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Top 3 Personal Loans for F-1 Visa Holders
International students on F-1 visas often find it stressful to study abroad as there are large costs involved. These essential costs include tuition and boarding.
Fortunately, if you are a student in the U.S. on an F-1 visa, you aren’t stuck. There are lenders in the U.S. who offer loans to nonresidents as well as international students to help out when things get sticky.
What is an F-1 Visa?
F-1 visas are visas specifically for those students who wish to study or further their education in the U.S. (i.e. for international students). This visa is required if you want to study at an academic institution like a(n):
- Public or private school
If you only want to do vocational training study at another non-academic institution, you will need an M-1 visa.
It’s important to note that F-1 visas or only for people visiting the U.S. on a temporary basis. An F-1 visa is, therefore, a non-immigrant visa.
Can Students with an F-1 Visa Get a Personal Loan?
If you are an F-1 student, you can get a personal loan like F-1 Visa loan, but isn’t necessarily an easy process. One difficulty may be your credit score. It is likely you haven’t been in the U.S. long enough to build up a good credit score (or even an average one). Most lenders generally require a two-year credit history and a valid credit score.
Fortunately, there are lenders who will offer you other options. One such option is to have a cosigner.
Cosigners as an Option to Get an F-1 Visa Loan
Cosigners sign with you for an F-1 loan and bind themselves jointly for the debt. To the lender, this is extra security as they can claim it from your cosigner if you can’t repay the loan.
As the lender relies on the cosigner as security, they often require the cosigner to have:
- proof that they are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
- a good credit history and credit score
- history of a steady income
- proof of living in the U.S. for longer than 2 years
Other Options to Help You Get an F-1 Visa Loan
Some lenders also give you the option to provide other proof that you are a good candidate to get an F-1 visa loan. One option could be providing nontraditional credit accounts such as a utility bill or an insurance account. Some lenders might even accept a credit rating or credit history from a foreign credit reporting agency.
Other lenders also look at non-credit related factors such as being employed, or your monthly income to determine if you are an eligible borrower.
3 Types of Personal Loans You Can Consider
These loans are typically designed for smaller amounts of money which is needed for a legitimate purpose.
The repayment terms can vary anything from a few weeks to months.
Repayment of the loan usually happen in one big payback amount, and not in installments.
$1,000 – $2,250
With this type of loan, you repay the loan amount with more than one installment scheduled over a specific period.
This is a good loan to choose when you want to build a good credit score.
Generally up to $5,000.
Unsecured loans are loans that are not secured by an asset or other collateral as a guarantee for repayment.
Fixed interest rates and terms usually apply.
Generally, up to $100,000, but some lenders give more for specific purposes.
5 Best F1 Visa Personal Loans
It’s not always easy to get funding for school when you’re on an F1 visa in the US, especially since non-citizens don’t qualify for federal loans. Luckily, F1 visa holders can qualify for personal loans, which can be used for anything, including tuition and other school-related costs. Below, we’ll look at some of the best personal loan options for F1 visa holders. Here’s a quick look at our picks:
- AmOne (Best for Okay or Good Credit)
- Spring Loans (Best for Bad Credit or No Credit)
- First Premier Lending (Best for Bad Credit)
- Upgrade (Best for Good Credit)
- Avant (Best for Okay Credit)
Read on to learn about each of these lenders and why we picked them.
1. AmOne (Best for Okay or Good Credit)
AmOne’s platform connects a diverse range of borrowers, including international students, to suitable lenders. Recognizing the unique financial challenges faced by students from abroad, AmOne facilitates matches that can help these students secure personal loans tailored to their specific needs and circumstances.
2. Spring Loans (Best for Bad Credit or No Credit)
Spring Loans offers a range of personal loan solutions suitable for a wide array of needs. For international students, who might have limited credit history in the host country, Spring Loans can be an avenue to explore flexible lending options designed to accommodate their specific requirements.
3. First Premier Lending (Best for Bad Credit)
First Premier Lending provides customized loan solutions that cater to individual needs. Understanding the nuances and challenges faced by international students, such as navigating a new financial system and often lacking a domestic credit history, First Premier Lending strives to offer personal loans that address these unique concerns.
4. First Premier Lending (Best for Bad Credit)
Upgrade emphasizes transparency and inclusivity in its lending processes. International students can explore Upgrade’s offerings to find personal loans that understand their specific context—being new to a country and often without a local credit foundation.
5. Avant (Best for Okay Credit)
Avant offers a holistic approach to personal loans, considering various facets of a borrower’s financial profile. This can be beneficial for international students who may lack a traditional credit history in their host country. Avant’s comprehensive lending solutions aim to assist these students in securing the funds they need while studying abroad.
If you’re an F1 student looking for a personal loan, you have options. Which option makes the most sense for you, however, depends on a couple of factors. Is going to be up to you and your situation to determine what the best interest rate and loan term will be and if a cosigner for your loan is possible. Luckily, there are more than few options with rates, terms, and cosigner requirements for every situation.