2 Types of Loans for US Students Studying Abroad and Their Benefits

Loans for US students studying abroad are available, and they are becoming increasingly important in meeting the demand for international education. Get the information you need here, and then use our loan search tool to begin your search for a lender.

For student loans, US students studying abroad fall into two categories: Study Abroad Loans for short-term foreign study and Foreign Enrolled Loans for direct enrollment overseas.

Study Abroad Loans are available to students enrolled in a US school who are studying abroad on a short-term basis. You must be receiving credit for your study abroad at your home school, and your home school must also be approved. If this is the case for you, your program can be anywhere in the world. Of course, while you can apply on your own, having a qualified co-signer increases your chances of approval and lowers your interest rate. When it comes to study abroad loans, students can frequently rely on the following advantages:

  • Online account management
  • Competitive interest rates
  • A variety of repayment options
  • The ability to borrow up to the total cost of education, minus other aid received

The number of study abroad loan disbursements made during the year is determined by the length of your program. If your program lasts one semester, you will typically receive one disbursement; however, if your program lasts one year, you may receive two or three. Although many study abroad loans are disbursed to your school one to two weeks before the start of your program, it may be closer to the first day. When and how your loan will be disbursed will vary from school to school; make sure you contact your school to confirm the details.

If you’re directly enrolled in your school outside the US, or if you want to also check out what federal aid is available, continue below.

Foreign Enrolled Loans

Foreign Enrolled Loans are available to US students who are directly enrolled and pursuing a degree or certificate at a non-US school. There are hundreds of approved schools worldwide, and the amount you can borrow depends on the lender and the cost of your education. A qualified US co-signer is strongly recommended, but if you have a good credit history, you can apply without one. Many foreign enrolled loans have high loan limits, which is beneficial if you plan to study in the United Kingdom, Western Europe, or other areas with high living costs. Explore foreign enrolled lenders using our loan search tool above.

Stafford and Plus Loans

Stafford and Plus loans are an excellent government-backed funding resource for US citizens and permanent residents. Before you max out your private loans, start early, fill out your FAFSA, and apply for as much as you can through a US federal loan. After you’ve exhausted your federal loan and scholarship options, you may want to consider funding the remainder with a private loan, as described above.

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