payment fee

Discover

Discover also provides private student loan financing in addition to personal loans, bank accounts, home loans, and credit cards. The student loan includes both fixed and variable-rate loans for international students.

International students will need to have a cosigner to be eligible for student loan financing. The students are not required to have a Social Security number to be able to apply.

So it might be a lot easier to get approved for the loan than with other lenders. The loans are accessible for undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. It also has loan limits of up to 100% of the school-certified certificate of attendance.

Discover Cosigned Student Loan    
Fixed rates (APR) 4.49%–14.99%
Variable rates (APR) 6.37%–16.62%
Rate discount 0.25% for automatic payments and a 0.35 discount for choosing the interest-only repayment plan.
Loan amount $1,000–100% of the school-certified cost of attendance
Repayment plans Interest-only, $25 fixed, or deferred
Repayment term 15 years
Fees None

Earnest

Earnest is a well-known fintech company that has its headquarters in San Francisco. It provides student loans, credit cards, student loan refinancing, and personal loans to qualified borrowers.

International students who have a cosigner, a Social Security number, and a United States address can apply for student loans with Earnest. This platform has no origination or prepayment fee.

This lender offers the lowest interest rates for private student loans for eligible borrowers enrolled in automatic payments.

After the borrower has made at least six consecutive timely payments for their loan. They can apply for the Skip a Payment feature. This perks enables you to skip one payment for your loan every 12 months.

Earnest Cosigned Student Loan    
Fixed rates (APR) 4.42%–15.90%
Variable rates (APR) 5.62% to 16.20%
Rate discount 0.25% for automatic payments
Loan amount $1,000–100% of the school-certified cost of attendance
Repayment plans Full, interest-only, $25 fixed, or deferred
Repayment term 5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years
Fees None

College Loans For International Students Without A Co-Signer

If you are an international student who is not able to find a worthy cosigner who is a United States citizen. If you don’t want to use a cosigner, then there are other private student loans without a cosigner.

Below are some of the companies that offer loans without a cosigner:

Prodigy Finance

Prodigy Finance provides private student loans to international students with no collateral or co-signer needed. The loans can be used to cover the tuition cost or any other living expenses incurred while you are pursuing your graduate degree.

To be qualified for this loan, the student must be able to meet the requirements. This includes living in a country that provides prodigy services.

They must also have been accepted into a qualified school and program that Prodigy supports. And the school they are attending must be outside of their country.

This lender also provides flexible repayment terms ranging from seven to 20 years. The borrowers can also enjoy a 6-month grace period. And there are no prepayment penalties associated with paying off their loan.

Prodigy Finance Student Loan    
Fixed rates (APR) 11.18%–8.50%
Variable rates (APR) Not offered
Rate discount Not disclosed
Loan amount Not disclosed
Repayment plans Not disclosed
Repayment term 7–20 years
Fees 5% admin fee, late payment fee

MPOWER Financing

MPOWER Financing is a private lender that provides student loans for international students who are enrolled in a college in the United States.

This lender doesn’t require cosigners, collateral, or a credit history on their loans. All degrees and majors are supported. The factors that determine if you are eligible for the loan include the school you are attending, your grades, your expected graduation date, and any internships you have in the field.

MPOWER Financing also considers the appearance of your future earnings. So it keeps track of whether the student is taking on too much debt.

The loans can also be repaid online and in any currency, and there are also no prepayment penalties. This lender also provides interest-only payments while you are in school and during the six months after graduation. Timely payments can also help you build your credit history.

MPOWER Financing Student Loan    
Fixed rates (APR) 14.75 for undergraduates and 13.72 for graduates
Variable rates (APR) Not offered
Rate discount 0.25% for automatic payments
Loan amount $2,001-$100,000
Repayment plans Interest-only
Repayment term 10 years
Fees Late payment fee

Can I Use International Student Loans Outside The United States?

No, you can’t. International student loans are not meant to be used outside of the United States. As soon as the government sends the money to the educational institution the applicable tuition and fees are settled.

Then the funds remaining are meant to be used to cover the student’s cost of living. Also if there are any other educational costs while studying in the United States, it should cover it too.

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