With everyone trying to get into the best universities of the world, top universities in the USA get a pool of talent every year. But the competition is so acute that only the ones who perform exceptionally well get the scholarships and the rest are left to finance their studies themselves. The value of talent in these universities, however, is high. So much so that most USA universities have tie ups with banks to offer education loans to international students at subsidized rates to study at their university. Also, many banks have taken individual steps to ensure international students have access to education loans, without being recommended by a university.


But before you proceed any further, know your loan options upfront and save yourself a lot of time, money and hassles. When it comes to Indian students there are plenty of Indian banks providing education loan to students to study abroad. However, you must educate yourself and know all the options you can benefit from. The rate of interest charged by Indian banks is usually higher than what is charged by USA banks for education loan programmes.


Things to know before applying for an education loan in the United States

But to be able to compare one bank to another, you must have the basic understanding of how banks charge interest on education loans. Here we will simplify some bank jargons for you. A good understanding of following important concepts will help you to evaluate education loans better:

Fixed Rate vs. Variable (Floating) Interest Rate: If you opt for Fixed interest rate, you will have a constant rate of time and the payment amount will never change during the course of your repayment. Whereas, variable interest rate is subject to market risk and hence the interest rate (and your periodic payment) goes up or down over the course of your repayment.

Immediate or Deferred Repayment: Here you have the choice to either start repaying the loan immediately after taking it or wait until after the completion of your degree. The interest rate of your education loan varies accordingly.

Now that you can comprehend the bank jargons, you should know the wide gamut of options available for you to pay your student loans. A lot of people use an amalgamation of different kinds of investments or savings that they have been investing for a long while. For instance, Fixed Deposits, part-time jobs and even borrowing money from relatives. Though bank loan is the most preferred and hassle free option, it is advised to explore all your options before finalizing one. Because the money borrowed has to be repaid by you only, over a specific time period and not to forget with interest.


Options back home: Education loan in India



Listed below are some banks providing education loan to students in India:


A Subsidiary of HDFC Ltd. Credila is a one of a kind Non Bank Finance Company which focuses exclusively on lending education loans to students. It has a Study Abroad scheme that covers the total tuition fees of the study programme along with covering up to 100% of other expenses like living and hostel expenses, examination fees, library/laboratory fees, purchase of study material, travel fare and more.

The gloating rate of interest for Credila education loan is approximately calculated by summing Credila's CBLR and Spread, i.e. (Credila's CBLR + Spread) % per annum.

Where Credila's Current CBLR is 12.35% per annum and the Spread is determined by calculating a number of factors.


A British multinational banking and financial services company, HSBC is one of the famous options for students in India looking to study in USA. Focusing on US education, HSBC India has designed a student education loan programme in affiliation with Global Student Loan Corporation. According to the HSBC education loan scheme, the bank provides funding for part-time and full-time students to study at a US college or university.

State Bank of India

student-loan-in-USAA government-owned corporation, SBI is a multinational banking and financial services company based in India. According to the SBI education loan for abroad scheme, a loan of upto 30 lakhs is provided for technical Graduation Degree courses, Job oriented professional, Post Graduation, Degree and Diploma courses like MCA, MS, MBA etc. offered by well-known universities. The SBI education loan interest rate varies from 11.75% per annum to 13.50% per annum.

As is evident from the data above, the rates of interest for education loan are as high as 14 %, which, in the time of an economic downturn, make them not so desired an option. Your options, though, don’t end here. There are a number of US banks offering student loans for international students at rates lower than what is charged by Indian banks.

Mentioned below is the list of Top education loan providers in USA:

USC Credit Union

  • With right information, applying for a loan at USC Credit Union is a cakewalk.
  • Now you can also e-sign your application.
  • Hassle free online application.
  • No prepayment penalty.
  • 24/7 online account management.

The Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan by USC Credit Union is an ideal education funding solution which helps students save money, build their credit and pay off the loan in 3 different repayment options, Fixed Repayment Option, Interest Repayment Option and Deferred Repayment Option. International students need to apply with a creditworthy cosigner, (needs be a US citizen or permanent resident) and appropriate U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service documentation.

Interest rates for USC Credit Union student loan:

Rates from LIBOR + 2.00% (2.25% APR) to LIBOR + 9.88% (9.37% APR)

Interest Rate
  • Fixed interest rates as low as 5.49% APR
  • Variable interest rates as low as Prime Index + 0.00% (currently 3.25% APR)


Discover offers Student Loans to international students for Undergraduate, Graduate and Post-Graduate courses.  International students need to be 16 years or older and must have a Social Security number and a cosigner. Discover student loans have three repayment terms which include automatic in-school deferment while enrolled at least half-time, 6-month grace period and 15-year repayment period for undergraduate loans and 9-month grace period and 20-year repayment period for graduate and post-graduate loans.

Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank offers Citizens TruFit student loan to international students who have secured admission in a USA university. Applicants need to apply with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer to benefit the very low interest rates offered by the bank.  The bank sends the loan funds directly to the school the student is attending, making the whole process hassle-free for students.  Now students can also fill out the easy online TruFit Student Loan application where they can even e-sign.

Salient features of Citizens TruFit student loan

  • Flexible repayment options

  • No application, origination or disbursement fees

  • Applicants eligible for a choice of fixed and variable interest rates as low as 2.66% APR1

  • Lower your interest rate by up to 0.50 percentage points with available discounts


Wells Fargo

The Wells Fargo Collegiate Loan is one of the low-cost options for international undergraduate students applying to a four-year school in the USA. It covers the cost of education, which includes books, tuition, housing and computers. Apart from this, students have to make no payments until six months after leaving school and can also reduce their loan cost with Wells Fargo’s interest rate discounts.

Interest Calculation:

  • Variable interest rates range from 3.75% APR (with discount) to 8.75% APR (without discount).

  • Fixed interest rates range from 7.24% APR (with discount) to 12.29% APR (without discount).



Highlights of RISLA Student Loan
  • Student and parent sign together
  • You can pay now or later
  • Low fixed interest rates
  • Zero origination fee options
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Instant credit decision
  • Loan forgiveness for qualifying interns


with interest rates as low as 5.39%, RISLA (Rhode Island Student Loan Authority) Student Loan is another sought-after option by international students who wish to study in the USA.  International students are welcome to apply for RISLA fixed rate student loanswith a social security number and cosigner who is a US citizen.

# The data published is taken from various sources.

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