Borrowing money through a private, legal lender is the best way to afford school without involving the mafia. Numerous companies lend to U.S. citizens, but those that lend to international students are fewer and far between.
Most lenders require international students to get a loan with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. This gives the lender security in case the borrower can’t afford to pay back the loan or leaves the USA. Unfortunately, it also limits who is able to get a loan, as some potential borrowers may not have family or friends in the USA who are willing or financially able to act as a cosigner.

Below is a list of some of our favorite private lenders for international student loans.

Unsecured International Student Loans

Prodigy Finance offers variable-rate loans to students in business, engineering, law, public policy, and medical programs who attend school in a country that is not their home country. Instead of requiring a cosigner, Prodigy provides loan and repayment terms based on its predictive credit model, which assesses more than 150 variables that determine how much each applicant can afford after graduating.

MPOWER Financing provides loans to international students studying in the USA or Canada based on their future income potential and without requiring a cosigner or checking for a good credit history. It offers fixed-rate interest rates to students in any field of study as long students are accepted or enrolled in one of the 350 schools supported by the company and are in their last two years of study. Other benefits include a six-month grace period after graduation to start repayment of loans, and a 1.50% discount on the interest rate if borrowers meet certain requirements. It also provides career support services.

International Student Loans Requiring A Co-signer

Students getting an international education in the USA are eligible to get a loan from Sallie Mae as long as they have a cosigner. Though Sallie Mae doesn’t provide personalized interest rates until an application is completed, they do advertise discounts when borrowers choose in-school repayment and paying by auto debit. There are no origination or pre-payment fees, and borrowers may be able to pay only interest for the first year after graduation

Discover Student Loans is run by Discover Bank, and it provides student loans to international students who attend an eligible school in the USA. Loan terms and conditions require a cosigner but do not charge any fees or require payments while students are still in school. Plus, loan amounts from Discover can cover up to 100 percent of education costs, so some lucky borrowers will be able to cover their total cost and won’t have to research additional sources of financial aid.

Ascent is an award-winning private student loan company that to gives students more opportunities to pay for college with or without a cosigner. Ascent offers affordable rates, no fees, flexible repayment plans, and exclusive benefits (such as 1% cash back, scholarships, a Refer A Friend Program, a Rewards Program, and more). Check your pre-qualified rates in 4 easy steps without impacting your credit score.

International student loans abound at Wells Fargo, which provides loan products for both undergraduate and graduate students at an eligible school. Borrowers aren’t required to start payments until six months after graduation but are able to do so without penalties while still enrolled. Wells Fargo also doesn’t charge application or origination fees, but it does require a cosigner for international students who apply for a loan. Graduate students must also have an established credit history in the USA to be eligible.
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