Student loans are a great way to fund your education. Let’s face it, there are lakhs of students applying for a paltry number of scholarships. Even then, a 100% scholarship will only take away the tuition fee. There are tons of other costs you might be well aware of.
In short, one way or the other you might need the following information on how to avail these loans.
International students do not come under the federal student aid and thus are not eligible for any kind of aid. One can only avail private student loans.
International student loans in the USA can only be availed through a co-signer. Though there are a few options available to avail loans without a co-signer. Your AEMS counsellor will always help you with it.
A co-signer is a person legally binded to repay the loan if the borrower fails. He/she must be a US citizen or a permanent resident of the US(should have lived in the US for at least 2 years) with good creditworthiness.
There are 2 benchmarks on which your interest rates are decided upon:
1. Prime Interest rate
This is set by the federal reserve.
2. LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate)
The lender will always specify which benchmark it uses. After that there will be a premium charged over the rate of interest which depends upon the co-signer’s credit score, and borrower’s background. Thus choosing a co-signer is extremely important as it will help you lower your interest rate.
With a co-signer, the rate of interest can be as low as 1.29% and as high as 12.94% for graduate courses.
Repayment of loans can be done in two ways :
Pay only the interest : Students can choose to pay only the interest while studying.
Full Deferral: Students can defer the repayment for 6 months after graduating. Students can defer it upto 4 years.
Repaying immediately: After loan dispersal the principal and the interest is due on a certain date(lump sum).
International students are not eligible for federal student loans except under exceptional conditions. Most students would get a private lender.
You may take up a loan for the total cost of your education which may include tuition fee, accommodation, school supplies etc.
It is recommended to have a co-signer as it helps lower the interest rate. There are some good options available without a co-signer which will look at your academic background, future goals.
The loans availed could have a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate.
Variable interest rates recommended when loans are availed for a short repayment period. They’re generally lower than fixed ones.
However, for a longer repayment period fixed interest rates are recommended.
For international students , outside of EU countries, there are only limited options available.
The best bet would be if the university provides financial assistance. UK universities are allowed to have their own student loan facility. Such an arrangement would generally be based on your merit and the family income.
The best practice is to mail to the institution’s authority to know if they have such an arrangement and what would the terms be. Your AEMS counsellor would surely assist you if you wish to avail a loan.
Having said that, you could also avail a loan in your home country. In India most government and private banks provide international student loans. The interest rates definitely would vary but with premier institutions it could be as low as 9.90%.
For international students in Australia, there are ample options available for availing loans.
Australian universities and the private banks both provide loans to international students. It is easier to obtain loans from private banks. The banks will provide loans at an interest rate as low as 6.99% and it could run up as high as 26.95%.
There are a few options available for international students to avail loans from private banks but there aren’t many universities offering loan facilities.
Alternatively, one could always apply for scholarships. We at AEMS will be eager to help you throughout.
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