Top 10 Education Loan for Studying Abroad: Best Picks of 2024

education loan for abroad study

Studying abroad offers a remarkable chance to fully experience a new culture, improve language skills, and gain a valuable edge in the job market. However, the financial aspect can be challenging. This guide provides extensive information on various funding options, including federal and private education loans, to help you finance your study abroad. Securing the ideal education loan for students is essential for a smooth and worry-free journey for study abroad. Leading lenders provide a range of loan options specifically designed for international students, including secured and unsecured loans. Thoughtful deliberation is necessary to arrive at a well-informed choice.

Federal Education Loan for Study Abroad

Federal student loans are a common choice for U.S. students planning to study abroad. These loans, offered by the Department of Education, come with several benefits, such as fixed interest rates and flexible repayment plans. However, the international institution you plan to attend must participate in the Direct Loan Program to utilise federal loans for overseas study. The Office of Federal Student Aid maintains a database of eligible international schools.

Types of Federal Students:

Direct Subsidised Loans: Undergraduates with proven financial need are eligible for these loans. For half-time or more enrolled students and those who fall under the grace period or deferral periods, the United States Department of Education will pay the interest on their student loans.

Direct Unsubsidised Loans: Available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Financial need is not required. Interest accrues during all periods.

Direct PLUS Loans: Accessible to undergraduates with dependent parents, graduate and professional students, and those pursuing degrees in related fields. A credit check and potentially higher interest rates are standard features of these loans.

Usage and Coverage:

Federal student loans can cover tuition, fees, room and board, and other qualifying expenses. Any leftover funds are disbursed to you for travel and basic living expenses. It’s important to note that Federal Pell Grants cannot be used for studying abroad, and federal loans may not cover all costs associated with overseas education.

Private Student Loan for Study Abroad

If federal loans are insufficient, private student loans can fill the gap. Various lenders offer private loans specifically for study abroad, each with unique features and benefits.

Top Private Lenders:

College Ave: Known for its flexibility, College Ave offers loans for undergraduate, graduate, and parent borrowers. You can cover up to 100% of your cost of attendance, choose your repayment term, and receive a credit decision in just minutes. Most students will need a cosigner to qualify for the best rates.

Sallie Mae: Ideal for borrowers needing a cosigner. Sallie Mae offers fixed and variable rate loans, with the possibility of cosigner release after 12 on-time payments. All borrowers are eligible for a 0.25% interest rate reduction when enrolling in autopay.

Ascent: This company provides cosigned and non-cosigned loans, catering to many students, including those without a traditional credit history. Ascent loans offer flexible repayment terms and the cash potential back upon graduation.

Loan Comparison and Application Tips

When choosing a private lender, compare interest rates, fees, and repayment terms. Here’s a brief overview of the top private lenders:

| Lender        | Best For               | Rating  |


| College Ave   | Overall                | 5/5     |

| Sallie Mae    | Cosigners              | 4.8/5   |

| Ascent        | Deferred Payment       | 4.3/5   |

Application Tips:

Credit Score: A higher credit score can significantly benefit you by allowing you to qualify for more favourable interest rates. If your credit history is not extensive, applying with a cosigner may be worth it.

Loan Amount: Only borrow what you need. Over-borrowing can lead to higher debt after graduation.

Repayment Plan: Select a repayment plan that aligns with your financial circumstances. Specific lenders may offer the flexibility of deferred payments, while others may provide incentives such as discounts for repaying while still in school or enrolling in autopay.

Alternatives to Education Loan for Study Abroad

While student loans are a popular option, there are other ways to fund your education abroad without incurring debt.

529 College Savings Plans

The 529 plan is specifically designed to help with education expenses. Contributions to this plan grow without tax, and withdrawals are tax-free when used for qualified education expenses. Whether parents set up a plan for their children or individuals create one for themselves, this plan can be a valuable tool for covering the costs of studying abroad.


Scholarships are an excellent way to fund your education without the burden of repayment. They can be need-based, merit-based, or specific to your field of study or background. Here are some notable scholarships for study abroad:

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship: Offers financial aid to students with limited means.

Fund for Education Abroad Award: Provides up to $5,000 for underrepresented students in study abroad programs.

Boren Language Scholarship: Targets students planning to study in regions critical to U.S. interests.

Rotary International Scholarship: Offers substantial funding for students serving as cultural ambassadors abroad.

Existing Financial Aid:

You can use your current scholarships and grants to study abroad. Since you remain enrolled at your home university, existing aid can often be applied to overseas studies. Consult your financial aid office to confirm eligibility.

Part-Time Work:

Some countries, like Australia, allow international students to work part-time. Earning an income while studying can help cover living expenses and reduce the need for loans.

Federal and Private Loan Repayment

Repaying student loans for study abroad has guidelines similar to domestic student loans. Federal loans typically offer grace periods, income-driven repayment plans, and forgiveness options. On the other hand, private loans may have less flexible terms, so it’s essential to understand the specifics of your loan agreement.

Key Considerations:

Interest Rates: Federal loans usually have lower fixed rates than private loans, which can be variable or higher.

Repayment Terms: Federal loans offer various repayment plans, including income-driven options. Private loans may offer fewer options and less flexibility.

Loan Forgiveness: Federal loans may qualify for forgiveness programs, while private loans typically do not.


When considering an education loan for studying abroad, it’s essential to carefully assess factors such as interest rates, repayment terms, and eligibility criteria. It is crucial to understand options such as secured or unsecured loans. Discover lenders such as College Ave, Sallie Mae, and Ascent to discover a loan that aligns with your financial situation and educational aspirations. Studying abroad has the potential to influence your life significantly. By adequately preparing, you can explore various options to fund your education. Multiple options are available to finance your education, such as federal and private student loans, savings plans, scholarships, and part-time employment. Investing enough time in thoroughly exploring all available options and gaining a comprehensive understanding of the associated terms and conditions is crucial.  You’ll have all the information you need to make wise choices. You will be able to make informed decisions. If you need detailed information and guidance on application processes, contacting your home university’s financial aid office is a good idea. Investing in your education abroad can provide you with many lifelong benefits and opportunities.