Student loans exist to provide financial support to those that need it. It’s an important resource that can make the difference between attending university or not. And for an international student, this can mean traveling outside one’s home country for perhaps the very first time. It’s important to understand that resources exist, so let’s explore the steps you should take to apply for a loan as an international student.
Before setting off abroad, it’s essential to know the costs associated with both your specific programme and your university life as a whole. You should visit your course website to understand what tuition fees will be charged for each academic year. As an individual from abroad you will most likely be paying an additional international student fee to attend the uni. So be sure to look up all associated costs.
Next, you should take into account all of the funds needed to cover your student life beyond tuition. This can mean the costs associated with accommodation (whether you live in the university halls or your own flat) as well as your expected utility bills such as electricity and gas. Next, budget your additional living expenditures such as internet, a mobile phone plan, TV licensing, food and transportation.
Once you’ve compiled a complete budget for your expected expenses, add this to your tuition fees in order to gain an overall understanding of the amount of funds you will need to cover your time abroad. Though costs of living can vary significantly by location, it’s essential to get an accurate budget so that you can plan ahead accordingly. Most universities will provide a budgeting information that is specific to the uni’s area or you can look up average costs from a student budgeting site.
How to apply
Once you’ve gotten a general idea of the budget needed to cover your time abroad, you should research how to fund this experience. Some students rely on family support but this is not always available. You may also find that many of your university’s bursaries and scholarships are not made available to international students. This can be true for government maintenance loans as well. So with all of this considered, you may find that a private student loan may be best for your situation.
Companies like Future Finance exist to provide bridge the funding gap for students, including non-natives. There are only a few initial requirements before applying. The first is that you need to be at least 18 years old in order to apply. The second requirement is that you must be a UK resident and be enrolled in an accredited UK university or eligible institution. You should have received an official enrolment confirmation from your university that certifies this information.
Finally, for certain applicants, it may be required that you provide a UK-based guarantor for your loan. While not necessary for everyone, this means that you would need to have another individual accept financial responsibility should you be unable to pay. This is typically delegated to a family member or another adult whom you highly trust.
Make the most of your time abroad
While exploring ways to finance your student life can be a stressful endeavour, rest assured that even as an international student, options exist to help you make the most of your time abroad. This is a great opportunity that will allow you to become immersed in another culture and Future Finance is here to help you take the steps needed to make this a reality.