As an international student, you have worked really hard to complete your higher education in the U.S. There are additional challenges for international students who don’t have access financial aid or help from the government for student loans or lower rates. Even universities charge higher tuition from international students because they know students will pay for a quality education.
There are almost no options available for international students to refinance their student loans. They still have to bear the burden of high financial costs compared to their U.S. citizen peers. U.S. citizens enjoy government subsidized student loan interest rates and an additional benefit of many lenders offering refinancing options. International students have no such advantage.
But refinancing helps students save money, keep all the payments in USD and not worry about currency fluctuation risks, free their collateral in their home country, help their parents reduce financial stress, and get debt free much faster.
To refinance your student loan in the U.S., you need to make sure you have the following:
- Good Credit (no credit is acceptable): Many international students don’t have a chance to build credit in the U.S. They aren’t able to work part time on campus, some of them don’t even get an SSN until they graduate; this makes it hard for them to build credit which is essential for getting access to any type of credit in the U.S. But companies like Stilt also accept students who don’t have any credit history. Still, you should try to build some credit before applying for a refinancing option.
- Employment or Job Offer: In most cases, a stable employment is considered highly positive for your refinance application. If you have started your job and receiving income, it will help prove to the lender that the job is not going away (there are cases where employer cancels the job offer). But if you have a job offer, it may be good to show that you’ve accepted the offer and you have a set joining date. This will help the lender set a payment date based on when your income starts coming in, otherwise, you may find yourself short on money for a couple of months if your joining gets delayed.
- Visa Approval: This is crucial as a lender tries to determine the term of your loan. If you are a non-STEM major with only 12 months of OPT, a lender needs to be comfortable that you’ll get your H-1B in that time frame. If you have the option of STEM extension, you are safer. You will have multiple opportunities to apply for H-1B and a lender can easily consider STEM extension approval in the future for the loan term.
If you have all of the three things above, you can not only refinance your international student loan but also get lower rates. If you can prove that you are responsible with credit, will have a stable income and you have the right visa to stay in the country, you should have no problems with securing lower rates.
Stilt provides loans to international students and working professionals in the U.S. (F-1, OPT, H-1B, O-1, L-1, TN visa holders) at rates lower than any other lender. Learn more about us onor visit us at . If you have any questions, send us an email at .