If you are considering an international education or studying overseas, how to pay for your overseas education may seem insurmountable even with the aid of scholarships and/or grants. Don’t be discouraged. You can find an international education loan to fit your needs.
1. Look for Your Overseas Education Loan Early.
Be prepared to start looking for your loan at least 6 months in advance. Not only do you need the time to research, it takes time to approve and process your loan.
2. Determine Your Eligibility.
Both degree-earning students participating in a short term study abroad program and students earning a degree at an overseas institution are generally eligible for federal student loans. Normally, the student must be enrolled at least half time to be eligible. Each loan product has its own additional requirements. Some loans such as the Stafford Loan require school participation in the Federal Family Education Loan Program. So it’s a good idea to ask your school to tell you the federal loan programs in which they participate. Other considerations are (if you are a dependent) your parents’ or your income and/or credit worthiness. Subsidized loans which have significantly lower interest rates require proof of financial need while subsidized loans may require a co-signer or a high credit score.
3. Research the Loans Available
salliemae.com has 5 different loans for which American students are eligible to fund their overseas education. Each loan has its own caps for the amount they are willing to lend. If you are receiving scholarship or grant money, this will be taken into consideration. The Stafford Loan ceiling is determined by your year in school as well as whether or not you are a dependent. In the SMART Option Loan, the school certifies the amount to be lent for your overseas study.
Repayment options are also an important consideration. Although the SMART Option Loan requires interest-only payments while in school, most federal loan programs allow the student to defer payments while attending school (at least half-time) and up to 6 months after graduation. Private loans may require immediate payments.
4. Select an International Education Lender
An important step in finding the right overseas education loan for you is choosing the lender. Start with the list of preferred lenders from your school. Or you can check out Sallie Mae’s recommended lenders: studentloanfunding.com ,nelliemae.com , amsweb.com, salliemaeedtrust.com. Shop around and ask the lenders about interests, incentives, repayment plans, loans origination fees and any restrictions on fund use.
By following these 4 easy steps to finding a loan for your international education program, you should be able to find a loan to suit your needs.