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Education Loan from India or USA: Choose the smarter option

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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.

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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.

Discover student loan sign inA 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)

  • 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 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

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.

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).

  • 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.

Need a Private Student Loan? Explore Discover Student Loans

The cost of college is rising across the nation, and for many college-bound students, a student loan is the only way to achieve a higher education.

Sure, some students work and pay their own way through school or rely on financial help from parents. But for many college students, this simply isn’t an option. Federal student loans are often a college student’s first choice. There are federal loans for practically everyone, and because these loans do not require a credit check, they are easier to obtain than other types of loans. But unfortunately, there are limits to how much federal aid a student can borrow each year. Some students have higher educational expenses, and after exhausting federal resources they often bridge the gap with private student loans. These are loans offered by private banks and credit unions, and not the federal government.

Discover student loan sign in

There are several choices for private lending, and when comparing your student loan options, you may not immediately think of Discover. This bank, however, isn’t just a credit card company. Discover offers a host of financial products from home loans to online savings accounts, and if you need funding to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree program, multiple options are available to you.

The types of loans offered by Discover Student Loans includes:

  • Undergraduate Student Loans
  • Health Professionals Loans
  • Law Loans
  • MBA Loans
  • Residency Loans
  • Bar Exam Loans
  • Graduate School Loans

Discover student loan sign in

Private student loans vary by bank or credit union. To determine whether Discover Student Loans are right for you, familiarize yourself with the features and terms of these loans.

1. Annual Loan Limits. Student loans offered by the U.S. Department of Education may not cover the entire cost of attendance at a college or university. Discover Student Loans, however, can cover up to 100% of tuition, books and other college-related expenses, minus other financial aid (federal loans, grants, scholarships, etc.)

2. Competitive Interest Rates. Discover Student Loans feature fixed and variable interest rates. Fixed rates range from 6.79% to 7.89% APR, and variable rates currently range from 3.25% to 5.75% APR.

3. Repayment Terms. For an undergraduate degree, the standard repayment term is 15 years and repayment doesn’t begin until six months after graduation or until enrollment drops to less than half-time. With graduate degrees, the standard repayment term is 20 years and repayment doesn’t begin until nine months after graduation or until enrollment drops to less than half time. Although in-school payments are not required, interest does accrue while in school. Students can make interest payments at anytime to reduce the final costs of their loan.

4. Credit Check. Unlike federal student loans, which do not require a credit check or cosigner, private student loans are based on creditworthiness. Approval for an undergraduate or graduate student loan with Discover Bank requires a satisfactory credit check. Students who cannot qualify for a loan based on their own credit history can add a cosigner to their loan application. This can include a parent or another person with a good credit history. The cosigner acts as a joint applicant and agrees to repay the student loan if the primary borrower defaults.

5. Payment Options. Discover offers several options to ensure the timely arrival of payments. Students can sign up for online banking and submit payments via the website, or mail in or submit a payment over the phone. Borrowers who set up automated monthly payments receive a 0.25% interest rate reduction.

Discover student loan sign in

Discover Student Loans feature grace periods between six and nine months, which allows time for you to find a job and prepare for student loan repayment. Timely payments are a must, as your account activity is reported to the credit bureaus each month. Defaulting on your loan can damage your credit score, as well as your cosigner’s credit score, if applicable. For this reason, it is important that you carefully manage your loan.

There are several practical ways to manage Discover Student Loans. Sign up for online banking and you can access your account from your home computer or mobile device. This is the simplest way to keep up with your due date, payments and balance.

You can also monitor your student loan with the help of third-party resources such as SALT. Available at no charge, this multichannel educational program provides college students and alums with tools and resources to take control of their personal finances and manage student loan debt. Once a SALT member, you can track all your federal and private loans in one place, plus compare repayment options.

Discover Bank Student Loans and Refinancing Review

Discover, often recognized as a leader among credit card and payment service companies, also offers student and personal loans. Here is an in-depth look at Discover Bank student loans and refinancing loans; how they work; how to apply, and the pros and cons.

If you are one of the millions of Americans holding a portion of the 1.3+ trillion dollars of student debt, Discover’s student loan consolidation product may be of interest to you.

Compare rates from multiple vetted lenders. Discover your lowest eligible rate.

Discover enables students to refinance their federal and private student loans into a private consolidation loan. The student applies with Discover and, if approved, can get a new loan to pay off their old loan(s).

Applicants are not required to consolidate all of their loans, but can include whichever ones they choose (that are qualified). The only cost is the interest. Discover does not charge an origination or application fee.

Mark Kantrowitz, Publisher and VP of Strategy at, adds that Discover’s consolidation loans offer competitive interest rates, auto-debit discounts, and death and disability discharges.

However, he says they do not allow for a cosigner release until the loan is paid in full, whereas some other lenders do.

Let’s take a look at who can qualify.

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • 18 years of age
  • Primary borrower on loans
  • Verifiable income
  • Credit check pass
  • S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have less than $150,000 in aggregate student loan debt (specific fields of study may have higher limits)

The following student loans are not eligible:

  • Loans originated outside the U.S.
  • Loans for K-12 school
  • Post-graduate loans
  • Loans that weren’t used for qualifying expenses
  • Loans received when the student was enrolled less than half-time

If you qualify, you have 30 days from pre-approval to accept the loan terms, and three days to cancel if you change your mind after signing the paperwork. After this three-day period, the old loans are paid off, and there is no possibility for reversal.

How long does it take to get a student loan from Discover?

The loan can take from 30 to 45 days to process. During this time, Discover will review your credit, you will sign loan documents, and you will provide Discover with payoff statements from your previous lenders.

You should continue to make payments on your previous loans until you get notified that the consolidation is complete. Your first payment to Discover will be due 30 to 45 days after the loan disbursement.

The repayment period, or the time you have to repay the consolidation loan, can range from 10 to 20 years, depending on your credit.

Is there any repayment assistance if I ever need it?

Yes, Discover does offer assistance for those in need. Options include:

  • Deferment: available for students in school at least half-time, those on active military duty, those serving in a public service organization, or those in a medical residency
  • Early Repayment Assistance Program: a three-month extension of your grace period
  • Payment extension: allows three minimum monthly payments within a 90-day period
  • Reduced payment: reduces payment to just the interest amount for up to six months
  • Forbearance: six months of forbearance given initially
  • Hardship: reduces the interest rate for six months

Yes, you can consolidate both private and federal student loans.

Yes, you can consolidate Discover student loans.

What is the interest rate on Discover Student Loans?

Your credit history determines the interest rate you will get. However, you will be able to choose between a fixed or variable rate. You may be able to lower your interest rate by applying with a cosigner.

How to apply for Discover Bank student loans and refinancing

You can apply over the phone or online.

1: To apply online, you will go to the Private Loan Consolidation page of the Discover website. Click “Apply Now.”

Discover student loan sign in

2: Next, you will need to provide your information.

Discover student loan sign in

3: Answer whether you are trying to refinance your own loans or loans for someone else.

Discover student loan sign in

4: Provide information about your degree.

Discover student loan sign in

5: Provide information on your loan.

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6: Provide your residence information.

Discover student loan sign in

7: Provide your employment information.

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8: Click continue and submit your application. Then, you will receive your offer.

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Flexible payment assistance options
  • No origination or application fees
  • Can apply online or over the phone; no need to visit a branch
  • Full coverage of student certified costs
  • Consolidate private and federal student loans
  • Multiple channels for customer support
  • Variable and fixed interest rates available
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction when enrolled in automatic payments

  • Won’t release cosigner until you repay the loan in full
  • Shorter forbearance period than some other lenders
  • May get a better rate with other lenders

Is Discover’s student loan consolidation offer right for you? It is an option that you should consider as it offers competitive interest rates, no additional fees, flexible payment options, and a convenient application process.

Will it be the best choice for everyone? Probably not. While the rates are competitive, it is best to shop around to find out if Discover can actually offer you the best deal.

Be sure to weigh interest rates and fees, along with other factors such as eligibility requirements, the ability to release a cosigner, and the forbearance period available.

To find out what rates you qualify for with Discover, click here.

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