How This Indian F1 Visa Holder Funded Her MA Degree With a Stilt Loan

Updated on March 6, 2024

At a Glance

  • Hold an MBA with a focus on Management Information Systems from Lincoln University, California.
  • Moved to the U.S. on an F1 visa for master’s degree; later joined startup YVS Partners, LLC.
  • Faced financial challenges after father’s passing, encountered difficulty securing a loan as an international student.
  • Discovered Stilt through a friend, applied for a loan to cover tuition fees, and received invaluable support.

Muskaan Singh came to the U.S. to get an education, but shortly after she arrived, her father — the sole source of funding Muskaan’s education in the U.S. — passed away.

With her tuition unpaid and her visa status in jeopardy, Muskaan needed a loan quick, but with her visa status and lack of U.S. credit history, she knew no lender would work with her.

Then, she heard about Stilt.

In the below Q&A, Muskaan tells her Stilt Story. Read on to learn about how Stilt helped her get the funds to stay in school and finish her degree when she lost her sole source of financial backing for her education!

Muskaan At a Glance

  • From: India
  • Visa Status: F1 Visa
  • Education: MA in Business Administration from Lincoln University
  • Number of Stilt Loans: 2
  • Reason for Loan: To pay for tuition

Tell us about your education background.

I earned a master’s in business administration with a major in management information systems from Lincoln University in Oakland, California.

Why did you move to the U.S.?

I moved to the U.S. on an F1 visa to get a master’s degree in MIS after. Later, I joined YVS Partners, LLC — a small startup where I was hired to help as a business data manager to help grow the company’s clientele. I recently began a second master’s so that I could get enough credits to enroll in a Ph.D. program, which was always my dream.

What financial challenges did you face in the U.S.?

Almost immediately after arriving in the U.S., my father passed away. He was my sole financial provider and without him, I couldn’t afford the tuition for my master’s degree.

What barriers prevented you from getting a loan in the U.S.?

I’m an international student and that itself puts me with very limited resources of getting a loan. Very, very few lenders want to lend to people who are in the country temporarily. I also lacked a credit history, which didn’t help either.

How did you hear about Stilt?

A friend of mine suggested Stilt. She found Stilt while doing a Google search and after making sure everything was legitimate, she passed on the info onto me.

Why did you apply for a loan with Stilt?

I took a loan because I lost my source of financial support when my father passed away. I used the loan to pay my tuition fees and the second time to take admission and pay initial payment towards my second master’s program.

How was your experience taking a loan with Stilt?

The process was really simple and quick. I was amazed that — as an international student — I could even get a loan. The paperwork, communication with the Stilt team, and the time it took for me to get a loan were all great. I was very happy with the whole experience.

What would have happened to you if didn’t get a Stilt loan?

I would have had to take at least a semester off and go back to India to see if I could make arrangements to pay for my tuition, which would not have been a good situation. I even considered selling my jewelry to raise the money so I wouldn’t have to go back!

How would you define Stilt?

It’s amazing to find that Stilt is working with immigrants when many other banks do not even consider working with visa holders. Stilt is a rare lender who is willing to extend their help and support to the people who need it most. I would describe Stilt as a “Life Saver” to other people like me.

How many times have you been denied for a loan because of your visa? Not anymore.

We are built to help immigrants and for creating the best financial experience for them. We help you start on an equal footing as the U.S. citizens – no cosigner needed for our loans

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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.

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