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Do I need an international study loan?

Prodigy Finance - August 31, 2018

Do I need an international study loan

One of the first things a potential international masters student will do is check the price of the education they want.

Often, potential applicants believe they’ll easily obtain loans, they’ll receive scholarships, or enough family members will chip in to make international grad school possible.

Only a few students skip the worry stage, knowing there’s enough money in the bank. If you’re one of them, consider yourself lucky and return your focus to studying for the GRE or the GMAT, the IELTS or the TOEFL.

If you can’t afford your education outright, you’ll probably need to consider international student loans. 

The number one reason international students require study loans

Some students wanting to pursue masters degrees in their home country, can manage without loans through part-time studying and continued full-time work. Even then, it’s not always possible to afford the degree without a loan, but it’s certainly easier.

International students - those that require a visa to study (which excludes international students in and across the EU, for example) - can’t pursue their education without study loans unless the combination of scholarships and savings cover the full Cost of Attendance (CoA).

It all boils down to the ability to secure a study visa.

An admit to a top school isn’t enough; international students must prove that they can afford the tuition and related living expenses while working towards their degree

Getting international study visas

In the United States, for example, you will need to have an I-20 form from your school that shows immigration officials their estimated CoA and the funding sources you’ve demonstrated that cover those costs. That may include an international study loan as well as scholarships and savings.

But, you’ll need to prove those funds are available - first to the university and then to immigration officials. And, it’s not possible to apply for an F-1 visa without that I-20 form.

And, for the most part, you’ve got between 120 and 30 days before the start of your course to apply for your visa and have enough time to make it to campus without missing a beat.

Over in the UK, you need to show that you have your living expenses available in your bank account for 28 consecutive days within the 31 days prior to your Tier 4 visa application. And, if you’ve taken a loan for tuition that won’t be directly disbursed to the university, you’ll also need to show those funds will be available in your account before you enter the UK.

The rules are similar in just about every study destination country; if you can’t prove you can pay, you won’t receive a visa for study. And, you can’t just enter the country on a tourist visa as universities will need proof of your status as well. 

What if you don’t need an international student loan?

If you have the funds you need to secure a study visa - and the paperwork to prove it, then you probably shouldn’t worry about taking a loan.

But if you need a loan to afford your education and secure your study visa, you’ll need to spend time researching your options. 

One bonus of a Prodigy Finance loan is the ability to reduce the size of your loan until you sign your final loan agreement (which you’ll do only when you get to campus) if you secure scholarships or other financing that works out better for you.

So, there’s no reason to wait before applying for your loan - or your visa. You can just get on with it while you continue looking for scholarships and fellowships that’ll make your budget breathe easier.

Ready to learn more about Prodigy Finance loans?

Prodigy Finance offers no cosigner, collateral-free loans to eligible international students attending supported universities across the globe. If you're considering postgraduate study, you might want to consider a Prodigy Finance loan.

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