Login / Signup


Education Loans In USA for Indian Students

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Getting an education loan in the USA for Indian students can be challenging due to visa status limitations.
  • Alternative lenders like Discover, Citizen Bank, and Wells Fargo consider factors like GPA, a co-signer with US citizenship, and loan coverage for tuition and expenses.
  • Students can choose repayment options and benefit from competitive rates.
  • Stilt offers personal loans specifically designed for Indian students in the US.

When it comes to studying in the USA, we all know that going to college can be fairly expensive. Students are taking out loans in order to pay for their education – and some of them are lucky enough to get scholarships as well. However, the problem is that it’s much easier for a native student to get a loan than it is for an international student coming from India.

Students of this origin will typically have to apply for a loan in their own country – but it is not always easy to get one this way either. Loans are rarely given to someone trying to leave the country – which might put a dent in their plan. So, what do students do when they want to receive education overseas? Well, we’re about to find out.

Are there Education Loans in the USA for Indian Students?

Indian international students have a very hard time getting a student loan from a traditional bank, mainly because of their visa status. Their own country won’t give them a loan because they are planning to leave, whereas their “host country” will not provide it because they do not have citizenship.

That being said, while the task might be difficult, it is not impossible. You can still find lenders to give you a loan – albeit alternative ones. Even if you are in the United States on a student visa, you can still get a loan that will cover the course of your studies. You just have to be thorough about it and find the right lender – with the right rates.

Download the Education Loan in USA for Indian Students Checklist

Indian students, master your U.S. education loan process. Download our checklist for critical steps and tips!

Get the Checklist

6 Best Education Loans for Indian Students in the U.S.

With a rich history of academic exchange between India and the U.S., Indian students have consistently been among the top international groups seeking U.S. education. Understanding the nuances and requirements of Indian students, some lenders offer solutions that resonate with their specific financial needs and backgrounds. Let’s dive into lenders who are best suited for Indian international students:

AmOne (Best for Okay to Good Credit)

AmOne serves as a bridge between potential borrowers and a wide array of lenders, making it a valuable resource for Indian students in the U.S. with okay to good credit profiles. While the U.S. credit system may be unfamiliar territory for many Indian students, AmOne’s platform allows them to find lenders willing to consider their financial background, even if it’s mostly based outside the U.S. For those with a moderate U.S. credit history, or those with a creditworthy U.S. co-signer, AmOne can significantly simplify the loan search and application process.

AmOne Personal Loans

4.5
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

600

Fixed APR

3.99%-35.99%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: 600.
  • Fixed APR: 3.99%-35.99%.
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000.
  • Repayment: 1 to 7 years.

Qualifications

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • While there’s no specific income requirement, a consistent source of income is essential for the applicant.

Pros

  • Suitable for individuals with lower credit scores.
  • No cost for the matching service.
  • Attractive loan rates.

Cons

  • Acts as an intermediary, not a direct lender.
  • Risk of multiple contacts from prospective lenders.
  • Lack of clarity on lender details.

Spring Loans (Best for Bad and No Credit)

Indian students who are new to the U.S. or have not yet established a credit history can face hurdles in securing loans through conventional channels. Spring Loans addresses this gap by placing a greater emphasis on broader financial assessments rather than just traditional credit scores. For Indian students with no U.S. credit history or a less-than-stellar one, Spring Loans offers a chance to obtain student loans based on other factors. Although having a U.S.-based co-signer can be a bonus, Spring Loans‘ adaptive model may be a glimmer of hope for those new to U.S. credit systems.

Spring Loans Personal Loans

4.2
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

None

Fixed APR

27.00%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: None.
  • Fixed APR: 27.00%
  • Loan amounts: $3,000.
  • Repayment: 48 months.

Qualifications

  • Demonstrate a recurrent income.
  • Minimum age prerequisite: 18 years.
  • Validate U.S. citizenship status with an SSN.
  • Provide a legitimate U.S. driver’s license or a state identity card.
  • Establish a functional bank account for incoming deposits.
  • Adhere to any specific demands by the loan provider.

Pros

  • Open to applicants with any credit background.
  • Four-year loan period aids in structured financial management.
  • The $3,000 offer addresses several short-term financial challenges.
  • Wide-reaching eligibility criteria invite a broad spectrum of applicants.
  • The focus on dependable income over job title benefits varied income sources.

Cons

  • The set 27% APR is higher than many alternatives.
  • Restriction to a $3,000 loan might not cover all financial outlays.
  • Possessing specific IDs is mandatory, sidelining some applicants.
  • A prerequisite for an ongoing bank account may limit certain users.

First Premier Lending (Best for Bad Credit)

First Premier Lending operates with the understanding that credit challenges don’t define one’s entire financial story. Catering to those with bad credit, First Premier Lending presents a potential solution for Indian students who’ve encountered credit obstacles. While it’s beneficial to have a creditworthy U.S. co-signer to assist in securing better loan terms, this lender’s approach is intended to provide a more inclusive lending experience.

First Premier Lending Personal Loans

4.2
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

None

Fixed APR

27.00%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: None.
  • Fixed APR: 27.00%.
  • Loan amounts: $3,000.
  • Repayment: 48 months.

Qualifications

  • Maintain a consistent source of income.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Possess valid U.S. citizenship and a legitimate social security number.
  • Hold a current U.S. driver’s license or state-issued ID.
  • Keep an active bank account for direct deposit.
  • Satisfy any lender-specific criteria, such as credit rating, borrowing history, or place of residence.

Pros

  • No minimum credit score requirement allows accessibility for those with varied credit histories.
  • 48-month term provides clarity and allows for long-term financial planning.
  • Specific loan amount of $3,000 can meet many short-term financial needs.
  • Broad set of qualifications make the loan accessible to a wide range of people.
  • Emphasis on consistent income, not necessarily employment type, allows flexibility for borrowers.

Cons

  • A fixed APR of 27% is relatively high.
  • Loan amount is capped at $3,000, which might not cater to larger financial requirements.
  • Requirement of a U.S. driver’s license or state-issued ID could exclude some individuals.
  • Mandatory active bank account could be limiting for those who are unbanked.

College Ave (Best for Good Credit)

Indian students who’ve been diligent in building a good U.S. credit profile may find College Ave to be a rewarding choice. Known for competitive rates and diverse loan terms, College Ave recognizes and rewards sound financial habits. Indian students who have cultivated a good credit standing can leverage College Ave’s offerings, and while having a U.S. co-signer can expedite the application process, the lender’s terms are especially favorable to those with commendable credit scores.

College Ave Undergraduate Private Student Loans

4.8
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

600 or better

Fixed APR

4.07% - 15.48%

Variable APR

5.59% - 16.69%

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: 600 or better.
  • Fixed APR: 4.07% – 15.48%.
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 – $150,000.
  • Repayment: 5, 8, 10, 15, and 20 years.

Qualifications

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • For undergraduate loans: Part-time enrollment at an accredited college/university.
  • International students: Need a Social Security number and a co-signer.
  • For refinance loans: Must be 18 years or older.
  • For refinance loans: Graduation from an eligible school is required.

Pros

  • Prequalify with a soft credit check
  • Flexible repayment options
  • Offers co-signer release for private loans

Cons

  • Charges late fees
  • Must have graduated to be eligible to refinance
  • Half of repayment term must have passed to release co-signer

Sallie Mae (Best for Very Good Credit)

For those Indian students in the U.S. who have achieved exemplary credit scores, Sallie Mae stands out. The lender, known for its robust student loan options, offers premium rates and terms to borrowers with very good credit. Indian students who have excelled in their financial journey in the U.S. will find Sallie Mae’s offerings particularly advantageous. As with most lenders, a creditworthy U.S. co-signer can further enhance the prospects of loan approval and attractive terms.

Sallie Mae Undergraduate Private Student Loans

4.5
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

Mid-600's

Fixed APR

4.50-15.49%

Variable APR

6.37-16.70%

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: Mid-600’s.
  • Fixed APR: 4.50-15.49%
  • Variable APR: 6.37-16.70%
  • Loan amounts: Minimum of $1,000 per year.
  • Repayment: 10 to 15 years.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Does not disclose.
  • Minimum income: Did not disclose.
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 up to 100% of the school-certified expenses.

Pros

  • One of the few lenders to provide loans to part-time students.
  • Non-U.S. citizens, including DACA students, can apply with a U.S. co-signer.

Cons

  • You can’t see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Upgrade (Ideal for Good to Excellent Credit)

For Indian students seeking education loans in the USA, Upgrade offers personal loans that can cover a range of educational expenses, from tuition to living expenses. While we’re not a specialized student loan provider, our efficient digital platform and quick loan approvals ensure Indian students with good to excellent credit can access the funds they need to pursue their educational dreams in the USA.

Upgrade Personal Loan

5.0
Stilt’s lender ratings reflect the findings and opinions of our editorial staff. Our scoring methodologies consider a wide array of factors and data points for every lender, offering, and financial solution.
Min. credit score

560

Fixed APR

8.49% - 35.99%

Variable APR

N/A

Overview

  • Minimum credit score: 560
  • Fixed APR: 8.49% – 35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment: 3 to 5 years (7 years on some larger loans)

Qualifications

  • Possess an active bank account.
  • Able to provide a legitimate email address.
  • Minimum age requirement: 18 years (19 for Alabama residents).
  • Credit score of 600 or higher.
  • Annual income of $25,000 or more.

Pros

  • Willing to accommodate borrowers with a credit score as low as 560.
  • Offers flexibility with a range of loan amounts from $1,000 to $50,000. This can be suitable for both small and large financial needs.
  • Provides options for repayment, allowing borrowers to choose a timeline that best suits their financial situation.
  • Once approved, borrowers can access funds in just one day, which is useful for urgent financial needs.

Cons

  • Origination fees can go as high as 9.99%, which might add a significant cost to the loan.
  • Apart from the origination fee, there are fees for late payments and failed payments, which can add up if one is not careful.
  • While there is an option to extend repayment for larger loans up to 7 years, it’s not standard for all loan amounts.

Other Student Loan Options for Indian Students in the U.S.

Here are some big bank options to consider if the above options don’t meet your needs.

Discover

Discover is quite popular among international students, mainly because of their affordable rates. You can get a very good loan based on your GPA, and other rewards make them a top choice for students from India.

So, why is an education loan in the USA for Indian students so easy to get here? That’s simple; because this lender does not focus so much on trivialities such as citizenship or documentation. You simply need to be approved in a university, and your GPA will determine exactly what your interest rate will be.

Other than that, students appreciate this lender because it provides full coverage. Some aggregate loan limits will apply – but most of the time, the loans given here will cover your entire tuition. There are also no fees to consider (application, origination, or late fees), which means that these loans are relatively inexpensive. This applies to refinance student loans as well.

A student may choose how they wish to pay the loan. They may make in-school payments – which is a good option if they have a part-time job while being a student. They can also go for a deferred payment option, where they may pay back the loan after they have graduated.

Citizen Bank

Citizen Bank is one more popular option for international students to receive a loan for their tuition. The entire cost of the tuition will be covered – and depending on what they bring to the table, they might even get some fairly good rates.

When it comes to getting a loan from the Citizen Bank, you will need several things. For one, you will need a co-signer with good credit that also has US citizenship or permanent residence. Someone will have to be responsible for them, after all.

Aside from that, you will have to get your student visa. This will require an interview and some other formalities – which is why you might want to arrange for this in a timely manner. The embassies and consulates are fairly busy during summer – which is why you might want to make the arrangements beforehand.

Last but not least, you will need a decent English level. Since most colleges require you to pass a standard English test, it is assumed that you cannot make it through college unless you can actually integrate.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is one more popular option when it comes to private student loans for those of Indian origin. They have flexible payment options, making them popular for all types of students. You may go for in-school payments – or you can go for deferred payments. In most cases, students can make no payments until about 6 months after graduating. This will give them enough time to find a job so that they can pay back the money.

The coverage will depend on the university that you apply for. In most cases, it will cover up to 100% of the costs. This will include not only the costs of your tuition but also the costs of your books, the computers you have to use, as well as housing.

As a student, you may also be eligible for student discounts. However, you may have to check whether you qualify for these rate discounts or not. For example, this is an option if you or your co-signer have an open Wells Fargo checking account. Plus, if you set for automatic payments, you may be eligible for even more discounts. There are no fees for the application, nor do you receive any penalty fees for making early payments.

Why It’s Hard for Indian Students in the US to Get a Loan

As we already mentioned, it might be very difficult to get a loan as an international student. Here are the main reasons why that is the case:

  • No Credit History: In order to get a loan, a citizen will need a verifiable credit history. This might be difficult, considering that non-US citizens have no credit history in the US, so no one is willing to give them a loan.
  • Foreigners Can Always Leave: When someone from the US borrows money, the bank knows that they will likely remain in the country. They do not have that certainty with someone outside the US.
  • They Need Co-Signers: A student coming into the country will likely not have any trusted US acquaintances willing to co-sign a loan. This might make borrowing difficult.

Thankfully for students, there are still private loan options for them – no matter if they wish to borrow or refinance a student loan – including student loans for international students without cosigners.

How to Get a Personal Loan for Indian Students in the US

You may get an education loan in the USA for Indian Students by simply borrowing from Stilt. The process is rather simple – and convenient for many students.

  • Apply: The application process takes no longer than a few minutes – even if you are a non-US citizen. You just have to provide the documentation necessary for the lenders to check you.
  • Get Approved. This might take 24-48 hours during which the Stilt staff decides whether you are eligible for a loan or not. Once you get approved, you will be told the interest rate – and if you accept, you will receive the money shortly.
  • Start Repaying: You may start repaying right away – or you may go for a deferred payment in which you pay after graduation.

As you can see, even if you are a student with Indian citizenship, you may still be able to get a loan.

Read More

Final Thoughts

Even if you are looking to get an education loan in the USA for Indian students, the process should not be difficult. You just have to find the right lender to work with you. In this case, Stilt might just prove to be a great solution to your problems.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 100,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn more about finance, immigration, and more!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

Get the Checklist