What are the best international student loans for African students? We get asked this question a lot from students. I’ll answer this question in this article.
There are two types of student loans. Federal student loans – offered by the government (mostly in the US). And Private student loans – offered by private companies and financial institutions.
Ideally, federal student loans offer more advantages. It would be considered the best financial aid option for students compared to private loans. But in reality, federal loans are limited to US citizens and eligible non-citizens. So, for most international students, after considering options like scholarships and grants, a private student loan is the only option.
That narrows our student loan comparison down to private loans. And few international student loans accept African students to study abroad.
In this article, we will discuss two of the most recommended student loans for students from Africa. From Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya to Rwanda, Liberia, Ethiopia, and so on.
We help African students get student loans to study abroad for postgraduate programs. For health care and health sciences, STEM fields, education and training, law, and finance) in the US and Canada. Click here to learn more.
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THE CHALLENGE OF GETTING STUDENT LOANS for African Students
The major challenge with finding reputable lenders that support students from Africa or emerging markets is collateral and cosigner requirements.
Popular student loan providers require students to provide a cosigner before they can qualify for a loan. Some financial institutions require collateral.
A collateral is a valuable asset a borrower pledges as security for a loan to protect the lender’s interest. If the borrower defaults on repayment, the lender can seize the collateral and sell it to recoup the loss. A student loan from a lender in your country, in most cases, will require collateral.
A cosigner is a person (often a parent, close family member, or friend) who takes full responsibility for paying back a loan, together with the primary borrower. The co-signer is obligated to pay any missed payments and even the full amount of the loan if the borrower doesn’t pay. A cosigner should have a good credit score. The cosigner will also need to be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.
Adding a cosigner provides your lender with additional assurance that the loan will be repaid.
Unfortunately, most students do not have a valuable asset to present as collateral. They don’t have family members to stand in as cosigners. This is a major barrier preventing most students from accessing student loans.
The solution to the challenge
The good news is that a few innovative financing companies are redefining the requirement for student loans. Rather than evaluating students based on how much assets they or their parents have or by who they know. These companies evaluate students based on their future careers and earning potential.
Get admission at a reputable university or college for a course with high market demand and earning potential. You can get a student loan to cover part or your entire study cost – from tuition to living expenses.
Hence, the best international student loans for African students do not require collateral or a cosigner.
Best International Student Loans Without A Cosigner Or Collateral
Founded in 2014, MPower Financing offers no-cosigner student loans for international students, including African students, to study in the US and Canada. MPower Financing considers factors like academic performance and future earning potential when evaluating loan applications.
- Current stats: 190+ eligible countries of citizenship. 6,000+ students have graduated with MPower loans, and 45% of graduates work in STEM. Over $363 million in student loans were disbursed.
- Supported schools: Over 400 universities and colleges in the US and Canada supported
- Maximum amount: get a minimum of $2,001 and a maximum of $100,000
- Ease of application process: The application is 100% online and can be completed within 20 minutes.
- Eligibility and conditions: The loan only supports a 2-year program (PG diploma and master) and does not require a collateral or cosigner.
- Eligible countries: students from over 190 countries are eligible.
- What does the loan cover: The loan can be used for the entire study cost, including tuition, accommodation, books, meal plans, and health insurance.
- Interest rates – fixed interest rates that will never increase once approved. The current rate is 12.99%. (APR 13.98%)
- Repayment term: Interest-only payment 45 days after disbursement to build your credit history. Then start repaying the loan 6 months after graduation over 10 year period. There is no prepayment penalty.
- Support: get a visa support letter and career development guidance after the loan is approved.
However, if you are in the process of applying for a loan, to get responsive support, you are better off applying through an MPower partner like us, for personalized support and faster response.
As an official MPower partner, we offer fast response time through our WhatsApp contact and email at no cost. So far in 2023, we have helped students from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, India, and many other emerging countries get approval for over $2 million in student loans to study abroad for postgraduate programs in the US and Canada.
2. Prodigy Finance
Prodigy Finance is another popular student loan provider, launched in 2007, that specializes in providing international student loans to students from various countries, including African students. They offer loans without cosigner or collateral for students studying at top schools in countries like the US, Canada, the UK, and others.
- Current stats: 28,000+ students from 150 countries served. $1.5 billion student loan disbursed with 86% of students from emerging market countries.
- Supported schools: 350+ top universities in the US, UK, Canada, Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Singapore, China, UAE, and India are supported.
- Maximum amount: The loan amount depends on the student’s program and the chosen university. In some cases, this may be up to 100% of the total Cost of Attendance, which includes tuition plus living expenses, as provided by the university.
- Ease of application process: The application is 100% online.
- Eligibility conditions: The loan only supports masters in Business, STEM, Public Policy, Law, and Health Sciences. Loan decision is based on your future career potential.
- Eligible countries: you must come from one of the supported countries. Over 100 countries are currently not supported.
- What does loan cover: loans can cover up to 100% of tuition fees and living expenses
- Interest rates: variable interest rate. The current rate is 13.37% (APR 14.96%)
- Repayment term: Payments don’t start until 6 months after classes end if you study full-time. Flexible repayment terms – 7 to 20 years. Pay early to save on interest.
- Support: get a visa support letter.
A Note about interest rates
There are two types of interest rates used by different loans and lenders to determine the interest value:
- Fixed interest – this is a flat rate. The interest rate you pay won’t change over time; if it’s 10%, it’s always 10% until you’ve repaid your loan in full.
- Variable interest – this interest changes over time, taking into account various market factors.
Private student loans come with fixed or variable interest rates.
The downside of no-collateral, no-cosigner student loans is that they often come with higher interest rates compared to student loans that require them. This is because loan companies take higher risks when they don’t require collateral or a cosigner.
If you can provide a cosigner for your loan application, you are likely to get lower interest rates. Let’s take a look at some of the popular international student loans that require a co-signer.
International Student Loans That Require A Cosigner
If you don’t have a problem providing a co-signer for your student loan, here are international student loans that require a co-signer.
1. Ascent Student Loans For International Students
International students attending U.S. colleges and universities may be eligible for private student loans with Ascent. Ascent offers several student loan options for international students, particularly for graduate studies. The lender offers a wide range of repayment terms, which can vary based on your loan type, and borrowers can postpone payments after graduation for up to 9 or 36 months, depending on the loan program.
You’re eligible for an international student loan if you are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident, and if you have a creditworthy cosigner who lives in the U.S. and meets additional requirements. Your cosigner must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident.
- Have a minimum credit score. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on your credit score.
- Meet a minimum gross annual income.
- Be able to submit satisfactory proof of income.
2. Discover Student Loans For International Students
Discover Student Loans offers private student loans for international students who are attending an eligible US college or university. International students require a creditworthy cosigner who is a US citizen or permanent resident. They also cover up to 100% of all of your school-certified college costs. International students do not need a Social Security number to apply. More about Discover Student Loan.
3. Citizens Bank Student Loan For International Students
Citizens Bank is another option for both undergraduate and graduate international students to consider. Rates are reasonable and borrowers have the option of choosing among multiple repayment terms.
To be eligible for a Citizens Bank student loan, international students must have a creditworthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You cannot have any prior student loan defaults. Your cosigner must have a reasonably strong credit history. More about Citizens student loan.
If you choose student loans that require a co-signer. The interest rate you get will depend on the credit of the borrower and/or the cosigner. Good credit can mean getting a better interest rate on a private student loan, which will save you money on interest.
If you don’t have good credit, you can look at specific private loan options for international students with bad credit or no credit or who can’t get a cosigner.
Generally, remember to carefully review the terms and conditions, interest rates, repayment options, and eligibility criteria for each lender before making a decision. Additionally, consult with your educational institution’s financial aid office for more information and guidance on loan options available to African students.
We can help you through your MPower Financing student loan application or any questions you may have about student loans for African students. Click here to learn more.
Wondering how to go about your admission processing into schools in the US and Canada? Don’t worry! We’ve got your back! Enrolling in the top universities in the world can increase your chances with employers. Unfortunately, studying abroad can be expensive due to the current economic crisis. But this shouldn’t limit you as there are other options you can explore to enhance your career.
MPower Finance and Prodigy Finance are some of the best student loan providers for international students. They also do not require any cosigner or collateral before application. At EdXtra Associates, we can help you with your loan application process. We also provide educational consultancy services for international students to help make your journey easier and faster. You can reach out to us, as we’d love to guide you through this journey.