Planning to join a business school in the US for your MBA? You would do well to check up on the availability of student loans to cover your costs in view of the limited number of scholarships available, especially for international candidates.
Unlike US citizens and permanent residents who could apply for both federal and private MBA loans, the choice for international students is limited to private players that more often than not, require a co-signer as a guarantor.
However, you should first check with the financial aid department of the schools to which you are applying before approaching private lenders.
Private student loans
For availing of private student loans, you should have a good credit score. These loans often have a variable rate although a few institutions offer fixed rate student loans.
Most of international student loans require a co-signer who is either a US citizen or permanent resident of the country. In addition, some lenders will ask for your social security number.
The processing of loan applications generally takes four to six weeks. A number of lenders including Wells Fargo, Citizens Bank, Sallie Mae, Union Federal and Discover provide loans to international students. These loans may require a co-signer from the US.
However, new generation lending platform Prodigy Finance provides loans without the need for a co-signer which cover the cost of attendance minus other financial aid. The terms of each loan vary by school.
These ‘borderless’postgraduate student loans to international students, are collectively funded by a community of alumni, institutional investors and qualified private investors.
The student borrowers gain access to higher education that they might not otherwise be able to finance, and the investing community earn a financial and social return through their investment in future leaders and higher education, says Prodigy Finance.
Federal student loans
Federal student loans, offered by the US Department of Education, have benefits over private student loans by way of being usually available at a fixed interest rate that would be lower than private loans.
US citizens and permanent residents have the option of applying for two types of federal MBA loans – Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans for Professionals and Graduate Students, also known as Grad PLUS Loans. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has to be filled in as part of the application process for these loans.(Image Source:flickercom)