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Student loan refinancing can save you a significant amount of money, replacing multiple loans with one loan with the same monthly payment, and ideally, the lower interest rate you currently have.

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If you are an international student, refinancing your loans can be challenging – but it can be done. Here’s what you need to know about international student loan refinancing, plus some of the lenders that offer this option.

With Reliable, you can Compare Student Loan Refinance Rates from various lenders in minutes.

How to Qualify for International Student Loan Refinance

As an international student, you are likely to have some additional hurdles to jump through in order to qualify for your student loan refinance. Requirements vary by lender, but here are some of the things you’ll need to qualify for international student loan refinance:

  • Proof of residence status – It can be as simple as a Social Security number, if you have one. You may also need to show that you are in the country legally by providing a copy of your visa. Lenders can accept a variety of visas, but they are usually eligible: E-2, E-3, H-1B, J-1, L-1 or O-1.
  • solid credit history , lenders may have minimum credit score or other financial criteria to determine whether you are eligible for the loan. As an international student, this can become a challenge if you don’t have a credit history in the US. You may want to collect information on bills you pay regularly – such as cellphone bills or rent – ​​to the lender. You are not a credit risk to make your case.
  • employment or other income , To refinance student loans, you generally need to be employed or have a job offer for employment that starts soon. Without it, you’ll need to document income from other sources to show that you can repay the loan.
  • degree , Some lenders require a graduate with a degree (often an associate’s degree or higher) from an accredited institution to qualify for student loan refinancing.
  • cosigner , depending on the lender, You Might Need a Cosigner Who is a US citizen or permanent resident to qualify for refinancing. If your credit history is spotty, you may also need a cosigner.

How to Refinance Student Loans When You’re an International Student

If you want to refinance student loans as an international student, here are some steps to follow:

1. Check Your Credit

Your credit score is one of the first things you consider when deciding whether you are eligible to refinance your student loans. It’s a good idea to check your credit report first to see if you’re in good standing. You can request a free copy of your report through annual creditreport.com, You will need a Social Security number to request your report online.

If you don’t have a Social Security number, chances are you don’t have much credit history. Most financial products require a Social Security number to open an account. You can begin building a credit history by requesting an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number from the IRS. Some banks or credit unions may allow you to open an account using a passport number or foreign identity card number.

2. Find a Cosigner

A cosigner will make it much easier to qualify for a refinance loan and will greatly increase your options. You will want to look for a cosigner who is a US citizen or permanent resident who has a Social Security number and a good credit history. A cosigner can be a family member or (in some cases) a close friend, but you’ll want to make sure that this person feels that they are equally responsible for the debt. Even if you plan to make all payments, the new loan could affect their credit.

3. Comparison Shop Between Lenders

Once you sort out your financial situation, you can start looking for lenders who are likely to You Qualify for Student Loan Refinancing, Check out the eligibility criteria, which are usually published on the lender’s website. Lenders also often publish interest rate ranges that give you a sense of how much you’ll be paying. Compare purchases will help you get the best rates and terms.

4. Pre-qualify for Certain Loans

Once you have narrowed down the list to a few lenders, you can check your rate and pre-qualify for a refinance loan with them. In most cases, you’ll need a Social Security number to do this. You may consider contacting customer service for the lenders you are interested in and explaining your situation to see what options you have.

5. Apply for Loan

After getting quotes from a few different lenders, choose the best option and submit a complete application.

6. Accept Your Loan

If you are approved, your lender will ask you to fill out the paperwork to formally accept the loan. The lender will also have instructions on how your existing student loans will be paid off. Be sure to continue paying off your loans until you are sure they are satisfied.

gives you reliable Compare Student Loan Refinance Rates To find the best one for you.

Lenders Offering International Student Loan Refinance

Some private student lenders require you to be a US citizen or permanent resident in order to qualify for a refinance loan. But resident aliens and visa holders still have options. The following two trusted partner lenders help international students refinance their student loans.

citizen bank

Citizens Bank offers a variety of terms for student loan refinancing, and borrowers can choose from. Fixed or variable rates.

  • Loan: $10,000 to $750,000, depending on the type of degree
  • Loan Terms: 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
  • Eligibility: Must be a US citizen, permanent resident, or resident alien with a valid Social Security number; Must have at least $10,000 in student loans
  • Fee: late payment
  • Discount: Loyalty and Autopay
  • Cosigner release: After 36 consecutive on-time payments

Sophie

SoFi offers to match competitors’ rates if you find a lower rate, and will then give you $100 when you close the loan.

  • Loan: $5,000 up to the full balance of your student loans
  • Loan Terms: 5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years
  • Eligibility: Must be a US citizen, permanent resident or visa holder; Non-permanent resident aliens or DACA recipients without a valid visa must be a US citizen or permanent resident applying with a cosigner
  • Fee: None
  • Discount: Loyalty and Autopay
  • Cosigner release: Not available

Potential Challenges When Refinancing

Student loan refinancing can be a particular challenge for international students, as lenders may view them as high risk. Here are a few different challenges you may face:

not enough credit history

Many lenders have minimum credit score requirements in order to qualify for student loan refinancing. If you are an international student who has not lived in the US long enough, this can be difficult. build a credit history Which will make you eligible for the loan.

May require a cosigner

Some lenders will not offer refinance loans to international students without a US citizen or permanent resident serving as a cosigner. Cosigners may also be required for international students with thin credit histories. Your cosigner is equally responsible for the loan.

Must have proof of visa status

You will generally need to provide proof of your legal status in the country. This can be a valid US Social Security number or a copy of your visa.

Pros and Cons of Student Loan Refinancing

Like any major financial decision, refinancing your student loans has its benefits and drawbacks. Here are some to consider:

Pros of Student Loan Refinancing

  • You can lower your interest rate. If rates have fallen or your financial situation has improved, you can Qualify for a better interest rate You are currently making payments on your student loans. A new loan with a better rate can save you a significant amount in interest over the life of your loan.
  • You can create a single monthly payment. A bunch of student loans, each with its own due date and payment amount, can be challenging to manage. Refinancing your student loans can consolidate them into a single loan with a single payment amount and due date.
  • You can control your monthly payment. If you’re looking for a lower monthly payment, you may be able to refinance into a longer-term loan that requires you to make fewer payments each month (keep in mind that even though your monthly payment will be lower, your interest rate will be lower.) Chances will be high). If you’re eager to become debt-free faster, a shorter-term loan can help you pay off your balance more quickly—in which case, your monthly payment could be higher.

Cons of Student Loan Refinancing

  • You may have difficulty qualifying. Qualifying for a refinance loan can be challenging, especially as an international student. You will need to find a lender willing to accept international students and demonstrate your financial health.
  • Your interest rate may be higher. Depending on the market and your financial situation, you may not qualify for a very low interest rate. In this case, refinancing may not make sense.
  • You can pay longer. If you refinance for long term loanYou will have to make payments on your loan for a longer period and may end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan.

student loan refinance options

Depending on what you are trying to achieve by refinancing, you may have options for refinancing student loans. Here are some to consider:

  • personal loan , These unsecured loans are usually repaid at fixed rates. Many personal loan lenders prohibit the loan from being used for educational expenses, so you may want to double check before going this route.
  • Borrow from friends or family , You can enlist the help of a friend or family member to help you get more breathing space in your budget for a while. Just be sure to put everything in writing so everyone is on the same page.
  • grant or scholarship , Depending on whether you are still in school, you may qualify for grants, scholarships or other financial aid that will help you reduce your educational debt.
  • continue with your current repayment plan , If you are not able to refinance your student loans, you can still pay them off under your current repayment schedule. If you were able to refinance it may take longer or cost more, but you will be debt-free over time.

If you decide to refinance your student loans, Reliable makes it easy Compare Student Loan Refinance Rates,