International School Loans [All You Need To Know]

Benefits offered by U.S. government to non-U.S. school students varies from the benefits offered by U.S. governments to the in state-side students. U.S. government offers only federal student loan to the international student. For more information read the full article.

Updated by Kirtika Acharya on 27th August 2020

When you enroll yourself in a foreign college, you might get a chance to immerse yourself in a new culture and way of life. Many foreign schools provide tuition-free college education, and sometimes international schools cost less than U.S. institutions. 

Even when you choose a foreign college that costs low, you’ll still need funds to cover them. It’s possible to get student loans for international schools. Here’s what you need to know.

Over 700 international schools participate in federal student loan programs.

U.S. students can use the same federal student loan available for the state schools to pay for their international school fees. 

Table of contents

How to get Direct Loans at foreign schools

Accessing federal student loans for studying abroad at a foreign school is similar to getting them at a U.S. college. Here’s what you must do to get these federal student loans for international schools.

  1. Make sure your international school is eligible for federal student loans for studying abroad. You can check the Federal Student Aid’s list of participating foreign schools, which is updated quarterly. Verify with your school that it’s currently eligible and participating in the Direct Loan Program.

  2. Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The form is the same for students attending U.S. and foreign colleges. When submitting your FAFSA, make sure to select the international school you’re visiting.

  3. Meet all federal student aid eligibility requirements. In addition to submitting the FAFSA, you’ll need to be eligible for federal student aid. You’ll also need to maintain satisfactory academic progress by completing courses and getting decent grades.

  4. Work with your international school to complete the student loan process. Your school will be able to guide you through its process to claim your federal student loan to study abroad. These funds will be disbursed to your foreign school directly.

Private student loans for foreign colleges

You might also explore private student loans as an option to fund your education. While the U.S. government grants federal student loans, private student loans are issued by banks and online lenders.

Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS Loans are more cost-effective. They often have lower rates and more flexibility than private student loans, too. If you’re interested in private student loans for international schools, make sure your lender offers a better deal than you would get from the federal government.

Of course, sometimes federal student loans aren’t an option. If you’ve reached the borrowing limit on Direct Loans or are otherwise ineligible for federal aid, private student loans could be your next stop.

However, it can be a challenge to find private student loans for your degree abroad. Many U.S. lenders limit loan offers to stateside students. Few lenders extend private student loans to U.S. students attending a foreign school.

Few lenders extend private student loans to U.S. students attending a foreign school.

List of private student loan lenders you can check as below mentioned in the table:


Interest rates



3.53 - 14.50%



4.59 - 12.39%



4.25 - 12.35%


Sallie mae

4.25 - 12.35%


Citizens One

4.25 - 11.53%


If you don't qualify for federal student loans, the above list can help you get an idea of lenders and the rate of interest they provide.

Worried about your college tuition? Find the best student loan for you

How to find private student loans for international schools

The search for private student loans is a bit tricky, but not impossible. A great place to start is with your foreign university or college. Your international school should know what options are available to its U.S. students and point you to the right lenders.

Here’s what to look for in private student loans for international schools:

  • Lenders that will work with you: You’ll want to apply with lenders that extend funding for your foreign school. Most borrowers will also need a student loan cosigner to meet the higher credit requirements on private student loans.

  • Private student loans you can afford: Look for private student loans with low-interest rates and fees. Estimate your monthly payments to ensure you can provide the loan once it enters repayment.

  • Deferment options that work for you: Ask about deferment policies on private student loans. For example, if you don’t want to make payments while you’re in school, make sure the lender will defer payments until after graduation.

Overall, you’ll have the most comfortable time getting student loans for international schools if you choose to attend a Direct Loans program.

By planning to get the student loans you need, you can attend your dream school outside the U.S. while minimizing financial stress.