The age-old question for every foreign student in the United States; is it possible for you to refinance your student loan?
There are two sides to the coin. If you had borrowed a private student loan after making the eligibility cut, then the answer is yes!
Remember though, that’s the short tail answer to this puzzling question.
The long tail answer to this question is a little more complex. Nevertheless, there are few subtle things you need to know to determine whether you are eligible for student loan refinancing.
CAN IT BE POSSIBLE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS TO REFINANCE THEIR STUDENT LOANS?
For many of the traditional lenders familiar in the country, they only provide this option to U.S. citizens.
That being said, there are a few lenders out there who will opt to provide the refinancing path for international students depending on their background.
For example, Laurel Road can be a viable refinancing method especially if you have a credible I-551 form, which awards you the legal status if you happen to be a resident alien in the United States or a green card holder.
Keeping this in mind, here is a list of the top-rated lenders that provide total assistance to residents.
That being said, you should be cautious who fine print to attempt to dupe you.
For example, lenders like SoFi say you are eligible for refinancing if you have more than 2 years of stay in your residency before it expires.
Additionally, you can also make eligibility if you’ve forwarded an application of extension through the Department of Homeland Security.
That being said, as a borrower, it is vital that you meet all the requirements of the lender, regardless of whether the cosigner you’ve selected in the refinance application is an American citizen or not.
Indeed, you’ll have to face the reality that in some situations, lenders might not just be interested in the status of your residency, but where you reside as well.
For example, lenders such as Earnest require an applicant to be a 10-year, non-conditional permanent resident and is living in one of 45 States that are eligible.
WHAT ABOUT REFINANCING WHEN YOU’RE NOT A RESIDENT?
If you are neither a permanent citizen nor a resident, you can still refinance your loan by accessing the services of international student refinancing lenders.
Perhaps you recently graduated from college and yet to transition from the student visa status that made you come to the country in the first place.
In that case, you can have a look at SoFi in the event that you hold a TN, O-1, E-2, H-1B, J-1 visa that won’t require a renewal in the next 2 years. Additionally, another lender you can have a look at is Prodigy Finance that gives a green light to any kind of visa.
In fact, you can even get approval by Prodigy if you reside in the United Kingdom, with the only condition being that you hold a master’s degree in 285 of the universities that the Prodigy considers eligible all over the world.
HOW SHOULD ONE APPLY FOR REFINANCING IF THEY ARE A NON-CITIZEN?
That being said, your residency status is just one cog in a very complex system that an international student has to undergo before having an eligible student loan refinance application.
Indeed, a large number of lenders further require that you have a great credit score, as well as be a college graduate.
Indeed, credit history can be one factor that might be lacking in quite a number of ways. For instance, the fact that you are an international student means that your credit history doesn’t translate to what is in your home country
Indeed, one way to avert such a situation is to bring in a noteworthy co-signer with good credit.
Once you are confident of your eligibility to refinancing, making the application tends to be a much easier process. That being said, ensure you also have your legal documents on standby to prove the legality of your stay within the country.
Conclusively, the fact that you hold a visa might make it necessary for you to provide additional paperwork such as: