Student Loans for Green Card Holders

Posted by Frank Gogol
Updated on March 15, 2022

The U.S. has a lot of possibilities for people all over the world who want to study at prestigious colleges and work towards their dream job. But the costs are often what keep people away, even if we’re talking about permanent residents with a green card. Can you get a permanent resident student loan to help you afford your studies, though? In the following lines, we’ll show you how a permanent resident can get funding for their studies.

Can Green Card Holders Get Student Loans?

If you’ve never really tried any type of financial aid before, you may be confused and have no idea whether you can get any student loan as a green card holder. You might be wondering if you’re eligible, or if the green card status is limiting you.

Luckily, you can get student loans as a green card holder too. Permanent residents with Forms I-151, I-551 and I-551C can get multiple types of loans so they can afford their college tuition. Basically, you can get either federal student loans or private ones, depending on how much money you need.

Financial Aid for Permanent Residents

Financial aid can come in the form of federal loans for students. However, not everyone might have access to it, and it’s important to know your options. But as long as you are a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen, you won’t have any problems getting financial aid.

FAFSA for Green Card Holders

FAFSA is an application that must be completed if you want to get a federal loan as a student. This application can be found on the official FAFSA website. It can be submitted throughout the whole academic year, and usually, there is a deadline for it too. The general deadline is June 30th, although each state may have its own deadlines. New York, for example, has May 1 as the deadline for state funding.

FAFSA will give students access to up to $20,500 in funds per academic year. The application has to be submitted every year if you want to get this type of aid from the federal government. Sometimes, additional documentation may be required aside from the actual application.

As a green card holder, you will be asked for your Alien Registration Number when completing the FAFSA.

Can Permanent Residents Apply for FAFSA?

Thankfully, permanent residents can indeed apply for FAFSA. Basically, the green card gives you the “eligible noncitizen” status, meaning you can submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid with no issue.

In some cases, your green card may expire. But this doesn’t stop you from being able to get financial aid as long as you are a permanent resident. If your permanent residency has expired, though, you will not be able to apply for FAFSA and thus gain access to financial aid. If it’s just your green card that expired, you can always renew it.

Federal Unsubsidized Loans for Permanent Residents

Unsubsidized loans are loans that aren’t offered based on financial hardship. They are very common for students considering all students have eligibility for them. With an unsubsidized loan, you are the one having to take responsibility for all the interest you have to pay.

Whether you are an undergraduate or a graduate student, you will have access to this loan. You can borrow anywhere between $5,500 and $12,500. You should also know that there are some limits to the amount that you can borrow. If you’re a medical student, for instance, you have the highest limits with these loans. Up to $40,500 can be borrowed each year, and a total of $224,000 can be borrowed over all the years.

Conversely, graduate students have an annual limit of $20,500.

Federal Subsidized Loans for Permanent Residents

Unlike unsubsidized loans, subsidized ones are based on financial need. If you don’t have the best financial situation and really need some cash for your studies, then you may be lucky enough to get a subsidized loan. The great thing about this is that you won’t have to make payments until after you graduate. The government is the one paying your interest for you.

If your family has an income of less than $50,000, then you may be eligible for this kind of financial aid. If you haven’t graduated, you can borrow up to $5,500 in your freshman year. Sophomores can borrow up to $6,500 in loan and $4,500 in subsidized, and third-year students can get $5,500 in subsidized and the full loan amount is $7,500.

PLUS Loans for Permanent Residents

You can also get PLUS loans, which can be offered not only to graduate students but also to parents of dependent undergraduate ones. These loans are meant to cover any education costs that other financial aid doesn’t cover, and it has no maximum amounts. Usually, the interest rate for parents and graduates is 7.08%, while for Direct PLUS Loans it is 6.08%.

Direct Consolidation Loans for Permanent Residents

Some students gather multiple loans – and having to pay as much as 10 student loans every month can be too much to handle. This is why Direct Consolidation Loans exist. They can help you gather all of the loans into a single one. Thus, you only have to deal with a single payment monthly, and not with multiple ones.

There’s no fee for these loans, and while it can lower monthly payments, it may also end up increasing the amount of time to repay the loan. In addition, you can only consolidate your loans one time only.

Having your loan extended could mean having to pay more in interest over time too. However, you won’t have to try to remember various different dates for all the lenders you got money from.

Student Loans for Permanent Residents

It isn’t always that federal loans are enough to help you pay for your entire tuition, especially if the amount you have to offer is bigger. So, you will still have to pay out of your pocket in these cases. Or, you can seek a personal loan and have an additional funding source.

This permanent resident student loan will have some eligibility criteria you need to meet, and if everything is alright, then you will be granted access to more cash.

3 Simple Steps to Applying for a Personal Loan

If you are considering applying for a personal loan for school, just follow these 3 simple steps.

Apply

Apply online for the loan amount you need. Submit the required documentation and provide your best possible application. Stronger applications get better loan offers.

Accept

If your application meets the eligibility criteria, the lender will contact you with regard to your application. Provide any additional information if required. Soon you’ll have your loan offer. Some lenders send a promissory note with your loan offer. Sign and return that note if you wish to accept the loan offer.

Repay

The loan then gets disbursed into your U.S. bank account within a reasonable number of days (some lenders will be as quick as 2-3 business days). Now you need to set up your repayment method. You can choose an autopay method online to help you pay on time every month.

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H2 Scholarships for Permanent Residents

If you need funding but don’t want to get a permanent resident student loan, you can try getting a scholarship. Scholarships can be offered on financial need, and they can also be given to a student based on academic achievement. In general, scholarships are one-time checks, but there are some schools that renew them each semester.

The good thing about scholarships, when compared to a loan, is that you don’t have to pay it back. You get it, use it, and that’s all. Therefore, you will get cash and won’t have to deal with monthly payments. Before you take out a loan, it’s recommended to check your options for scholarships.

Conclusion

A permanent resident student loan is possible, as having a green card makes you an eligible noncitizen. You can either get a scholarship, or submit a FAFSA and gain access to federal aid. If none of these is enough to pay your whole tuition, you can also try out a personal loan.

Stilt can help you if you want to know more and get funding, so don’t refrain from checking out our website.


Need a Loan? Get One in 3 Simple Steps

If you are considering applying for a personal loan, just follow these 3 simple steps.

Apply

Apply online for the loan amount you need. Submit the required documentation and provide your best possible application. Stronger applications get better loan offers.

Accept

If your application meets the eligibility criteria, the lender will contact you with regard to your application. Provide any additional information if required. Soon you’ll have your loan offer. Some lenders send a promissory note with your loan offer. Sign and return that note if you wish to accept the loan offer.

Repay

The loan then gets disbursed into your U.S. bank account within a reasonable number of days (some lenders will be as quick as 2-3 business days). Now you need to set up your repayment method. You can choose an autopay method online to help you pay on time every month.

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About Stilt

Stilt provides loans to international students and working professionals in the U.S. (F-1, OPT, H-1B, O-1, L-1, TN visa holders) at rates lower than any other lender. Stilt is committed to helping immigrants build a better financial future.

We take a holistic underwriting approach to determine your interest rates and make sure you get the lowest rate possible. 

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