Are you an African student aspiring to study abroad? You might be worried about the steep cost of higher education abroad. An undergraduate degree in the U.S can cost as much as $30,000-60,000 USD per year.
Unfortunately, most international students don’t qualify for federal student loans in the U.S. However, there are a number of private lenders providing education loans for international students – including citizens of African countries.
Education loans can help you fill funding gaps after exhausting:
- Personal and family resources
While the loan application process is fairly straightforward, it can be daunting for many prospective international students.
That’s why we have created this simple step-by-step guide with tips for successful international student loan application. Read and apply the tips to get the financing you need for your education abroad.
Step #1- Research Eligible University Programs
To reduce risk on student loans, private lenders typically have selected high-ROI majors that they support. If you’d like to use international student loans for your degree abroad, it’s advisable to start by researching the most commonly funded university programs.
Your best bet is a degree in STEM (science, technology, engineering & math), business, accounting, health, and law majors.
Most lenders also have a list of approved schools they provide funding to. To increase your chances of getting an education loan, apply to programs in the approved schools.
For instance, MPOWER provides student loans to attend 400+ schools in the U.S and Canada. If your school isn’t on MPOWER’s list, you won’t be eligible for a loan from the lender.
Step #2- Apply to an Eligible University Program Abroad
To apply for an international student loan, you need to have a letter of admission to an eligible university program abroad. With an admission letter, you’ll have information on specific costs such as tuition fees, room and board, and other fees charged by the school. Your student loan amount will be determined by these costs.
With the knowledge gained from researching in step 1, you can decide which eligible universities and programs to apply to.
Start your college application process early. You’ll need sufficient time to prepare all the required documents, take standardized tests, get recommendation letters, and write a compelling personal essay.
Put your best foot forward in your college application. Most of the programs eligible for international student loans are highly competitive – you don’t want to lose your chance by submitting a shoddy application.
Read: How Many Colleges Should I Apply to as an International Student?
Step #3- Prepare the Required Documents
The third step for a successful international student loan application is to prepare all the required documents beforehand. Check the list of required documents – which is usually provided on the lender’s website.
Documents required for international student loan application typically include:
- Identification documents: Passport, National ID, proof of home country address, photo ID
- Academic documents: Admission letter, transcripts, standardized test scores, English proficiency test scores
- Financial documents: Proof of income, bank statements to verify assets, estimated cost of attendance and financial aid summary
- Legal documents: Student visa, Form I-20
- Cosigner documents: Identification, proof of income, tax statements
In many cases, international students are required to have a U.S citizen or permanent resident to be eligible for an education loan.
If you don’t have an eligible cosigner in mind, look for lenders that offer cosigner-free international student loans – including 8B Education Loan and MPOWER.
While you don’t need to have a cosigner for an education loan from 8B, a cosigner can help you qualify for the loan and also receive a lower interest rate.
Read: The Ultimate Guide to Comparing International Student Loans
Step #4- Complete the Student Loan Application Online
Now that you have all the required documents and you have been admitted to the school that you wish to attend, it’s time to complete the online loan application process. You’ll be asked basic questions about yourself such as:
- Selected school
- References (people that know you)
This information will help in checking your eligibility for an international student loan. The 8B Loan Marketplace tool will check education loans that you qualify for from all lending partners. Select the best offer from the list of loan options.
The online loan application process is fast and easy – you’ll be done in under 30 minutes. After the initial review (which takes around 2-5 business days), you’ll be requested to submit documents for a final review.
If your loan is approved, the funds will be disbursed directly to your school where they will be applied to education-related costs such as tuition fees, room and board, and textbooks.
Get Your International Student Loan
Are you looking for international student loans to finance your education abroad?
8B offers no-cosigner, collateral-free international student loans to eligible African students in global universities.
Start your international student loan application by comparing different loans on the 8B student loan marketplace.