If you’re an international student in need of financial aid to cover school costs, finding a loan that will work may present some obstacles. Many lenders won’t extend loans without either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer; however, there are some options that do exist.
Prodigy Finance is one of these options, providing loans to international students in 18 countries without needing a co-signer and offering flexible loan terms.
Prodigy Finance is a peer-to-peer lender that assists international graduate students pursue degrees in business, public policy, law, engineering and health sciences. Their model offers benefits to both investors and schools they partner with.
To be eligible, you must be accepted or enrolled at a school that participates in the Prodigy Finance program and plan to study abroad.
To complete your admissions process, you’ll need to show proof of your enrollment. This may include an official loan letter (known as a sanction letter in some countries).
PenFed Credit Union
PenFed Credit Union provides a range of financial products and services, such as savings accounts, checking accounts, credit cards, loans, mortgages and more. It also has an in-house wealth management division to assist its members.
PenFed is a credit union, insured by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA). It serves all 50 states plus D.C. and several U.S. territories.
PenFed offers several savings options, such as its premium online savings account that earns 2.30% annual percentage yield (APY). It also provides two money market certificates with higher rates than most banks offer.
Ascent Funding is a private student loan provider that offers loans to international students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) individuals. Established in 2015, Ascent serves those students who may have difficulty accessing other lenders for student loans.
Ascent provides outcomes-based student loans to those without access to cosigners or credit histories. These loans take into account academic achievements as well as future income potential when determining eligibility.
Ascent offers a low rate of interest and no fees for origination, application or disbursement. Borrowers have the option to make interest-only payments while in school or defer repayment until after graduation.
Earnest stands out for its speedy and straightforward loan application process. You can receive an offer in as little as two minutes by applying online, via chat, phone or email.
Earnest may or may not be suitable for you, depending on your financing needs and personal profile. Those searching for a lender that provides customizable repayment options and accommodations in case of financial difficulty may find it appealing.
Earnest doesn’t charge origination fees, late payment penalties or prepayment fees. Plus, it provides a nine-month grace period and the option to skip one payment every 12 months.
MPOWER is a mission-driven fintech company that provides student loans to international students worldwide. Additionally, it offers financial aid and career support services to assist those pursuing higher education attainment.
MPOWER stands out from most lenders by not looking at credit scores or requiring a cosigner in order to approve you for a loan. Instead, they take into account your future earning potential and other factors when making underwriting decisions.
MPOWER is an attractive option for international and DACA students who aren’t eligible for federal student aid. However, their interest rates are higher than others on the market, so you should weigh this factor before applying.
Juno is a rapidly-expanding global employee wellbeing platform that provides businesses and employees with an innovative benefits system. Through thousands of wellness options, Juno gives your team the ultimate freedom to live their best lives.
Juno collaborates with a select group of student loan lenders, which allows them to secure lower rates than you could find on your own. However, it’s wise to shop around to ensure you’re getting the best deal available.
Discover provides private student loans to international students attending eligible US colleges and universities. Their loan programs feature no fees, multi-year approval, interest-only payments during school, and cash rewards for good grades.
Additionally, Discover offers a selection of graduate and professional loan options for MBA, law, and medical students with various interest rates and features. Unlike other private lenders however, Discover does not provide general prequalification. They do however allow undergraduate students with a co-signer to get pre-qualified for future loan needs through their multi-year approval option.