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Remove your co-signer from your international DDS loan

Prodigy Finance - October 28, 2019

Remove your co-signer from your international DDS Loan

Like many students pursuing their Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree, Bharath Vamsi Krishna Sreekantam needed an education loan. And, he needed a co-signer to get a loan, which wasn’t easy.

“When I got my student loans, I really had a tough time getting a co-signer.” As soon as he completed his DDS at the University of Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine, releasing his co-signer became a top priority.

As an international graduate working in the US, Bharath found that releasing his co-signer was almost as difficult as finding one in the first place until he learned Prodigy Finance was running a pilot that could help him release his co-signer through student loan refinancing.

But now that he’s released his co-signers, Bharath isn’t looking back; he’s busy building his DDS career in the US.

If the struggle of finding then releasing co-signers for your international DDS loan sounds exactly like your situation, you may want to consider refinancing too.

Why you needed a DDS loan co-signer in the first place

The cost of a DDS degree in the US is undeniably high. Students who don’t meet in-state residency requirements (including all international students) pay significantly more.

At the University of Buffalo, for example, tuition fees for a DDS student entering in the 2019/2020 academic year are:

  • $35,830 annually for in-state students.
  • $62,950 annually for non-resident students.

Not only are these amounts for a single year out of the 4 needed to complete the degree, but they also aren’t the full Cost of Attendance (CoA), which also include living expenses during this time.

International students staring down a bill of roughly $250,000 for tuition alone won’t find it easy to secure student loans without a co-signer. Many international students don’t believe they exist at all.

Bharath wanted to avoid asking anyone to co-sign his loan because of the responsibility involved.

For lenders, co-signers are a surety that they’ll be able to recoup their money if the principal borrower defaults. However, the amount of the loan still counts against the total amount of credit a co-signer is eligible to borrow.

For co-signers, this means they:

  • Need to have an excellent credit score and history.
  • Need to have more credit available than they’re using. That amount must be at least as high as the loan amount.
  • Don’t need to use their credit until the principal borrower repays the loan.

While DDS students can usually find well-meaning individuals who want to help, there aren’t that many that can assist. It means they won’t qualify for home loans, auto financing or loans for their own education until they’re released or the loan is settled.

Bharath understood those pressures perfectly. “The burden was on that individual, so I was looking to release that person as soon as possible.”

How to release your DDS loan co-signer

In the US, there are 2 routes for co-signer release:

  • Apply for co-signer release on a financing product. This involves demonstrating to the lender that you’re now capable of handling a loan on your own. Co-signer release is rarely successful, even for American citizens and Green Card holders; most financial institutions aren’t in a hurry to lose their surety.
  • Refinance your DDS loan without a co-signer. Refinancing is simply the process of taking out a new loan to repay the old loan. The new lender looks at the most recent information, which isn’t as speculative as it was before your studies. When you pay off your initial student loans through refinancing, those co-signers are naturally released from their obligations.

International grads: refinance your DDS loan with Prodigy Finance

Considering the difficulties most working graduates have with straight-up co-signer release, the majority opt for refinancing.

International working graduates, however, face difficulties doing so. Why? Traditional lenders see the time limitations allocated to non-immigrant visas (such as F-1 student visas and H-1B working visas) and aren’t able to structure loans to fit within these timeframes.

As a graduate working in the US looking to refinance your international student loan, you’ll need to investigate options beyond traditional lenders in the US.

Working closely with Prodigy Finance to refinance his DDS loan, Bharath refinanced his DDS loan during the refinancing pilot. “I chose Prodigy Finance to secure providing professional school refinancing without a co-signer.” While that was his goal all along, he soon realised refinancing offers additional benefits.

3 more benefits of international DDS loan refinancing

International DDS graduates like Bharath may be motivated by co-signer release, but there are plenty of other reasons to refinance your international student loan - especially if you hope to remain in the US to build your career.

Choose your loan term

Now that you’re working in the US, you know exactly what your budget looks like. When you refinance, you’re able to look at loan terms that best suit your actual finances.

  • Choose a shorter loan term with higher monthly repayments if you want to repay your loan as soon as possible and reduce the overall cost of your loan.
  • Graduates with larger loans often find longer loan terms suit their monthly finances better. This option offers lower monthly loan amounts (as compared to shorter loan terms).

With such a large loan size, Bharath took a 20-year refinance term. He still has the option of paying more than the minimum or making additional lump sum payments to repay his loan earlier - without any early repayment penalties. 

Build your local credit history

Make sure you consider loan providers that report back to credit bureaus. It’s an easy way to build your credit history, as long as you continue paying at least the minimum due by each month’s due date.

Moreover, the size of your refinanced loan demonstrates to future lenders that you can be trusted with large sums, opening the path to increased credit limits later on. 

Make hassle-free local payments

If you took your international DDS student loan from a bank in your home country, you’ll find immeasurable benefits when you refinance your foreign currency loan with an international lender.

After you successfully refinance, you’ll make local payments from your US bank account. This means you’ll:

  • Avoid the hassles of international transfers.
  • Cut F/X and transfer costs.

And, when you’re looking to launch your DDS career in the US, these benefits add up quickly, especially if you’re ready to release your co-signer. 

Interested in releasing your co-signer?

Find out when Prodigy Finance launches refinance so you too can take advantage of the benefits.

Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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