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Education can be costly and I believe it is not the first time you have heard that. Ignorance can also cost you but the question is which of them will you rather pay for?
As an international African student leaving home, one of the ways available to take care of the cost of education is by taking loans. Not every student will qualify for a fully funded scholarship and that should not stop you from benefiting from education abroad.
Loans can help you manage the costs and make your dreams of studying overseas come true. And there are a decent number of loans available for international students from African countries, but the one that International African students can benefit from is a Private student loan. The other called federal loan (popular in the US) is usually tailored for citizens and permanent residents.
1 The challenges
What do I need to get a loan? This is among the questions these students often asked amidst their many worries. Everyone knows that there are requirements that are often spelled out to borrowers to ensure that they do not default.
The usual request are collateral and cosigner but lenders are now redefining the terms and conditions. Nowadays, we now have International student loans such as MPOWER Private Student Loan and Prodigy Private Student Loan that do not require any of these. For most loans, you may be asked to provide a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. The cosigner should be anyone very close to you like family.
2 Best International students loans with no Consigner or Collateral
We looked into it and found the best student loans for African students who don’t need to provide collateral or present a cosigner.
1. Prodigy Finance
As an international student, it is always difficult to get loans especially when you are studying in countries like the USA or Canada.
However, this is what Prodigy Finance is out to correct. They have been able to find a perfect solution to ensure that foreign students do not miss out on their dreams. Without collateral, credit history, and cosigner, you can access a loan package for education.
Online Application Process: The application is online which makes it easy for students studying in any part of the world to apply for a loan.
No Collateral or Cosigner Required: Most loan providers would only give out loans provided the borrowers will be able to bring in collateral or cosigner, but with Prodigy, you will not be asked, making it an attractive option for international students.
Global Reach: The loan is available to students from about 150 countries including African countries, who want to study abroad.
Repayment Terms: Students have two choices for their loan repayment. They can start paying back the loan right away or choose to defer the payments. Both options have their advantages. If you begin repayment immediately, you can avoid paying a lot of interest. On the other hand, if you defer the payments, you will have enough time but you will be paying more interest on the loan. The loan terms are 7, 10, 15, or 20 years
Credit Assessment: Unlike the conventional method, your credit score is not evaluated based on the usual credit risk rating models, rather Prodigy Finance will evaluate based on your future career and earning potential.
Loan interest and terms: You don’t need a credit history, but they will do a soft credit check to determine your rate, and the loan amounts range from $15,000 to $220,000. There’s an application fee of 2.5% of the loan amount, but there are no prepayment penalties or late fees. 11.18% is the minimum Annual Percentage Rate (APR) any student can get from them. Being a variable interest rate, this can change over time.
2. MPower Financing
Mpower financing provides more value than most tailored student loans because it does not request collateral and cosigner. This makes it a very good option for international students to consider.
It is no news that these requirements like cosigner and collateral might be hard for most students to meet. The loan provider is ensuring that your education abroad does not have to stop. However, unlike Prodigy Finance, the loan is only available to international students who will be studying in the United States or Canada.
Online Application Process: Students can apply online. You do not need to travel a large distance before you can apply online. Your request for the loan can be met provided you agreed to the loan terms and conditions
No Collateral or Cosigner Required: You do not need collateral or someone to sign on your behalf to get a loan from MPower.
Global Reach: Only available to International students who will be studying in the US or Canada. By International students, it means students from any part of the continent including Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, etc.
Repayment Terms: With Mpower Financing, it is easier than you thought. The repayment period is up to 10 years and no prepayment penalties.
This allows you to manage your finances more easily during your studies and gives you some time to find a job before starting full loan repayments.
Credit Assessment: For the Mpower loan, your credit score and credit report will not be used to determine whether you qualify for the loan or not. Instead, it will be evaluated based on future earning potential with factors like your field of program, and the school’s reputation coming to play a part.
Loan interest and terms: As an undergraduate student, you have the option to borrow with a fixed interest rate of 13.99% (15.01% APR³). Being a fixed rate means this will never fluctuate or change.
3 International student loans that need a Consigner
1. Ascent Funding
Ascent Funding offers loan options to international students with the main focus to help them see out their program conveniently. The offer is available to students at all levels attending colleges or universities in the United States, especially at the graduate level.
Online Application Process: The Ascent Funding application is completely online, so there won’t be any need for a manual application which can stress anyone out. It is free to apply and can be very fast.
Cosigner Required: This requires a signatory from an eligible person. The cosigner must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident with a minimum credit score, meet a minimum gross annual income of $24,000 for the current and previous year, and provide satisfactory proof of income.
Global Reach: Ascent Funding only provides loan facilities to students who will be studying or attending colleges in the US.
Flexible Repayment Terms: Students might get flexible repayment plans with different repayment terms, like up to twenty years, and fifteen years for fixed-rate loans. To be eligible, students need to be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school. Still, this will depend on the loan package.
Credit Assessment: Whether you meet the minimum credit score requirement or not, a consignor is needed. Both the student and consignor are evaluated with the consigner expected to have at least a credit score of 620 among other requirements.
Loan interest and terms: The institution operates flexible borrowing terms payable in 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, or 20 years. The Variable APR is between 5.94% to 15.83% while the Fixed APR is 4.48%–15.38%
2. Earnest Student Loan
Your dreams and aspirations do not have to stop due to financial issues, they could still be valid using the Student loan provided to International Students. These loans can make your dreams attainable, despite financial challenges. Introducing, Earnest Student Loan
Earnest is unlike other providers that request a cosigner. Even if you have no US-based consigner, you will still be able to apply for the loan. Before applying, you will be able to go through a pre-qualification state to assess your eligibility which will just take you less than 2 minutes.
Online Application Process: No paperwork, no manual filling of the form. Your application for the loan can be submitted online.
Cosigner Required: A cosigner is needed but the best part is they do not have to live in the US. For students pursuing an MBA, LLM/JD, or MS in engineering, they are not required to provide a Cosigner.
Global Reach: Limited if you ask me but if your study destination is US, then there is no reason why you should not get your gadget and apply for the Earnest Student Loan.
Repayment Terms: The repayment terms are available for 5, 7, or 10 years with a 9-month grace period before you start repaying the loan.
Credit Assessment: Credit assessment is not that strict and will be based on the minimum requirement. A credit score of 650 will be enough.
Loan interest and terms: Students are allowed to borrow up to $100,000 with a variable interest rate. Additionally, if you enroll in Auto Pay, you can enjoy a 0.25% discount on the interest rate. It offers 5.64% APR to 16.45% APR on loans.
3. Discover Student Loans
Discover does not only offer loans to Undergraduates but also offers the same privilege to International Graduate students as well. The aim is to help them meet up with the cost of education.
If you have been struggling to meet your due, you can consider Discover and benefit from their flexible payment terms.
Online Application Process: Yes, the application is online. No need for office visitation.
Cosigner Required: A creditworthy cosigner who is a citizen of America or a permanent resident is required as part of the process. A cosigner with good creditworthiness may also reduce the interest you are to pay on the principal.
Global Reach: Only available to international students who are enrolled in an eligible college or university in the United States.
Repayment Terms: There are two sets that may qualify for the loan and they have different loan duration. For undergraduates, it will last up to 15 years while graduates are to last for up to 20 years. You can also choose between in-school or deferred repayment options for your student loans, and there will never be a penalty for making early repayments.
Credit Assessment: A cosigner with a good credit score is good to go. The minimum credit score varies.
Loan interest and terms: The minimum amount a student can borrow is $1,000 and up to $150,000. The fixed Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on Discover Student Loan ranges from 4.49% to 14.99%, while the variable APR ranges from 6.37% to 16.62%.
4. Citizens Student Loan
The cost of education keeps growing and there are a good number of scholarships, especially in Europe that students can take advantage of. However, the limited space and stricter requirements could be a problem.
Still, A student loan such as Citizens Bank Student Loan is another alternative to consider. The Citizen Bank student loan can be used to cover tuition, fees, room and board, books, living expenses, and insurance.
Online Application Process: Like most student loans, this application part can be taken care of online. You just need to complete a form which should not take you more than 5 minutes.
Cosigner Required: A consigner will be required for the loan. The person serving as your reference must be a US Citizen or permanent resident.
Global Reach: This is only available to International students who will be studying in any of the recognized citadel of learning in the US.
Repayment Terms: The loan tenure is 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years with an option for borrowers to defer payment till after graduation.
Credit Assessment: Borrowers are often expected to have a good credit history but if they are not, the mantle falls on the cosigner to possess a strong credit profile. If you have someone with good qualifications who agrees to sign alongside you, it improves your chances of getting approved for a loan. It also helps you get the best possible interest rate that you are eligible for.
Loan interest and terms: Students have the choice to choose between fixed rates (APR: 4.43% – 12.86%†) that stay the same, or variable rates (APR: 5.98% – 14.05%†) that can change and also get up to 0.50% loyalty and autopay discount.