5 Factors to compare when choosing an International Graduate Student Loan

Compare and Choose International Graduate Student Loans

Graduate school is almost always a good idea – studies consistently show that attaining a Masters degree significantly increases lifetime earnings. But, graduate school education isn’t cheap. Whether you’re pursuing an MBA or another Masters Degree, you’ll probably need a loan to finance your studies. Fortunately, you’ll find educational loans are readily available.

With all the financing options available, you’ll need to conduct your own, in-depth research when choosing a student loan. After all, the differences in repayment amounts can be quite stark. And, you don’t want to negate all those future earnings.

But, every loan is different – and with all the variables listed in the student loan terms and conditions, you’ll need a few metrics to compare financial products properly. Here are five factors you should consider when deciding which loan is best for you.
 

5 Factors to consider when choosing an International Student Loan for Graduate Degrees

 

APR

You should use APR (Annual Percentage Rate) to compare multiple loan offers. APR is a legally-mandated number that takes into account all of the costs associated with financing your degree, including any upfront or one-off fees, plus the effects of compounding interest.

It’s important to look at each loan’s APR regardless of the loan considered (education, housing, or vehicle loans). Advertised interest rates might be low, but this percent doesn’t account for all of the fees; the APR could be higher because the loan has admin or other hidden fees.

The US and the UK calculate APR slightly differently –it’s true that it might not be enough to make a huge impact, but it’s worth considering while doing your research. As perhaps the most important metric for loan comparison, it makes sense to learn more about APR.
 


 

Currency

Rupees, dollars or pounds? The currency ofyour loan will usually be the currency that you use for repayments. But, it’s worth researching the inflation and lending rates in varying currencies. That makes it a little difficult to compare loan products across varying currencies.

You should consider your post-grad plans – if you’re looking to settle in US, it might make more sense to take a loan in US dollars for repayment ease. While it’s difficult to make comparisons across currencies, you can use them to guide your final decision.
 

Grace Period

Loans usually have grace periods. During this time, students are exempt from making any payments. Typically, grace periods last until after graduation as it gives new graduates a better chance of a healthy financial start.

While students are exempt from making payments during this period, interest does still accrue on your loan during the grace period. It’s worth considering how much time you’ll have before you’re required to start repayments. And remember, that some loan products don’t include grace periods; you may be required to begin repayments while still completing your degree.
 

Duration

The duration is the amount of time you’ll have to repay the loan. Some loan companies allow lower monthly repayments, but lock you into longer repayment schedules, and you may actually end up paying more over time. As long as the loan amount covers costs, graduates are usuallyin a better position if they repay their debt as soon as possible.

Much like the grace period, it’s important to check if your loan provider will penalize you for early repayments. International graduate student loan provider Prodigy Finance, for example, never penalizes early repayments, and borrowers only pay interest on the outstanding funds payable. And, most of the students they work with repay their loans in full within five years after graduating.
 

Co-signer or guarantor needed?

Unfortunately, international students usually aren’t eligible for all graduate student loan products available in the country of study. Even among the loan products actually available for international students, often applicants need a local co-signor or guarantor to support loan applications.

If you’re looking to secure an education loan from India, you’ll likely be asked to show assets as collateral – something you may or may not have. As a community lender, Prodigy Finance understands that, as a Masters degree student, you’re likely to significantly increase your salary after graduating, and assesses your loan-worthiness on the basis on your expected financial status. This understanding allows Prodigy Finance to offer loans without collateral, co-signers, or guarantors.

Doing your research on loans and making an informed decision about which one suits you and your needs most is an important part of planning for graduate education. Sure, APRs and grace periods aren’t as exciting to consider as all those enthralling elective courses, but if paying attention now means saving a couple of thousand down the road, it’s well worth it.
 


Rishabh GoelAuthor Bio: Rishabh Goel is an Associate Relationship Manager at Prodigy Finance. He studied Economics & Engineering at BITS & Masters at London Business School. He has helped Indians excel at GMAT/GRE and mentored students to attend top schools globally. Rishabh is passionate about borderless FinTech, previously working at TransferWise. He is a Sachin Tendulkar fan and would do (literally!) anything to have a coffee chat with him.

This article is part of CrystalConnect, an outreach initiative by MBA Crystal Ball.


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Prodigy Finance is the pioneer of community-based student financing. To date, the company has funded students from 115 countries with repayment rates in excess of 99%.

26 Comments

  1. RK says:

    Hi ,

    I am planning to go for MSc in Project Management from Lancaster school of Business. Am i eligible for loan from Prodigy ?

  2. Pekham says:

    Hi,

    I am an MS student aspiring for Fall’2016. My question was that do you guys provide loan to Master’s students as well?

    • Rishabh Goel says:

      Hi Pekham,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      We indeed support international students MS programs as well. If you’d like to take a look at the Schools we support, please check out the link below:
      https://prodigyfinance.com/students_faq

      Our aim is to support international students joining the top 100 schools in MS, MBA, LLM and MPP. We’re now speaking with many of these schools to build partnerships for the classes starting in 2017 and constantly adding supported schools.

      Kind regards,
      Rishabh

  3. himanshu says:

    Hello.

    I got the admission confirmation from NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY-Boston , in full time MS-program in Engineering management for fall 2016 intake. I want to know whether I am eligible for seeking loan from Prodigy finance.

    Kindly revert

    • Rishabh Goel says:

      Hi Himanshu,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      Unfortunately we do not have a loan program in place with North Eastern University, Boston. If you’d like to take a look at the Schools we support, please check out the link below:
      https://prodigyfinance.com/students_faq

      Our aim is to support international students joining the top 100 schools in MS, MBA, LLM and MPP. We’re now speaking with many of these schools to build partnerships for the classes starting in 2017.

      If you’re planning to join a top 100 course in 2017 but don’t see it on the list, please reach out to your Financial Aid office to let them know about Prodigy. The impetus for these partnerships often comes from students like you.

      Kind regards,
      Rishabh

  4. Shrawani Garg says:

    Hey Rishabh,

    If I take loan from prodigy, and want to repay within a year or two, so the interest will be levied on those 2 years or 10 years in whole?

    Thanks

    • Rishabh Goel says:

      Hi Shrawani,

      Thanks for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      All Prodigy Finance loans are amortised i.e. interest is charged only on the principal outstanding. If you repay back early, you would have a lower principal outstanding for shorter duration – accruing a lower interest amount. Also, there are no penalties for pre-payments.

      Hope this answers your query.

      Kind regards,
      Rishabh Goel

  5. N NAGESWARA rao says:

    Dear sir ,
    My son MBA is going to complete on:2017 may. He want further study at Ireland for MS HR Management ,
    We want educational loan the total amount required for tusion fee and others Rs:1500000/- ( Approx.€19828) it is possible to get a loan without collateral and with co-borrower as I am working in central government as a G.O (Jr.Works Manager) is it possible loan from prodigy finance.

    • Rishabh Goel says:

      Hi Mr. Rao,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      Unfortunately we do not have a loan program in place in Ireland, at the moment. If you’d like to take a look at the Schools we support, please check out the link below:
      https://prodigyfinance.com/students_faq

      Our aim is to support international students joining the top 100 schools in MS, MBA, LLM and MPP. We’re now speaking with many of these schools to build partnerships for the classes starting in 2017.

      Prodigy Finance assesses each applicant individually to estimate their ‘future affordability’ using careers data from school. We do not ask for any co-signor. guarantor or collateral and assess each student on their own personal merit (family credentials not required).

      If you’re planning to join a top 100 school in 2017 but don’t see it on the list, please reach out to your Financial Aid office to let them know about Prodigy. The impetus for these partnerships often comes from students like you.

      Kind regards,
      Rishabh

  6. Mainak Nag says:

    Hi Rishabh,

    This is Mainak Nag here. I am planning to apply to Sloan, Booth and Tuck for the first round for 2017-2019 batch. I have a few questions about prodigy finance 1. Do you work with all these schools? 2. Does prodigy cover full expense of attending these schools? 3. If they dont cover full expense then how do they decide what percentages are to be covered? 4. What are the documentation required from my side?

    Best
    Mainak

  7. Anurag patel says:

    sir if i am a fresher and i do not have any work experience then is there any possibilities to get education loan?

    • Rishabh Goel says:

      Hi Mainak,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      Prodigy Finance does not require any work experience to avail a loan. Furthermore, the loan sanctioned is non-collateralised without any co-signor or any other liability

      All you need to apply for a Prodigy Finance loan is to receive a letter of admit from one of the schools we support. You can find the list below:
      https://prodigyfinance.com/students_faq

      Kind regards,
      Rishabh

  8. Sasha says:

    Hello.
    I wish to pursue MBA from “Coventry University” (London Campus). Am I eligible for the loan?

    • Rishabh Goel says:

      Hi Sasha,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      Unfortunately we do not have a loan program in place with Coventry University (London Campus). If you’d like to take a look at the Schools we support, please check out the link below:
      https://prodigyfinance.com/students_faq

      Our aim is to support international students joining the top 100 schools in MS, MBA, LLM and MPP. We’re now speaking with many of these schools to build partnerships for the classes starting in 2017.

      If you’re planning to join a top 100 course in 2017 but don’t see it on the list, please reach out to your Financial Aid office to let them know about Prodigy. The impetus for these partnerships often comes from students like you.

      Kind regards,
      Rishabh

  9. Majora Somba says:

    Hello, I have got an admission into a joint Global MBA that is run by Kelley School of Business-Indiana University and Alliance Manchester Business School. Despite that you offer loans for separate programs run by both schools, you currently do not offer loans for this joint program. Is there a way you can assist on this? Thank you.

    • Rishabh Goel says:

      Hi Majora,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      Our loan programmes are subject to relationships with schools. We are working very hard on supporting the join Global MBA at Indiana University and Manchester Business School.

      We shall let you know when we support this programme.

      Regards,
      Rishabh Goel

  10. Mokal Rohit says:

    I want an education loan to study abroad without any colltral security or any property mortgage I want apply for this year only so plz sir as soon aspossible send ur answer and reply me my contact no is 8655385542

    • Rishabh Goel says:

      Hi Morak,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      Prodigy Finance does not ask for any collateral security/property mortgage or co-signer. If you’d like to take a look at the Schools we support, please check out the link below:
      https://prodigyfinance.com/students_faq

      Our aim is to support international students joining the top 100 schools in MS, MBA, LLM and MPP. We’re now speaking with many of these schools to build partnerships for the classes starting in 2017.

      If you’re planning to join a top 100 course in 2017 but don’t see it on the list, please reach out to your Financial Aid office to let them know about Prodigy. The impetus for these partnerships often comes from students like you.

      Kind regards,
      Rishabh

  11. Anant Bhalani says:

    HI

    Please can you help in certain question. Do you guys offer loan if am going to study MBA and my spouse is going to accompany me?

    Regards
    Anant

    • Rishabh Goel says:

      Hi Anant,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      Of course, we do not have any concerns extending loans to students with spouses/kids. As long as you’re attending a supported school, we would be very happy to help.

      Thank you,
      Rishabh Goel

  12. achintya says:

    I have seen in the other article where you are interviewed that Stanford University is not among the list of supported programs mentioned in the article.

    So what are my options for Stanford University and why is it not on the list.

  13. Manwinder Singh says:

    Hey Rishabh..hope you are in best of health… I wanted to know if there are any chances of getting loan for undergraduate engineering course…waiting for ur reply…thank you..

    My email- manwindersinghmann1997@gmail.com

    • Rishabh Goel says:

      Hi Malwinder,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      Unfortunately, we are not supporting undergraduate schools at the moment.
      We wish you the very best for your education.

      Thank you,
      Rishabh Goel

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