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    Can International Students Get US Student Loans?

    For international students, private student loans tend to be the best option. This is because most of them fail to qualify for federal student loans. 

    Read on to learn which lenders are the best for international loans and how to get qualified for federal and private loans

    Best International Student Loans in 2020 

    If you’re a non-citizen, you can try getting a private student loan. Here are some of the best private lenders in the country:

    1. MPower 

    MPower is a financing lender offering student loans to undergraduate and graduate students. 

    • Ideal for DACA and international students without any cosigner or US credit history 
    • High fees and fixed interest rates compared to other student loans 
    • Only interest is to be paid when in school and during the grace period 

    2. Citizens One 

    Citizens One helps with private loans to both parents and students for graduation. 

    • Discounted rate of interest 
    • Zero application fees or origination fees for federal grad PLUS loans for parents 
    • Loan amount ranging from $1,000 to $295,000 with loan length of five to 15 years 

    3. Discover 

    Discover offers student loans, grants, and scholarships for international students with an eligible US cosigner. 

    • Loans provided to F-1 student visa holders 
    • Graduate variable APR ranges from 1.42% to 11.00% while fixed APR ranges from 4.29% to 1.53% 
    • Graduate loan amounts from $1,000 to $350,000 with repayment terms of five to 15 years 

    4. Ascent 

    Ascent offers student loans to international students who have a US co-signer. 

    • Zero origination, prepayment, or application fees 
    • Flexible repayment terms and options 
    • Free interactive financial literacy course for students

    Eligibility Criteria For Non-US Citizens

    For non-US citizens, the federal government has the following criteria:

    • An individual must be a permanent resident or conditional permanent resident holding a green card or permanent resident card
    • The individual holds an arrival-departure record with designations like asylum granted, Cuban Haitian entrant, humanitarian or indefinite parole, or refugee 
    • The individual should be the citizen of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federal States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau 
    • The individual is the holder of United States nationality 
    • Holders of visas granted to victims of human trafficking like the T-Visa 
    • The Student or parent is a holder of T-1 nonimmigrant status or is a battered immigrant-qualified alien

    Apply For Federal Loans If You’re Eligible 

    If you meet the eligibility criteria for federal loans, here’s how to apply. Submit the free application form for federal student aid, also known as FAFSA. When applying for FAFSA, you’re also liable to qualify for other free aids like scholarships, work-study, and grants. Moreover, federal loans have reduced interest rates compared to private loans, as well as forgiveness programs and income-driven repayment options. 

    Get A Private Loan Using A Cosigner 

    If borrowers fail to meet the eligibility criteria to get a loan, then they’ll need to look for a US cosigner to help obtain a private one. International students can be viewed as a risk since they come with no credit history in the US and might leave after completing their studies without repaying. Hence, they need to look for a US cosigner who’s a permanent resident of the US or a US citizen with a good credit history. The minimum credit score of the cosigner should be 690 or above. 

    Best Practices To Shop For An International Student Loan 

    Here are some of the best practices that you must follow before applying for a student loan:

    • Compare private loans with other loans provided to international students to find the lowest interest rate 
    • Check to see if the lender is ready to postpone the payments during troubled times 
    • Check if you need to pay any prepayment fees, late fees, or origination fees 
    • Look for easy options to reach the lender through such as email, live chat, or phone. This is crucial for resolving any customer service or billing issues 
    • Try to opt for a fixed rate of interest. This won't increase in the future as a variable interest rate would 
    • Check the payment amount, terms, and conditions using a loan calculator 
    • Consider refinancing options by building a strong credit 
    • Go for refinancing with a cosigner 

    Bottom Line 

    Even if you don’t meet the necessary requirements for a federal student loan, there are other great options that can help cover the cost of education. If chosen wisely, international students can settle on private loans to help further their studies in the US without having to stress about their financial circumstances.