When to Apply For an International Student Loan?

If you are an international student planning on studying abroad in the United States, there may be a chance that you will need an international student loan to help fund your education. International student loans can be a complex concept to understand since there are so many different aspects to them. For a basic understanding of international student loans, please follow this link. One question many international students have regards when to apply for the international student loan. While the actual date varies by student dependent on a number of factors, the steps provided below will give you an overview of the general timeline of applying for an international student loan.

Step 1: Choose Your Program

The first step that will need to be completed before you apply for your international student loan will be to decide on the school and program that you wish to enroll in. This step is crucial because you will need to know what the total cost of attendance will be for the program you desire to enroll in.

Step 2: Figure Out the Total Cost of Attendance

As mentioned above, once you have picked the program you want to commit to, the next step is to figure out the total cost of attendance. Your potential lender cannot approve you for a loan if they do not know how the amount you will need that loan to be. Most United States schools provide a breakdown of the total cost of attendance, including tuition, books, living expenses, etc. For a basic understanding of expenses that a loan can potentially cover, please follow this link.

Step 3: Research Your Lending Options

Once you have been able to get the total cost of attendance, the next step in applying for an international student loan is to research your lending options. We suggest limiting your options based on your personal and financial needs and situation. One item to keep an eye on while doing your research is noting what documents are required for your application. Make sure that you

have those documents, and if not, make sure that you can get them in a timely fashion. This can save you both time and headaches in the future.

Step 4: Cosigners

Many United States lenders may require that you have a cosigner on your international student loan. If you believe that you cannot find a cosigner or will have an extremely difficult time finding a cosigner, then we suggest researching loan options that would not require a cosigner. For a rundown on cosigners, please follow this link.

If your loan does require a cosigner, then we suggest taking extra time to not only find a cosigner but once you do find them, make sure that they fulfill the qualifications required by your lender. Also, it is extremely important that your cosigner understands the potential financial risk they may be taking on. Finding a cosigner can be difficult, so we suggest giving yourself plenty of time to not only find one but make sure they are also qualified and agreeable to the potential liability.

Step 5: Check Your School Deadlines

Typically, the international student loan process does not begin until you have been granted acceptance into a program. Once you have been granted acceptance, or maybe even before, your school or program will provide you with a list of deadlines and crucial dates. Those deadlines and dates are extremely important – you must adhere by them or else you could be subject to consequences, such as late fees or an abandonment of your enrollment. A general rule of thumb we suggest following is to meet deadlines as early as reasonably possible. That way, if there is an issue, you will have time to discuss it with your school to figure out a solution or correct the issue before the deadline.

Overall, there is no definitive amount of days or a date when you should begin to apply for an international student loan. Typically, the earlier you start to prepare for the loan application process, the better. A high level of preparedness may leave for smaller chances of error, and with something as significant as an international student loan, you want to make sure that there is very little room for error.

Below is a visual representation, or cheat sheet, of the steps that we have outlined above.

How we can help

Understanding international student loan applications can prove pretty complex. Nomad Credit is happy to help you navigate the difficult process and help you find the loan that you need to study abroad in the United States.

Nomad Credit can help you find your funding options. Please visit us at the Nomad Credit website to search for your student loan (also known as education loan) options Please don’t hesitate to email us at help@nomadcredit.com if you have any questions. 

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