Here’s exactly how to get a student loan to finance your education.
It doesn’t even matter the kind of academic program you are currently applying to study, there are lots of loans available for you to use in funding your study program.
We all want to study in the best universities in the world, but this often comes with a price.
For instance, the average sum total cost of studying at Yale is over $72,000, which for anyone, sounds pretty expensive.
A student loan can come in really handy here to cover most of the costs for you.
Thus, if you are ready to go to college or the university, and are worried about making ends meet, here is how to get a student loan.
How to Get a Student Loan
A student loan could be either government-based or private.
You can submit a free application request for a Federal Student aid to check whether you qualify for one, and how much in loan funds you actually qualify for.
Using this method, you will also get to see if you qualify for other student funding options such as scholarships, or grants that won’t require you to pay back.
FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) is also a good place to go when looking to get a student loan.
As an undergraduate student, you are eligible to get subsidized loans from the government to help with your daily financial needs. The subsidy usually goes to cover the interest fee on the student loan offer.
You can also get private student loans from your everyday traditional banks, credit unions, online lenders, as well as some state-based agencies.
Below are some really reliable sources to go when scouting for a student loan from state-based agencies:
- Advantage Education Private Student Loan
- RISLA Private Student Loan
- EDvestinU Private Student Loan
- ISL Private Student Loan
- MEFA Private Student Loan
There are also some amazing opportunities for international students looking to get a student loan, some of these include:
- MPOWER Private Student Loan
- Prodigy Private Student Loan
- Ascent Co-signed Student Loan
- Sallie Mae Private Student Loan
- LendKey Private Student Loan
- EDvestinU Private Student Loan
- Citizens Private Student Loan
Now, if you are looking for how to get a student loan, especially as an international student, here are the basic requirements you need to get started:
- Access to the internet
- Financial aid counselor
- A cosigner
Step #1: Fill Out a FAFSA Online
As discussed earlier, this helps you to determine whether or not you qualify for a federal student loan (loan from the government).
It also helps you know exactly what kind of student loan offer you qualify for.
The federal government offers students subsidized and unsubsidized loans, none of which will be requested to pay back until you are done with your entire academic program.
Step #2: Determine If You Meet all the Minimum Requirements
The minimum requirements for a student loan include the following:
- You must have already been successfully enrolled in an eligible study program (undergraduate or post-graduate program)
- You must be able to show a good academic background
- You must not, at the time of applying, have any other student loans from the government in default
- You must have been registered for the Selective Service
- You must have a clean criminal record
- You must have a good credit score
Step #3: Opt-in for a Private Loan Instead
Government student loans usually come with a lot of strict requirements. Thus, you can always opt for a private student loan if you see that you don’t qualify for a government loan.
This is preferably the best option for any applicant with bad credit.
Credit unions and banks will usually ask you to provide a cosigner in replacement of your bad credit score.
Step #4: Talk to a Financial Aid Counselor
Money or the lack of funding is not a good enough reason to keep you from acquiring the best education you need.
But while in the chase for knowledge, it’s best to avoid getting caught into the debt trap that comes with it.
This is where a financial aid counselor comes in pretty handy.
Factors to Consider When Applying for a Student Loan
The following factors play a crucial role in your ability to get a student loan and actually pay back the loan when due:
- Interest and fees
As an international student applying for a student loan, you will need a cosigner.
Your cosigner will be legally obligated to pay back the loan offer in case you default in the loan settlement.
Your cosigner must also currently be a citizen or possess a permanent residency status in the country you are applying to get the student loan.
2. Interest and Fees
This includes the total additional amount charged by your lender on the student loan offer.
The two most common interests paid for international student loans include the Prime Rate and the LIBOR Rate.
A student loan Prime Rate is evaluated by the federal funds rate, which in turn, is set by the US Federal Reserve.
On the other hand, the LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) is a student loan index that is based on the British Bankers’ Association.
Your student loan and fees usually depend on your creditworthiness. So it’s always best to go for a student loan offer whose interest rates are presumptively fair to you.
The various standard repayment options for a student loan include:
- Full deferral
- Immediate repayment
The full deferral repayment plan gives the student the full right to defer the loan settlement until six (6) months after graduation.
For interest-only student loans, you as an international student are only required to pay back the interest of the loan offer while you are in school, for up to four (4) consecutive years. You also have the right to defer the student loan payment until 45 days after your graduation.
And for the immediate repayment plan, you are required to pay back both the principal student loan amount and the interest immediately after your graduation.
Thus, to avoid accruing a bigger amount of student loan debt, it’s best to go for a repayment plan that best suits you.
The average student graduates with over $23,000 in student loan debt, and while a student loan might seem like the only best alternative for funding right now, it’s always best you seek advice from a certified financial counselor before taking out a student loan.