Best International Student Loans of 2024

International students are non-U.S. citizens who are attending college in the United States for a specific period. Most non-U.S. citizens cannot take out federal student loans, though there are some that are exempt. That means international students who need additional funding often turn to private student loans to assist in covering college costs.

Best International Student Loans of 2024

Do not forget that, in general, lenders will need you to have a U.S. citizen co-signer to get a private loan. In this article, we have identified some of the best options for international students based on features including entitlement requirements, flexible repayment options, and fees.

What is an International Student Loan?

International student loans are types of student loans designed for non-U.S. citizens by private lenders like credit unions, banks, and online lenders. You can typically make use of the funds to pay for your books, tuition, insurance, fees, school supplies, transportation, and living costs at a school in the U.S.

How Do International Student Loans Work?

The way international student loans work is that when you apply for a student loan, you will be asked for the loan amount you need for the upcoming academic year. In a lot of cases, you can apply for your full cost of attendance as an exemption from any financial aid you have already received.

If you are accepted for the loan, the lender will verify your cost of attendance with your school and then send the school the funds to cover tuition and fees. The remaining amount will be sent to you.

5 Best International Student Loans of 2024

The list below reveals some of the best international student loans of 2024, and they are as follows:

1. Prodigy Finance

Prodigy Finance, a fintech company based in the UK, offers student loans to international students in more than 20 countries. It aims to support postgraduate students studying business, engineering, public policy, law, or health sciences.

However, it only selects eligible schools. The lender does not need a co-signer, which can be an enormous plus for international students with no loved ones in the U.S. Loan terms are also relatively flexible.

2. Ascent Undergraduate International Student Loans

Ascent provides both co-signed and non-co-signed student loans, which offers borrowers without co-signers more college funding options. It is also one of the best international student loans of 2024.

Ascent stands out for its range of payment discounts and rearrangement options, which are infrequent among private lenders. Borrowers can pick a graduated repayment plan, which offers a lower monthly payment to start that increases over time.

3. College Ave

College Ave claims that its original application takes nothing more than three minutes. The prequalification form is easy to direct, needing just some basic personal information and your requested loan amount.

The tool routinely calculates your projected cost of attendance based on the school and loan period you input. It offers low starting rates, a three-minute initial application, and the ability to borrow up to the full cost of attendance.

4. Earnest

Earnest provides a wide variety of student loans, including some refinance loans and specialized graduate loans. As an international student, you can apply without a cosigner if you meet some specific criteria. Most international students need a cosigner to apply who is a permanent resident or U.S. citizen and meets borrower eligibility requirements.

5. Sallie Mae

Making timely payments on student loans assists you in building your credit score. And because Sallie Mae provides a free quarterly FICO score, that makes it one of the best options to assist you in tracking your progress toward building credit. It allows borrowers to enroll less than half-time, college-focused financial tools, and a free quarterly FICO score.


Who is Eligible for International Student Loans?

Eligibility criteria vary among lenders, but generally, international students pursuing higher education in a foreign country may qualify. Requirements may include enrollment in an eligible institution and a co-signer, among others.

What is a Co-Signer, and Why is it Required for International Student Loans?

A co-signer is someone, often a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, who agrees to be financially responsible for the loan if the borrower is unable to repay it. Many lenders require a co-signer to mitigate the risk associated with international students who may have a limited credit history.

How Much Can I Borrow With an International Student Loan?

The loan amount varies by lender and is influenced by factors such as tuition costs, living expenses, and the borrower’s financial needs. It’s essential to calculate the total cost of education and borrow responsibly.

What is the Interest Rate on International Student Loans?

Interest rates depend on the lender, loan type, and other factors. Fixed and variable interest rates are common. It’s crucial to understand the terms and choose an option that aligns with your financial goals.

Can International Students Work While Studying to Cover Expenses Instead of Taking a Loan?

Some countries allow international students to work part-time during their studies. However, relying solely on part-time work may not cover all expenses. International student loans can provide additional financial support.