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As a prospective international student, what should I consider before I apply for student loan?

I am an international student who would like to study in the US. However, I am in need of financial assistance in order to make this dream come true. Therefore, I am requesting advice on what factors I should know beforehand as I apply for student loan.

Please provide relevant considerations on applying for student loans for international students. I am particularly interested in bank student loans.

I also welcome suggestions on the major issues that are factored when applying for federal school loans as an international student.

Megan Page

in Student Loans

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Tara Andrews on March 16, 2018

The US government does not provide students loans for international students in most cases. However, some few institutions provide loans for future and current international students. For instance, there are banks that provide this service. They include Citizens bank, Baybank, Citi Bank and Bank of Boston.

Below there are factors you ought to consider before applying for a bank student loan:

Co-signer

Most banks require you to have a US- cosigner before applying. The co-signer must be a non-citizen permanent resident or a US citizen. This is often a difficult demand to international students. Bear in mind that a co-signer is legally required by law to repay the full amount of the loan and other accrued charges in case you fail to repay.

Interest rate

First, what is interest? The additional money you pay on top of the principal amount, i.e. the amount you borrowed.

Interest is yet another important factor to consider before applying for a student loan. Compare the interest rates of several banks to make the best choice. It is therefore advisable that you start the loan application process early to give yourself ample time to collate the interest charges of the banks.

The interest rate is for international students that use some indexes. They are:  

  • Prime Rate – Is an index arrived at the federal monies rate that is set by American Federal Reserve.
  • London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) - This is used on London interbank commerce. Currently used by British Bankers’ Association.  

Residency status

You should not be a non-citizen permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.

Charges

Some charges are levied when you apply for a loan.  These include service fees, application fees, and guarantee fees. Be sure to check out your interest charges before refusing or accepting a loan.

Creditworthiness

This is the assessing of your co-signer’s possibility to default on his loan duty. It considers their credit scores and repayment past. The bank also looks at the liabilities and assets of the co-signer in determining creditworthiness.

Creditworthiness is significant when it comes to determining the loan interest rate. The score of their creditworthiness is factored and given a percentage, which is then added to the index to arrive at an interest rate.

Below there is a consideration when applying for a federal school loan:

  • You should be a graduate or undergraduate student who is admitted to college at least half of the time.


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