International students are usually non-American citizens going to attend college in the US for a definite period of time. The majority of non-American citizens are not able to take out federal student loans, while there are certain exclusions.
Meaning international students who are in need of extra funding generally switch to private student (college) loans in order to cover their college expenses.
Note that in order to get a private college loan, lenders will need you to have an American citizen co-signer. We have mentioned the best options for student (college) loans for international students in the below table on the basis of attributes such as fees, eligibility standards, and easy repayment options.
Best International Student Loans
|Description||Variable APR||Fixed APR|
|Ascent Undergraduate International Student Loans||1.78% to 9.37%||4.81% to 12.79%|
|SoFi||1.64% to 11.67%||3.22% to 10.91%|
|College Ave||1.19% to 11.98%||3.49% to 12.99%|
|Discover||1.79% to 11.24%||4.49% to 13.34%|
|Citizens Bank||N/A||3.47% to 9.35%|
|Sallie Mae||1.87% to 11.97%||3.75% to 12.85%|
|Earnest||1.19% to 11.69%||3.49% to 13.03%|
Guidance for Comparing International Student (College) Loans
Typically, international students are required to have a US citizen or permanent native co-signer in order to get a private student (college) loan.
Some lenders are there that do not need one, however, financing from these loan providers is restricted for the school year 2020-21, due in certain cases to limited investor activity amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Have a look at our list, since we will include lenders that are eligible since they recommence or expand lending to students in the last year.
In general, federal financial support is the better alternative for students. However, federal student (college) loans are restricted to American citizens and qualified non-US citizens, which comprise:
- American citizens, along with residents of American Samoa and Swains Island
- The permanent residents of the United States that hold a Form I-551, I-151, or I-551C, popular as a green card
- Students who hold an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from American Citizen and Immigration Services that put them in one of the following groupings: Asylum Granted, Refugee, Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Conditional Entrant (if issued prior to 1st of April 1980), Parolee (in some cases)
- Those who carry, or whose parents carry, T nonimmigrant status for human trafficking victims
- Those who are identified to be a “battered immigrant-qualified alien,” as noted by the government, and their kids
- Natives of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau
Check with the financial support office of your college if you fall into any of the mentioned groupings, and if so, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get federal financial assistance.
If you are eligible for federal direct subsidized or unsubsidized student (college) loans, their interest rates are lesser and also come with an extensive scope of repayment protection as compared to private lenders.
Beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are not qualified to get federal student assistance; however, they may be eligible to get college assistance from their schools or states.
We gathered data from the 9 largest student (college) loan institutions that give international student loans in at least 25 states of the United States and scored them over 12 data points in the groups of interest fees, rates, loan terms, the application process, hardship options, and eligibility. We have selected the top 7 to exhibit on the basis of those getting three stars or above.
The weighting given to each category is the following:
- Loan terms: 25 percent
- Application process: 20 percent
- Hardship options: 20 percent
- Interest rates: 15 percent
- Fees: 10 percent
- Eligibility: 10 percent
Definite features considered within each category included if students require an American citizen co-signer if student borrowers are entitled to release their co-signer without American citizenship of their own, available number of months of forbearance, origination fees, and other aspects.
Loan providers who gave maximum interest rates below 12 percent scored the highest, as did those who provided interest rate discounts above the usual 0.25% for automatic payments, who didn’t charge any starting fees, and provided several loan terms topping out at fifteen years.
Lenders were offered partial points in some cases and a maximum of three percent of the final score was left to editorial discretion on the basis of the quality of consumer-friendly characteristics provided.
We will keep you updated with all the latest information until then stay tuned to our website.