How to Get an Education Loan for Doing an MS in the US
College is something we all have to go through nowadays if we want to have a well-paid job throughout life. We are told that it’s only the skill that matters – but without that diploma and the knowledge you get there, it might be difficult to find someone to actually hire you.
That being said, how do you even pay for college, considering that it’s so expensive? Can you get a loan even if you are a visa holder? Where do you start with your wish for getting an education? Well, here is a quick guide to the education loan for doing MS in the US.
What Is an MS Degree?
An MS – or a Master of Science – degree is, like its name suggests, a degree that has been awarded by a university to someone that has just completed their master’s course in the science field.
This degree is generally granted to those that have finished sciences, medicine, or engineering – and have a more scientific purpose to them. The field is generally decided upon by the university – but each choice will stand in contrast to arts and humanities.
Can International Students Get Education Loans in the U.S.?
Yes, you may definitely apply for a loan as an international student. However, it will depend on your non-citizen status – and whether you have a co-signer or not. Depending on your documentation, there are two options that you may go for.
If you have all your documentation in order and you are an eligible non-citizen, you may go for a federal loan or for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will make you eligible for receiving scholarships, grants, and work-study. If the only thing that you have on you is your visa, with nothing to qualify you as an eligible non-resident, you may want to get a co-signer with good credit.
If you can’t find a co-signer and your residency does not allow you to get a loan, then your best shot here would be for you to take out a private loan. Granted, they might have a much higher interest rate compared to a federal loan – and there probably won’t be any forgiveness programs – but at least you’ll be able to pay for college.
6 Options to Fund Your MS Studies before Turning to Loans
Higher education costs go up every year, and more and more students find it hard to support themselves through college. However, when you are looking for sources to fund your education, there are still a few options that you may go for.
1. Online Scholarship Search
There are various online websites where you can find sponsorship and financial aid for college, as long as you have a good GPA. For example, IEFA.org is very popular among students, along with InternationalScholarships.com. With them, you can get grants and scholarships, as well as loans, depending on how good your grades were in high school.
2. Your Home Country
Your home country may actually be a good source for you to receive funding for your education abroad. If you need an education loan for doing MS in the US, you may try with organizations or companies from your own country – or even the government. Some countries provide full scholarships so that the students can get an education in the States – so, make sure that you exhaust every option.
3. International Organizations
When looking for funding for your education, you may also go for international organizations that offer educational aid to students all over the world – some examples being the World Health Organization and the United Nations.
However, bear in mind that some of these organizations require you to be in your home country when you submit your application – so, you may want to plan ahead. They also tend to be fairly competitive. Thus, the earlier you start, the better it should be for you.
4. U.S. Universities
Various universities in the United States provide limited financial aid for international students looking for support. However, they are rarely full scholarships. They are either based on the family’s income or your grades – but regardless, the money covers your tuition only partially. This is because they have much fewer funds available for undergraduate students.
5. U.S. Government
As an international student, you may not always be eligible for receiving a loan unless you have obtained the proper non-citizen status – or if you at least have a co-signer. However, if you are an international student coming to the United States with the sole purpose of studying, you might want to go to your home country’s U.S. embassy and check whether you can benefit from such a loan or not.
6. Your Family
In most cases, the main and biggest source of money for international students is their family. Around 65 % of the international students receive their funds from outside the United States – mostly from their family and relatives.
The nature of the funds will depend on your family situation, mostly. For example, some families create college funds and trust funds for their children from the moment they are born – just so that they would not have to go through the hassle of loans. This is a happy case when the family actually has the money.
If they don’t have the money themselves, the chances are that they have a good credit score to get a state loan that will get you through college. If you have the possibility, you may want to ask your family for help.
If all the above options are out of the question, then you may also opt for taking out a personal loan for international students. It might have higher interest rates compared to other classic loans – but at least you will be able to pay your way through school.
Why US Lenders Don’t Like Lending to Visa Holders
You may notice that there is a trend here. While the U.S. lenders will easily offer loans to citizens so that they can get an MS degree, they are not so quick to provide the same benefits for those that do not have citizenship and are only there on a visa. Here are some of the reasons they have for that.
Visa Holders Have no Credit History
When banks offer a loan, they do it based on your credit history. They saw that you took out loans before, that you paid – and that you stayed true to your promise of payment. Based on that credit history, they are more trusting when it comes to giving you a loan. And since visa holders don’t have this credit history – particularly students – it’s understandable why you might get rejected.
Foreigners Can Leave the Country at Any Time
When you are born and raised in the United States, you are not expected to leave the country anytime soon. However, if you are an international student from India, for example, the chances are high that you will go back home when you get your degree – or drop out altogether. This will make it more difficult for lenders to get their money back.
Visa Holders Don’t Have a Co-Signer
To get a loan in the U.S., you will need someone that has both U.S. citizenship, as well as good credit. As a newcomer student in the United States, the chances of you knowing such a person are slim – and it’s unlikely you’ll convince someone that barely knows you to sign up for this responsibility.
Visa Holders Don’t Have the Paperwork
When it comes to loans, there are certain rules that you need to abide by – one of them proving that you have at least permanent resident status. Generally, you will have to bring documentation that will prove you will stay in the country long enough for the loan to be covered. This is something that most visa holders, particularly students, can’t do.
Using a Stilt Personal Loan to Pay for your MS in the US
When you can’t get a scholarship, a loan from Stilt might prove to be efficient. Here is how you can get one:
- Submit Your Application: Your documentation will be reviewed – and within 24 hours, you will receive an update. In the event that more papers are required, you will be contacted for them as well.
- Receive an Offer: Once the documents have been verified, you will receive a promissory note that you will have to accept. If you do, then the funds should reach your account in two days, tops.
- Make the Payments: With the loan disbursed, all that is left for you is to begin making payments, based on the schedule that you settled upon.
Getting a personal loan with Stilt is much easier to do, in comparison to other lenders – regardless of your citizenship status.
Even if you are a student on a visa, it is still possible for you to get a loan. You just need to know where to go, and who to ask for help. As long as you are prepared, things will work out for themselves.