Studying abroad is no doubt a life-changing offer and a well-worth-it experience. But it's also expensive too. Not everyone can afford to pay college tuition without financial support. For those who cannot finance their college expenses, they have the option to apply for study abroad scholarships and the other one is to apply for a study abroad financial loan.
Applying for the study loan is a kind of complicated and even more intimidating process.
However, there are certain guidelines to follow before applying for a loan, that can eventually help you make the process easier.
People pursuing international education has an excellent experience, one of the biggest barriers for people considering it is the cost. So, how do you pay to study abroad?
There are various options available for the study loans, and students should explore them all to see which could be a good fit for their needs.
Table of content
- Types of study loans for studying abroad?
- How to be eligible for study abroad loans
- How to apply for a study abroad loan
- Alternatives to study abroad loans
- After applying for a study abroad loan
- Find sponsors or people willing to donate
- Bottom line
Types of study loans for studying abroad?
Study loans are specifically for the students who are planning to pursue their studies from abroad and want someone to finance them. Each loan may require a different application process and also the loan depends on the structure of the study that you are choosing.
Below there are different types of loan that you may apply for:
General student loan
A general study loan is one of the types of study loan where the application, repayment schedule, and qualifications vary from others. The loan is treated completely differently in regards to process, so it is important to talk with your university financial aid office to find if you will need to apply for a study abroad loan or can get away with a general loan.
Federal student loan
These federal student loans are usually need-based, which can be applied for through your university’s financial aid office, and the loan amount varies from about $5000 -$20000. If you want to apply for the federal student loan the FAFSA form necessary requirement to fill and submit to further process the federal student loan. Federal student loan provides comparatively the lowest interest rates than other loans. These loans can be used while studying abroad if you are currently earning credits through your home university. By the time if you are applying for the first time, you may be required to go through entrance counseling, that is the process that explains the general loan process and provides you with the necessary financial planning tools. A few options of federal student loans options are:
Stafford loans: These Stafford loans are available as both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans are offered to a student based on financial need.
PLUS loans: These loans are federal loans that are available for graduate students, professional students, or parents of undergraduate students mostly those who are capable of paying back the loan. That is to assist them in college or career school financials.
Perkins loans: The federal Perkins loan program provides aid for college or career school students with financial need. These are comparatively low-interest loans, but not all schools have this availability. The borrower must be sure to check with your university’s financial aid office before applying.
A private loan is the type of study loan, this loan can be applied for the amount you need, and if you have leftover funds, you can return the funds back to the lenders so you don't have to pay interest on it in the future. Some of the private banks with lending features are:
PNC Bank: PNC is one of the largest education loan providers and also offers financial products and services to help students and parents financially with college, graduate and postgraduate degrees.
Citizen bank: citizen bank is an institution that offers the TruFit student loan to both U.S. and international students. They offer a choice of a fixed and variable rate of interest, flexible repayment options. They don’t charge application, origination or disbursement fees.
Wells Fargo: well Fargo is also and private student loans that are available for students and parents of those students. Wells Fargo student loans have a comparatively low-interest rate and flexible repayment options.
Suntrust: This loan is considered to be a great option for those who are looking for loans with flexible terms and conditions. They also offer both variable and fixed interest rates.
However, choosing a private student loan brings a lot of responsibility, to working with a credible company and also must be aware of scams, and able to apply and prepare early.
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How to be eligible for study abroad loans?
Eligibility for study abroad loans can be checked in two easy steps:
You must be enrolled able to receive credit at an approved school in the U.S.
Double-check if your school/ university/ institution is eligible for each individual award. That would stink to go through the whole application process just to be told NO!
How to apply for a study abroad loan?
After you have completed the two steps successfully of the eligibility of the study abroad loans, you are ready to apply for a student loan and ready to start planning for a semester of the lifetime. Three easy steps can help you apply for a study loan successfully.
Step 1: Comparison of study abroad loans.
You can compare the study abroad loan comparison tool by indicating your citizenship, and choosing the U.S school that you are studying through. There are a lot of possible options you can find and apply for student loans.
Step 2: Review the lender’s terms and conditions.
Compare the basic loan terms, and choose the one that is affordable and best for you.
Step 3: Apply online
After you compare all the possible option you can go further for the application process. Once you have completed the online application, you will receive initial approval within a few weeks.
Alternatives to study abroad loans
You can find other options to help with studying abroad, but that must weigh your options more carefully. You may seek out for the least costly way to pay for studying abroad, but that might need to use a combination of methods to fund your travels.
Most financial experts will tell you that your credit cards should be the last option if you want to study abroad. Credit cards often have a high-interest rate, and hence can damage your credit if you didn't pay on time. You can also find another way to achieve your study abroad goals. If this happens you are completely responsible for paying credit card debt back while you are still studying, which may be difficult.
International student scholarships
International student scholarships are scholarship programs geared specifically towards international students and specifically for those students who plan to study abroad. This program can be an excellent option if you qualify. This is essentially free money can be used for your studies and you don't have to pay it back. International student scholarships work like domestic scholarship programs often. Some are merit-based and some are need-based scholarships.
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After applying for a study abroad loan
So, after the completion of the process, there are a few important things you should know in regards to the loan you have applied for.
Where to get the money from: after the approval of the loan, the funds are disbursed directly to your school. Financial aid will then provide these funds to you prior to your departure abroad.
How the interest rate is determined: the actual interest rate that is to be imposed depends on the type of loan you applied for, the rate is based on the prime or LIBOR plus or minus a margin, depending on the credit evaluation of you, and your cosigner. Also must check your credit score before you apply if you want a general idea on the interest rate.
Find sponsors or people willing to donate
Another way to fund your studies abroad without debt to do is to find sponsors or people who will donate. You can hold a fundraiser, set a GoFundMe or ask family members to help you. You can also for small donations for people you know and do so in a personal way. But also let them know about the plan to study and where you are going. If anyone who may be willing to donate is likely interested in the back story and details of your plans.
If you are eligible for federal student loans in the U.S. you can use that funding to study abroad. You may also be able to fund your studies abroad using private student loans.
However, there are other options to eliminate the need for loans or supplements the funding you receive from loans. Further, you can consider the loan option as scholarships, grants, or sponsorships if you really want to make your study abroad dream to happen without taking much debt.