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Each year more and more international students make the choice to attend college in the United States. While there are many different scholarships available for international students, most will need to find additional financing to cover school tuition and fees completely.

Here’s what international students need to know about getting student loans for schools in the USA. We’ll also teach you how to apply for international student loans.

Let’s get started.

Basic Information on International Student Loans

Student loans for international students are private loans offered by individual lenders. They are specialized loans that are offered to students who are studying within the United States. International students need to apply with a qualified cosigner and are encouraged to apply after they’ve obtained all other forms of school financing including scholarships and personal funds. Most international students will not be eligible to receive U.S. federal student loans.

Student loans for international students are like other private student loans and can be used for any education related expenses including tuition, room and board, books, fees, transportation, insurance and other miscellaneous school related expenses.

How to Apply for International Student Loans

  1. Compare lenders online to see which lenders/ loans you are eligible for.
  2. Find a qualified co-signer who is a US citizen or qualified permanent resident.
  3. Compare loan programs and products to see which best suits your needs.
  4. Apply online for your loan and follow the loan process as designated by your lender.

What You Need for International Student Loans in the USA

  1. Acceptance into an Eligible U.S. Academic Institution

Most lenders have a list of eligible schools that they will approve student loans for. Compare lenders to see if your school is on their list.

  1. Qualified Co-Signer

Because international students do not have a credit history built in the United States, all private lenders require a co-signer with an established credit profile within the US. You’ll want your co-signer to have a strong credit history to help you qualify for the lowest rates and best terms available on student loans.

  1. Student Visa

Before issuing funds for a student loans lenders will need to verify that you’ve attained a student visa for your studies within the United States.

Paying Back an International Student Loan

Repayment of international student loans is unique with each lender and loan. The interest rate and repayment term will determine how much your payments will be each month. Speak with you lender about whether you’ll need to make payments while attending school and whether or not you can pay interest on your loan while you are in school.

Be sure to check out Credible to compare rates across multiple private student loan lenders.