ISL is an alternative loan program for international students to study at approved US colleges and universities. The loans offered by ISL are funded by PNC Bank and guaranteed by The Education Resources Institute (TERI). Students may borrow up to the full cost of education, including tuition, fees, and room and board.
International Student Loan Fast Facts
- US co-signer required: International student loans require a US citizen or permanent resident (Green card holder) as a co-signer. The loans are credit-based, meaning the co-signer must have good credit history, good employment history (or other income history if the co-signer does not work), and must have lived in the United States for the past two years.
- Funds are paid directly to the student: Loan funds are paid to you, not to the school. This is a great feature in that you can use the funds for living expenses – but it also means that it is up to you to use the funds responsibly.
- Repayment: Repayment of an international student loan can be deferred while you are in school and for six months after you finish school. After that, you will have up to 20 years to repay the loan, with a payment due every month.
- Proof of Finances: You can use the loan approval in order to satisfy the school and visa requirement of showing one year's financial resources. You can apply for the loan without the proof of enrollment from your school and receive conditional approval. You can then provide your school with the pre-approval from the lender to confirm that you will have the necessary funds.
- Interest rates: Interest rates are variable, based on the LIBOR plus a margin. LIBOR is always several points below prime, so the margin is from 3.5% to 7.75%, and will be set by the lender based on the credit history of your co-signer and the repayment plan you select. The better your co-signer's credit, the better your rate! LIBOR changes monthly, up or down, so the rate will be reset monthly. Note: When evaluating a loan program, it is important to carefully compare the costs. Some loans have interest rates pegged to the 91-day T-Bill Rate. Others use the Prime Lending Rate, which is approximately two to four percentage points higher.
- Online application: You can apply online or by phone and receive an almost immediate response as to whether you are conditionally approved for a loan. You then will need to sign the promissory note and provide proof of enrollment and immigration status to receive your funds.
- No application fees: There are no application fees to apply for an international student loan. There is an origination fee if you receive the loan, but that amount is rolled into the loan amount and does not have to be paid out of pocket.