Any student enrolled in a college program outside his or her home country may want to pursue an international student loan. These loans are created to support the extra costs of travelling to and studying in a foreign country, and they are also designed to provide a simple process for loan application. Because international education loans are designed for studying abroad, students do not need to worry about whether or not their program costs will be covered by their lender. While loan requirements vary, most students studying in a foreign country should be able to find a loan that will work for them.
To be eligible for an international study loan, the first requirement is acceptance to a foreign program or university. Students from the U.S. who are studying abroad and students from foreign countries who are studying in the U.S. may be eligible for loan approval from a variety of different lenders. Requirements vary from lender to lender, but most international student lenders will require the following application materials.
International Students Studying In the U.S. :
- A student VISA
- Transcripts or other proof of enrollment from their home university
- Proof of acceptance to a U.S. college, university, or non-degree vocational program
U.S. Students Studying Abroad:
- Enrollment in or transcripts from home university
- Proof of acceptance to a foreign university
- Possible credit check and all other necessary loan application materials
Repaying an International Student Loan
The expectation for repayment of an international loan will depend entirely on the lender. Requirements should be clearly laid out in the loan agreement, and students will be expected to repay their loan accordingly. Loans provided by federal lenders and other organizations specializing in student loans will often have a forgiveness period, and students will not be required to pay back the loans while in school of for up to six months after culmination of the program. Other private lenders may require students to begin repayment during school or directly after graduation. Loan deferrals are often an option for students having trouble making their payments after graduation, but this also depends on the lender.
Types of International Student Loans
- Global Student Loan Corp.: Global Student Loan Corp. is the only education lender offering funding to international and online students without requiring a cosign from someone located in the country of study. International student loans with cosigner are also common, but students with no contacts in their country of study should opt for international student loans no cosigner programs.
- Credila: Credila is an example of a loan organization offering country-specific funding to native students. This loan company provides aid to Indian students with an I-20 or Visa interested in student loans abroad studies programs.
- U.S. Student Studying Outside the United States: The Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan can be generally applied to students studying abroad. It has low interest rates and can cover up to the total amount of education costs for international study. There is also an option providing funding to international students studying in the U.S.