A few US banks will offer student loans to international students if the loan is co-signed by a creditworthy US citizen or permanent resident (holder of a “green card”). There may also be restrictions on the type of visa (F1 or J1). In addition to the loans listed below, certain international students (i.e., permanent US residents with a green card) may be eligible for Federal Stafford and PLUS loans.
- MPOWER Financing International Student Loans and Scholarships. MPOWER offers private education loans to students from 190+ countries around the world studying in the U.S. and Canada. The loans offer a fixed interest rate with a 10-year repayment period. The loans are n U.S. dollars. MPOWER does not require co-signers, collateral, or a U.S. credit history; they base credit decisions on a student’s future potential. For more information about MPOWER student loans, check out their website or download their free International Student Guide.
- Canadian Higher Education Loan Program (CanHELP). CanHELP is an alternative loan program for Canadian college and university students to study in the USA and approved schools throughout the world. The loans are offered by the International Education Finance Corporation (IEFC) working in conjunction with Bank of America, Fleet Boston, Citizens Bank, and The Education Resources Institute (TERI). Students may borrow up to the full cost of education, including tuition, fees, and room and board. Graduate students may borrow a maximum of $15,000 per year without a co-signer, or up to cost of education with a co-signer. The minimum loan amount is $1,000 per academic year. Students may take up to 20 years to repay the loan. There is a $50 minimum payment and some deferment provisions. The interest rate is the prime lending rate plus 0.5%. Undergraduate students must have a creditworthy Canadian citizen as co-signer. There is a 8.5% guarantee fee for undergraduate and graduate students with a co-signer. Graduate students can apply without a co-signer if they pay a 7.5% guarantee fee at disbursement and a 2% guarantee fee at repayment which will be financed into the loan. For more information write InternationalStudentLoan.com, 224 First Street, Neptune Beach, FL 32266, USA or visit International Student Loan, or send email to email@example.com.
- Credila Financial Services offers private education loans to students from India. Credila is a subsidiary of the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), the largest mortgage lender in India. The loans offer a variable interest rate with a 10-year repayment period. A family member or relative must cosign the loan. The loans are disbursed in Indian Rupees and must be repaid in Indian Rupees. The loans must be secured by collateral, such as a house, apartment/flat or non-agricultural land. Extensive supporting documents are required; failure to submit all the supporting documents may lead to denial of the loan or delays in approval. For more information, call 1-800-209-3636 in the USA or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Global Student Loan Corporation (GSLC). GSLC offers student loans for international students that do not require a US citizen or permanent resident to co-sign the loan. (A co-signer in the student’s home country may be required. Often this co-signer is the student’s parent or guardian.) GSLC works with financial institutions and banks located in the student’s home country to provide financing for the student’s education. GSLC’s President is Dr. Keith Jepsen, formerly the Director of Financial Aid at New York University. Currently more than three dozen schools participate in the GSLC loan program. Their web site also includes an International Student Planner. For more information, visit the GSLC web site, call 1-212-736-9666, fax 1-212-736-6536, send email to email@example.com, or write to Global Student Loan Corporation, 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2416, New York, NY 10118 USA.
- International Student Loan Program (ISLP) and Study Abroad Loan Progam (SALP). ISLP is an alternative loan program for international students to study at approved US colleges and universities. SALP is an alternative loan program for US citizens to study abroad. The loans offered by InternationalStudentLoan.com are funded by PNC Bank and guaranteed by The Education Resources Institute (TERI). Students may borrow up to the full cost of education, including tuition, fees, and room and board. The minimum loan amount is $1,500 per academic year. Students may take up to 25 years to repay the loan. There is a $25 minimum payment and some deferment provisions. A creditworthy US citizen or permanent resident must co-sign the loan. For more information write InternationalStudentLoan.com, 224 First Street, Neptune Beach, FL 32266, USA or visit International Student Loan, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Norwest Bank (1-703-749-0131 or the financial aid department at 1-800-366-6227). These MBA loans are for graduate business and medical students who are international students. For more information write to Norwest Bank/HEMAR Insurance Corp., GMAC, 2400 Broadway Suite 320, Santa Monica, CA 90404-3064.
- The Education Resources Institute (TERI)(1-800-255-8374 x210 or 1-617-426-0681). The TERI Professional Education Plan (PEP) loan is available for graduate and professional study. International students can borrow the cost of education up $20,000 per year (cumulative limit of $80,000) with a creditworthy US citizen as cosigner. Their lenders include Citibank(1-800-692-8200 x480), Bank of Boston(PO Box 312, Boston, MA 02117-0312), Baybank (1-800-332-8374 or 1-617-320-2422; PO Box 510, Dedham, MA 02026), and Nellie Mae (1-800-634-9308; 50 Braintree Hill Park, Braintree, MA 02184). Interest rates and fees may vary depending on the lender. For more information, call 1-800-255-TERI (1-800-255-8374), write to The Education Resources Institute (TERI), 330 Stuart Street, Suite 500, Boston, MA 02116-5237, or send email to email@example.com.
When evaluating a loan program, it is important to carefully compare the costs. Some loans have interest rates pegged to the 91-day T-Bill Rate. Others use the Prime Lending Rate, which is approximately two to four percentage points higher.