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.
Top Personal Loans for F-1 Visa Holders
Before you apply for a personal loan, make sure you do your research. Not all personal loans are the same. Some factors you should take into account are:
- The term of the loan – this is over how many months you will pay back your loan. Shorter periods mean larger monthly paybacks but less interest accruing and vice versa.
- Monthly payment amount – this is a big factor and should be decided based on what you can afford each month.
- Interest – make sure when you look at the various interest rates you still take the fees into account as some loans with lower interest rates charge higher fees. This is where APR comes in handy.
- APR – means the annual percentage rate. This shows the amount of interest and other fees that come with the loan.
Below are some of the best F-1 Visa loans:
Cosigner requirement or option?
Yes, there is an option to have a cosigner
No cosigner requirements but possibly a cosigner option
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.