Foreign Enrolled Student Loans for US Citizens

Students now have the opportunity to receive a great education from colleges all over the world thanks to the world of international education. Finding the money to attend a foreign university, even though it is frequently less expensive than receiving a degree in the US, is nonetheless a frequent obstacle for US students who consider this option. You do have options when it comes to financial help if you’re one of the many US students having trouble raising money to pursue your degree abroad; we examine those options here and give you a loan search tool to get you started.


For eligible US citizens or legal permanent residents who are enrolled full-time in an eligible college or university outside of their home country, private overseas enrolled student loans are made available through private lenders. Foreign students are enrolled directly in the school overseas and often intend to finish their degree from the international school they are enrolled in, as opposed to students who plan to study abroad through their US school for a semester or a year.


Students can apply for a private loan for a qualified overseas school up to their complete cost of attendance, less any other financial aid they may have received. Private foreign enrolled loans are made available directly to your school and are intended to pay for common educational-related costs like those mentioned above.

  • Tuition & Fees
  • Room & Board
  • Books & Supplies
  • Health Insurance
  • Travel Expenses

Student Eligibility

Foreign enrolled loans require the borrower to be a US citizen or permanent resident that is enrolled directly in an eligible institution outside the US. However, there might be additional requirements including those around credit history; every lender will have varying requirements on who is eligible to apply for a foreign enrolled loan during their international education. The most accurate way to know if you’re eligible to apply is to first find a lender.

Eligible Institutions

Universities in many different countries are on the list for eligible foreign enrolled students to apply for a private student loan to study internationally. Schools must be approved by the US Department of Education to offer private international student loans. We have helped make the process of finding a lender easy for students with our loan search tool. See if the school you plan to attend outside the US is on the list by entering your basic information including the school name; a list of available lenders will then appear for you to explore. If your international school is not on the list, unfortunately we do not have a foreign enrolled loan available for that institution. If you contact the school directly they may have additional financial aid solutions for you.

Federal Foreign Enrolled Loans

Keep in mind that although private foreign enrolled loans can help when federal aid isn’t available, the first stop for any US student, whether studying in the US or around the globe, is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid _(_FAFSA). FAFSA allows American students to see what federal funding options are available to them from the US government. Schools must be accredited by an agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education and approved to participate in the US federal student loan and aid programs. Students studying outside of the US will not be eligible for grants like the Pell Grant, however, they may be eligible for federal loans including:

  • Direct Stafford Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized)
  • Parent PLUS
  • Graduate PLUS
US federal loans are offered at a low interest rate and should be considered as a first loan choice after all scholarship options have been utilized. The maximum annual borrowed amount for federal aid will be based on a number of factors including your total cost of attendance, grade level, status as a dependent or independent student, and your status as an undergraduate or a graduate student; for undergraduate students the range is typically between $5,500 and $12,500 annually, for graduate students typically up to $20,500 annually. Students who still need funds after federal loan options have been explored often turn to foreign enrolled loans through a private lender to fill the gap.