Funding an education overseas is difficult for any student, but there are steps you can take to help cover the cost of your program. Whether you are planning to study for a couple of weeks or longer, the experience of learning a new language, exposure to a new culture, and exploring new traditions is invaluable. Studying abroad translates into friendships that last a lifetime, infinite memories, and enriching experiences. Even so, you will need to have the funds to support your studies overseas to make this a reality.
If you have sought out scholarships and grants, and still have additional fees you need to cover, study abroad loans can help you bridge the gap. You can borrow the total cost of your education minus any other financial aid you receive. Eligible expenses include room and board, housing, transportation, tuition, books and cultural excursions.
Understanding Study Abroad Loans
Federal Student Loans
Federal student loans are typically need-based and can be applied for through your college or university’s financial aid office. If you have not already, be sure to go to your financial aid office and get the necessary paperwork such as the FAFSA to apply for a federal student loan. These federal student loans can be used when studying abroad if you are earning credits through your home college or university.
Private Student Loans
Do you still have expenses to pay? If so, private study abroad loans can help! That’s right, you can get additional financial assistance to ensure that you don’t end up without cash overseas. You can apply for a study abroad loan up to the total amount you need so that you don’t have to worry about running out of money! If you come back from your study abroad program and have money leftover, you can simply return the funds back to the lender so that you don’t pay interest on it.
How to Apply for Study Abroad Loans
Our study abroad loans have no loan fees and low interest rates. Follow these three steps to apply for a study abroad loan:
1. Compare study abroad loans
Complete the study abroad loan comparison tool by indicating your citizenship and choosing the US school you are studying through.
2. Review the lenders terms and conditions
Once you’ve compared student loans, you’ll be matched with lenders that are approved to work with your school. You’ll be able to compare basic loan terms, and choose the one that’s right for you.
3. Apply online
That’s right, you can apply for the loan right online. Once you’ve completed the application, you’ll receive initial approval within a few weeks.
Once you’ve completed your online application, you will get initial approval within 4-6 weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions? See commonly asked questions about our loans here:
Q. Am I eligible?
To be eligible for study abroad loans, you must be enrolled and receive credit at an approved school in the US. If your school appears in the study abroad comparison tool, then your school is eligible.
Q. How much money can I borrow?
You can apply for the total cost of education minus any additional aid you have received. The total cost of your education is determined by your school. If you are unsure of how much this is, contact the financial aid office at your college or university.
Q. Do I need a cosigner?
While US students do not need a cosigner for the loan, in many cases a creditworthy cosigner can improve the likelihood of approval as well as reduce your interest rate. Your cosigner will need to be a US citizen or permanent resident with good credit who has lived in the US for the past 2 years.
Q. When will I get the money from my loan?
Once the loan has been approved, the funds will be disbursed directly to your school. Your financial aid office will then provide these funds to you prior to your departure overseas. It is important to contact your college or university to confirm the date of disbursement before you make travel arrangements.
Q. How is the interest rate determined?
The interest rate will depend on the loan you select. The only way to determine what the interest rate will be is to apply for the loan. The rate is based on the Prime or LIBOR plus or minus a margin depending on the credit evaluation of you and, if applicable, your cosigner. If you want to get an idea of what the interest rate will be, you can check your credit report prior. We suggest doing this to ensure accuracy before applying for a study abroad loan.
Q. When do I need to repay these loans?
Students do not have to repay the loan until after graduation. If you are able to pay back the loan earlier, we suggest you do so to reduce your principal and interest.
Q. Should I apply for a federal student loan or a private study abroad loan?
A. You should always apply for federal student loans before applying for a private study abroad loan. However, with private student loans you do not need to complete the FAFSA to apply.
Q. What if my school is not on the list?
A. In order to be eligible for a study abroad loan, you must be receiving credit at your home school listed on the loan comparison tool. If your school does not appear, then we unfortunately do not have a loan program for you.