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How Nigerians Can Get a Loan to Study in the U.S. & Canada
International students from all over the world study abroad in the United States and Canada every year. Nigerians are the largest population of students from Africa who come regularly to the United States. In fact, during the 2018-2019 school year, there were over 13,000 Nigerian students in the United States! It is definitely an exciting opportunity for aspiring Nigerian students.
From speaking to many students, we know that funding your future education is one of your first questions. While both scholarships and student loans are good options to explore, this article focuses on student loans. Read on to learn more about international student loans.
Student Loan Requirements and Eligibility
Most student loans require co-signers or collateral to reduce the risk to the lender. Typically, the co-signer must be a US citizen or permanent resident with good credit. However, there are some loan options like MPOWER Financing and Prodigy Finance for Nigerians without a co-signer or collateral.
The loan options available to you will depend on your education, level of education and your university’s rating. Do your research and see what loans your university offers.
You will most likely be asked to provide the following information when applying for a loan:
- Proof of enrollment at a university in the U.S. or Canada
- A valid Visa
- Address in country of study
- And depending on your loan, a cosigner
What Will a Student Loan Cover
Your student loan can be used to cover most expenses in connection with your education. This may include tuition, accommodation, transport, books, other materials, food etc. Just make sure to check with your university what you can use the funds for – and your budget! You must repay the loan over time.
Student Loan Finder!
To find the best students loan for you, check out our list of Students Loan Finder! Enter your personal profile to preview your students loan options and see which products is recommend. It’s free, quick, and easy!
Loans for International Students
Borrowing money through a private, legitimate lender is the best way to afford school without the mob involved. Several companies lend to US citizens, but those that lend to international students are few and far between.
Most lenders require international students to take out a loan with a co-signer who is a US citizen or permanent resident. This provides the lender with security in the event that the borrower cannot afford to repay the loan or leaves the United States. Unfortunately, it also limits who can get a loan, as some potential borrowers may not have family or friends in the US who are willing or financially able to act as co-signers.
However, there are student loans with no cosigner required available from a small number of lenders.
Even when you find a lender willing to provide student loans to international students, it’s important to consider the loan’s interest rates, as they will affect you for the next several years. Private student loans are usually credit-based, unlike federal student loans that use the FAFSA and provide either variable rate loans or fixed rate loans. Variable rate loans, also known as floating rate loans, offer loan terms that change based on two factors: The benchmark is usually based on the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) or another federal interest rate, while the fixed spread estimates the borrower’s potential to pay off the loan. Variable rate loans are risky because, unlike diamonds, the interest is not eternal. although a low LIBOR initially gives you a low interest rate, as LIBOR increases, so does the interest rate. In contrast, fixed rate loans stay the same throughout the life of the loan, but of course they can also be risky because if a borrower starts out with a high interest rate, then that rate will remain high throughout the life of the loan.
When you start calculating, you should also consider other loan terms that may affect when you pay and how much you pay. Is there a grace period before you start repaying the loan? Are there penalties for prepayment or early repayment of the loan? Are there late fees? What is the actual payment process each month? Can the terms of the loan be changed? And when can you afford to do fun things again?
Refinancing your loan
What if the interest rate is so high that you have trouble repaying the loan? You can refinance.
Refinancing gives you a new loan with a lower interest rate and/or lower monthly payments or allows you to change the type of loan you have. To be clear, borrowers who are able to refinance their loan will end up paying off their loan over a longer period of time than the terms of their original loan, but they will end up paying less money overall, so it’s still a good plan.
Where can you get a loan?
Below is a list of some of our favorite private lenders. Whether you’re applying to one of these or another company you’re with, don’t forget to take a closer look at the terms of a loan before signing anything. If you’re going to get back at someone for years, you might as well be comfortable with how you do it.
MPOWER Financing provides loans to international students studying in the USA or Canada based on their future income potential and without requiring a cosigner or checking for a good credit history. It offers fixed-rate interest rates to students in any field of study as long students are accepted or enrolled in one of the 350 schools supported by the company and are in their last two years of study. Other benefits include a six-month grace period after graduation to start repayment of loans, and a 1.50% discount on the interest rate if borrowers meet certain requirements. It also provides career support services.