Useful tips delivered to your inbox.
We will send you information only that's proven to be useful.
Studying in the U.S. is a great and exciting opportunity, but we all know it’s very expensive. If you are a Chinese student studying in the U.S. on an F-1 visa, you might be wondering how to afford all of the different costs. The good news is you some options!
Below we’ll take a look at scholarships for Chinese students as well as the personal loans that Chinese students could qualify for.
Table of Contents
There definitely are U.S. student loans available for Chinese students. Not all creditors are willing to lend money to visa holders, but some allow international students to qualify if they have a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Some lenders even extend money to immigrants and visa holders without requiring a cosigner.
There are two mains types of financial support that Chinese students can apply for:
There are various scholarships available to international students studying in the U.S. It is worth doing proper research on what type of scholarships are available for the program you want to do or the school you will be attending. Some schools don’t have a central financial aid office so scholarships are instead awarded by a specific department.
This means you might need to dig for the right information. You can ask the graduate admissions official or someone else affiliated with your program for assistance. They will probably also know about outside organizations who offer scholarships.
Most scholarships are awarded based on merit. There could also be other qualifying criteria for some scholarships. So you might still qualify for a scholarship even if you are not at the top of your class.
Taking out a personal loan is another option to fund your studies. Not all lenders are willing to lend money to international students, but there are a few who do. If getting a scholarship isn’t an option, a personal loan could be a great solution.
You can use a personal loan to fund your studies in the U.S. Personal loans are offered by private lenders. Private lenders can include banks, online lenders, and credit unions. These loans are usually unsecured, which means they don’t require collateral (like an asset) as protection for the money you borrow.
The rates and terms offered will vary from lender to lender. Generally, you can obtain a personal loan from $1,000 to $100,000. Repayment terms usually vary between 6 months and 7 years, and your credit score will largely determine the rate on the loan.
If you sign with a cosigner who has a better credit score or who is financially strong, this will also impact the rate you are offered. In general, you can expect rates of between 5% and 20%.
When you apply for a personal loan, lenders will look at a combination of the following factors to determine whether you qualify:
If you are an international student, you will be able to get a personal loan. You might just encounter a few roadblocks along the way.
As you can see above, most lenders will look at your residency status before they grant you a personal loan. Most lenders only extend money to people who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. However, there are lenders willing to lend money to international students if they have a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
This means you will have to get a cosigner to sign with you. Fortunately, there are lenders who don’t require either and who offer loans to immigrants and visa holders.
Another challenge some international students might have is the fact that they don’t have a credit history in the U.S. or a good credit score. This is a big factor most lenders look at when determining eligibility or the interest rate they offer. Once again, this can be solved by getting a cosigner who has a good credit score to sign with you.
The reality is, not all international students have someone who can sign with them. Fortunately, there are lenders who don’t require a credit history in the U.S. and consider other factors to determine eligibility.
If you are considering U.S. student loans as a Chinese student, take a look at our top three personal loans for Chinese students below.
Stilt is a unique lender focusing on providing loans to immigrants, visa-holders, and other non-residents. Stilt does not require a minimum credit score, green card, Social Security number, or a cosigner for you to qualify for a loan. They only require you to be employed, have a U.S. bank account, and be a holder of one of the required visas. Stilt has a wide range of credit options for international students to choose from.
LendingClub places a lot of emphasis on your credit history as a borrower. They require a minimum credit score of 600 and a minimum credit history of 3 years. This might be a challenge for international students who haven’t had the opportunity to build a credit record. Some of LendingClub’s perks are their flexibility to change your payment due date and their 15-day grace period for late payments.
SoFi is recommended for borrowers who have a high income and a good credit score. Unfortunately, SoFi doesn’t have the option to apply with a cosigner to help you qualify. If you don’t have a good credit score as an international student, this could be a challenge.
Being a student from China doesn’t mean you have to struggle to finance your studies. If getting a scholarship doesn’t work out, consider getting one of the personal loans for Chinese students we explored above. You’ll be able to focus on your studies knowing your fees are taken care of.