Education Loan Guidelines for International Students

by MPOWER Financing | In Guides and Tools | 15 March 2023 | Updated on: March 15th, 2023

Studying at a U.S. college or university can be an amazing and fulfilling experience. However, it can also be a costly one. One common source of funding that international students rely on is an education loan. 

To borrow an education loan, you must be enrolled in an eligible program at a qualifying school. Some lenders also require that you apply with a cosigner who’s a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. 

Read on for a closer look at common education loan guidelines so you know what to expect when you borrow. 

Proof of Acceptance for International Students

One common education loan guideline states that you need to have been accepted into an eligible program at a qualifying university or college in the U.S. After you receive your acceptance letter, you’ll have a deadline for enrolling. 

Once you’ve enrolled, you can provide your lender with a proof of enrollment document. This document typically includes the following information:

  • Your name
  • Major of study, if declared 
  • Credit hours earned to date
  • Start and end dates of your current enrollment term
  • Enrollment status (i.e., full-time or part-time)
  • Anticipated date of graduation
  • Class (freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior)
  • Grade point average (GPA)

Student Visa for International Students

In order to be enrolled in and study at a school in the U.S., you will need to apply for and be granted an international student visa. This visa allows you to live in the U.S. while you’re studying. You’ll likely have to provide a copy of your student visa to your lender to be eligible for an international student loan.

Good Credit or a Cosigner

To get an international student loan, you may need to have a good credit history in the U.S. However, most international students don’t have a U.S. credit history.  

That’s why some lenders require that you apply for the education loan with a cosigner. A cosigner is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who’s 18 years of age or older, has a good credit history, and is willing to accept responsibility for your loan if you fall behind on payments. 

If you’re fortunate enough to have a cosigner for your loan, you’ll need extra documentation for them, such as their tax returns and proof of income, assets, and residence. These documents, along with their credit profile, will help your lender determine the interest rate on your loan.

If you don’t have a cosigner, you’re not out of options. MPOWER Financing provides student loans to international students studying in the U.S. and Canada, no cosigner or collateral required. 

International Student Loan Application

Before you can take out a loan, you’ll need to fill out the education loan application in full. This application will ask for personal details, such as your name, address, and contact information. You’ll also need to provide your cosigner’s details, if you’re applying with one. 

At this point, you’ll also upload your verifying documentation, which may include a copy of your visa and proof of enrollment. Before submitting your application, triple check that you’ve filled out everything correctly and provided all the required information so there’s no delay in processing your application.

Education Loan Documents

Some other documents you may need to provide to borrow an international student loan include the following:

  • Estimated cost of studying and living in the U.S. (your school will provide an official cost of attendance)
  • Educational transcripts or grades
  • Copies of documents for any qualifying exams you took to get into your program
  • Copy of your passport
  • Proof of identity

Fulfilling Education Loan Guidelines as an International Student: Final Thoughts

It may seem like there are a lot of education loan guidelines to get an international student loan in the U.S. — as there are U.S. lenders who want to cover all their bases before lending money.

But as overwhelming as these education loan guidelines may seem, you can make the process go smoothly if you start early and take it one requirement at a time. Begin gathering all the documents you need as soon as you apply at universities and colleges. 

If possible, submit your education loan application at least three months before you need the funds. That way, you’ll have the money you need in time to pay your tuition bill and start your educational journey in the U.S. 

For more information on education loan guidelines, learn more from MPOWER Financing today.

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