Many international students choose to study at colleges and universities in the United States. It can be very expensive to get a college degree abroad, so many students look to scholarships, grants and loans to help fund their education.
Unfortunately, United States banks do not offer private student loans to international students without a cosigner. Many international student loan programs require a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident. A few loans do not require a U.S. cosigner, but do require a cosigner from your home country. This International Student Loan blog explains the process.
Federal student loans may be available to international students who qualify as an eligible non-citizen. According to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website, the most common type of eligible non-citizen holds a “green card”. Visit their website for more information concerning eligibility.
Applying for federal aid is simple using the free online application at fafsa.ed.gov. Before starting the complete application process, use the FAFSA4caster to view an estimate of your eligibility for federal loans.
My best advice to international students studying abroad is to explore all other options before applying for any private loans. Try to fund your education through scholarships, grants, gift money and work study before taking out any loans.
Loans for international students are usually going to require a cosigner, either in the United States or from home or both. The interest rates for international students are going to be higher than rates for students who are U.S. citizens. Remember that whatever you borrow, you eventually have to pay back – with interest.