Best Private Student Loans for International Students

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Private student loans are money borrowed from private financial institutions such as banks, credit union or online lenders to sort out college expenses. Sometimes, you may have finished spending your work-study, grant, scholarship and even federal student loan and you are in still in much need of money to sort out other school expenses. Then, this is the best time to give private student loans a try.

Private student loans can be a good option for you if you have a good credit score of 690 or above. To qualify for private student loans may require you to have a co-signer which means it requires a credit check. The co-signer with a good creditworthiness is likely to help you get a lower interest rate and also increase your higher chances of getting approved. Plus, you can become eligible for this type of loan if you have borrowed the maximum eligible amount you qualify for in both subsidized and unsubsidized federal student loans.    

Unlike Federal student loans that offer flexible repayment terms, Private student loans do not and are more expensive than the Federal student loans.  Let’s quickly dive into the difference between private student loans and Federal student loans.

Private Student Loans vs Federal

The two major types of student loans are private and Federal loans. Federal student loans are issued by the federal government through the U.S. Department of Education while private loans are offered by private financial institution like banks, credit unions and other private online lenders.

Federal Student Loans

  • Comes with a repayment plan
  • You can process deferment and forbearance
  • Applicant can qualify for loan forgiveness and loan discharge programs
  • A low interest rate and it is not based on your creditworthiness
  • Origination fees included
  • Application may require filing out FAFSA

Private Student Loans

  • Requires excellent credit score to get a better interest rate
  • May need a co-signer if you have a bad credit and also determines your interest rate
  • No origination fees
  • No loan forgiveness and forbearance program

What Can I Use Student Loans for?

Student loans can either be private or federal student loans and they are used to pay for college cost and other college-rated expenses which include the following;

  • Transportation cost
  • Room and board
  • Books and school supplies
  • Tuition fee
  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Living cost
  • Technology equipment such as software or computer

How Can I Choose the Best Private Student Loans

If you have made up your mind to get a private student loan, there are certain you need to consider when comparing or looking out for the best private student loans lenders. The factors below are what you should put into consideration that you can use to score each lender.

  • Loan Amount: when you want to apply for a student loan, you must calculate the total amount you need to borrow that can cover all your expenses. This will help you determine the overall cost that you need for the loan. Keep in mind that you should only request for the amount of loan that you need for your expense.
  • Repayment: you must know when your repayment will start and you know your lenders friendly terms.   
  • Interest rates: some lenders offer lower interest rates and discounts. However, how much your loan will cost over time is determined by the interest rate on your loan.
  • Charges Fees: Private lenders do not charge origination fees, prepayment fees or any application fees. However, some lenders may charge some fees such as late payment fees.
  • Cosigner benefits: Cosigner is sometimes a major requirement for private student loans. This is because cosigners with a good credit score are likely to earn you a lower interest rate from the lender.
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating: BBB rate ranges between A+ and F, a determinant factor for knowing several remarks from lenders with various customers. The lender with the highest ratings helps you choose the best student loan.

How Can I qualify for a private student loan?

There are certain requirements to become eligible for private student loan. This is dependent on various lenders. Below are lists of several factors that can make you qualify for private student loans.

  • A good credit score
  • Amount of loan you want to borrow
  • A Co-signer with a good creditworthiness
  • FAFSA sometimes may be required

Is it Possible to get a private student loan with bad credit?

If you have a bad credit, it may be difficult for you to get a private student loan from online lenders, banks or credit union. However, it is advisable for you to apply using a co-signer with a good credit score to give you an advantage of getting the loan. If you can’t a co-signer with a good creditworthiness, you can apply for Federal Student loans because it does not require a credit score.  

Do I Need a co-signer for a private student loan?

To get a private student loan, you will need a co-signer if you have bad credit or no credit or no income. The excellent credit score of your co-signer will help you get a loan with a lower interest rate. This makes it easy for your lender to make you qualify as a result of your co-signer.

However, some lenders offers loan to student and do not put the creditworthiness into consideration. The lenders may sometimes consider the school you are attending, your income, and the career you choose to determine the loan amount you can get and the interest rate.

Requirements to Apply for a private student loan

There are several requirements you must have though it is dependent on each lender. You will need to provide the following;

  • Social security number
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • proof of identity
  • your income (meet an income threshold)
  •  your school attendance
  • Cost information
  • A good credit score
  • Attend a Title IV school at least half-time
  • Financial aid award letter from your college.
  • Co-signer with a good credit score and debt income ratio

How to Find the Best private student loan that is for you

When you want to find the right private student loans suitable for you, there are certain recommended steps to finding the best private student loans which include:

  •  Collate a list of list of student loan lenders after your research and pick the one you are interested in.
  • Review the eligibility requirement for each lender
  • Review the loan terms
  • Get quotes from the lender you qualify for
  • Compare your quotes
  • Choose a lender


  Lender    Min. credit score  Fixed APR  Variable APR  Star Rating
Ascent Co-signed Student    540  4.36-12.33%  1.47-9.05%  5.0/5
Best for Private student loan + International students
  Sallie Mae Private Student Loan    Mid-600  3.59-12.60%  1.13-11.23%4.5/5
Best for Private student loan
  College Ave Private Student Loan    Mid-600s  3.49-12.99%  1.19-11.98%4.5/5
Best for Private student loan + Part-time students
Sofi Private Student Loan  Mid-600s  3.47-11.16%  1.36-11.76%            4.5/5
Best for Private student loan
  Earnest Private Student Loan    650  3.20-10.77%  1.09-9.73%  4.5/5 Best for Private student loan
  Custom Choice Loan    660  3.20-10.77%  1.09-9.73%  4.5/5
Best for Private student loan
  Educational Loan Finance Private Student Loan    680  3.20 -11.99%  1.20-11.52%  4.0/5
Best for Private student loan
  Lendkey Private Student Loan    660  4.25-12.59%  1.13-11.23%  4.5/5
Best for Private student loan
Ascent Independent Student Loan  Varies  6.96-14.08%  4.05-11.31%5.0/5
Best for No co-signer  
MPOWER private student Loan  N/A7.25-14.98%N/A4.5/5
Best for International students