Studying abroad can be expensive—costs of living increase, tuition is priced in foreign currencies, and ordinary occurrences like phone calls suddenly become costly, international affairs. While there are certainly costs to studying abroad, international student loans can help as a source of funding for your travels and studies.
In many cases, the Federal and State aid offered to college students who attend college in the United States does not transfer into foreign countries. Knowing this, many students have to work to replace their public student loans with international student loans from private companies who can make a goal to travel the world a reality.
There are two types of international student loans; there are international student loans for students wanting to study in the United States, and international student loans for students wanting to leave the United States to study elsewhere.
Into the US
If you’re planning to travel into the United States to study at an approved university, you should know that American colleges are among the most expensive in the world. Because of citizen restrictions and complications in the way free student aid is administered to students, most foreign students do not qualify for many government grants, or lending programs.
However, those who do come to the US to go to college can find funding. Many private lenders supply international student loans to college students from all around the globe.
In general, you should know that you will be required to find a cosigner who is a US resident for at least two years. All lending in the United States is done on the precondition that you, or someone who signs for you, has lived in the same place for two years. Plus, the lender wants the protection that if you leave the nation’s borders someone else is signed onto the loan. As you can imagine, it’s very hard to collect on loans due if one were to flee the country immediately after graduation. That’s the role of the consigner to reduce this risk for the lender.
Out of the US
Students who have studied in the United States but want to visit another country to finish their college experience, or simply take a one year term to study abroad can do so with the help of international student loans.
If the trip is part of a regularly offered program at your university, then it is possible to use government funding like the Stafford loan program and others to pay for an overseas education. However, if you are going out on your own, and may not earn college credit for the program, then it may not be possible to use your FAFSA funds to pay for your experience. This is where an international student loan comes in handy.
International student loan lenders provide cash to borrowers who want to visit and stay at approved colleges all around the world. In general, your ability to study abroad is limited only by funding, and perhaps the complications of finding a cosigner. A cosigner who lives in the United States is almost always a necessity, as so many people find new destinations that they simply relocate, forgetting about their debt in the process. A cosigner must be someone who lives in the United States as a citizen, and who has been a citizen for at least two years. Additional income and credit restrictions do apply, but most students can have their parents sign to enable them to borrow for a study abroad program.
Do remember that there are some headaches in the process. First, you’ll need to apply for all possible Federal grants and loans, and check their acceptance overseas. Next, you’ll need to work with a private international student loan lender to make up the difference. Finally, note that paying another nation’s education system can be difficult. Loans of greater than $10,000 are often sent as a check. However, international check cashing can be tricky, as tax and regulatory authorities often delay the payment process by two weeks or more. Always start as early as possible to minimize risks to your new schedule!