How Can J-1, H-1B, E-2, O-1, or TN Refinance Their Student Loans? — MYRA: Personal Finance for Immigrants

How Can J-1, H-1B, E-2, O-1, or TN Refinance Their Student Loans? —


If you simply graduated from a US school or graduate faculty as a global student, it’s possible you’ll be beginning to discover making funds in your student loans. In some instances, it’s possible you’ll discover that your funds are fairly excessive or it’s possible you’ll surprise if you happen to can swap to a decrease rate of interest. 

International students are eligible to refinance their student loans below sure circumstances.

What is student loan refinancing?

Student loan refinancing means paying off your present student loan with a brand new loan. Compared to the unique loan, the brand new loan has a decrease rate of interest and higher phrases like decrease month-to-month funds. 

Refinancing is a strategic approach to make loan funds extra manageable, cut back curiosity funds or get out of debt sooner. 

Why would worldwide students need to refinance student loans?

After finishing your US schooling, you will have extra loan choices. You could think about refinancing to switch the phrases of your worldwide student loan and to reap the benefits of higher loan phrases.

Your required month-to-month funds are too excessive 

If you’re struggling to fulfill your required month-to-month student loan funds, refinancing is a doable answer. For occasion, it’s important to pay $600 each month, however you’d be extra snug with paying solely $400. 

In this case, refinancing could assist in two methods: it might cut back the curiosity which can cut back the month-to-month cost or it might lengthen the time period of the loan (the variety of years) which can cut back the month-to-month cost (or it might do each)

Your curiosity is simply too excessive 

Refinancing may help you reap the benefits of decrease charges. Interest charges for worldwide student loans may be 8% and even increased. Certain lenders cater specifically to worldwide students together with Prodigy Finance and Quorum Federal Credit Union. Each of them normally lends at round 8-9%. If you refinance, it’s possible you’ll be eligible for charges as little as 4%. 

For occasion, you borrowed $78K at 8.25% for 20 years. If you’ve the choice to refinance at 6.55% when your steadiness is $60K, it can save you round $18K in curiosity.

You need to pay much less curiosity general and repay the loan sooner

Most worldwide student loans have a most time period of 20 years. If you refinance at a decrease price and cut back the time period, you possibly can repay the loan sooner. The month-to-month funds could also be increased however you’ll be debt free in a shorter period of time. 

You need to launch a cosigner 

If you utilized for a student loan with a cosigner and your lender has no cosigner launch program, it’s possible you’ll need to think about refinancing. When you refinance the loan, you might be able to prepare for the loan to be in your identify solely or add a brand new cosigner. Adding a cosigner could entitle you to a decrease rate of interest or higher loan phrases.

Challenges US Visa Holders Face When Trying to Refinance Student Loans

Refinancing could also be an choice, however worldwide students generally discover that they’ll have bother being authorised. If you’re a non-citizen staying within the US on a short lived visa, lenders think about you a comparatively high-risk shopper for quite a lot of causes.

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People with inadequate credit historical past have bother getting authorised for student loan refinancing

Having a credit rating of at the least 690 will increase your eligibility for worldwide student loan refinancing. While it’s powerful to construct your credit historical past whereas learning it’s nonetheless doable. Some issues you are able to do embrace:

 You must also have a credit historical past of at the least two years. Without proof of credit historical past, lenders could also be skeptical about permitting you to refinance your loan onto their books.

Related Article | How US Immigrants Can Build Their Credit Score

International students usually don’t have a US cosigner

Having a co-signer who’s a US citizen or a everlasting resident with a credit score of at the least 690 may enhance your probabilities of getting authorised for higher refinancing phrases. Your co-signer can pay the loan if you happen to default and so they add one other layer of safety for the lender.

 Without a cosigner, you’ll have to show your personal creditworthiness by enhancing your private credit rating. This may be difficult for worldwide students and US visa holders to do however it’s doable.

International students could have momentary standing within the US

Non-citizens who usually are not everlasting residents pose extra danger to a lender. If you aren’t a everlasting resident or a Green Card holder, your keep within the nation relies on your visa renewal. Even when you’ve got a piece visa, there’s a risk that your visa is not going to be renewed or prolonged. At current, there’s a lot uncertainty in regards to the standing of momentary visa holders within the US. This can also be one motive why most banks would require a cosigner who’s a US citizen or a everlasting resident.

Related Article: How Much Income Tax Will I Pay While Working On An H-1B Visa? 

Lenders think about worldwide students “high risk” as a result of they could depart the US completely

If you default in your loan and you permit the nation with no plans of returning, it’s difficult for a lender to pressure you to pay. Your US credit historical past might be affected for the subsequent seven years, however that won’t deter you. For this motive, lenders think about you excessive danger and should not need to refinance your loan.

What do you normally have to refinance student loans?

Eligibility necessities for student loan refinancing are typically stricter than the necessities for the preliminary disbursement of student loans for tuition. Each lender has completely different guidelines about who can refinance student loans. Lenders will search for the next traits in a refinancing utility to find out whether or not they can approve you:

Permanent Employment with a Stable Company

You can have higher probabilities of getting decrease rates of interest when you’ve got a job provide or you’ve secured employment in a secure firm. 

It isn’t sufficient so that you can be employed. Your employment will have to be with a secure and established firm. Lenders could draw back from refinancing your loans if you happen to work at a small or unstable firm. Lenders may have a look at the kind of work that you simply do and gauge whether or not it will be simple so that you can discover a new job if you happen to get fired.

READ:   Student Loans & Credit Reports

Debt-to-Income Ratio of No More Than 43%

Your debt-to-income ratio is likely one of the issues lenders will think about. This ratio is computed by dividing your month-to-month debt funds by your gross month-to-month earnings. If your debt ratio is lower than 43%, you’ve the next probability of with the ability to refinance. What is a debt ratio? For instance when you’ve got a $1000/mo hire cost and a $200/mo auto cost and also you earn $5000/mo, your debt ratio is $1200 divided by $5000 or 24%. A bank will have a look at your debt ratio and decide that you’ve got lots left over each month to make funds on a further debt. 

Credit Score of at Least 690

In the US, most lenders will solely think about your US credit document. If you haven’t invested in constructing a powerful credit historical past within the US, it is best to try this earlier than you apply for refinancing. 

Valid Visa With Likely Renewal

On the date you apply for student loan refinancing, you could have a sound visa with a validity of at the least two years. If your visa is ending quickly, it is best to renew it previous to making use of for refinancing in order that the lender isn’t involved about your capacity to remain within the US. 

Related Article: How to Pick Visitors Insurance For Family Visiting The US?

Strategies for International Students Looking to Refinance Student Loans

There are a number of methods to refinance your student loan if you’re on the lookout for a greater cost plan. These choices embrace the next.

 Option 1: Take a low-interest loan from a member of the family or buddy

If you’ve a buddy or member of the family with the sources and who’s keen, you might be able to provide them a chance that can assist you refinance your student loan and obtain curiosity earnings in change. 

If you resolve to do that, it’s best to have an lawyer draft the contract and ensure all the pieces is in writing together with the phrases of the loan, the month-to-month cost, any penalties, and the rate of interest. 

For written household loan contracts, try to be cautious to pick out a sensible rate of interest. If the curiosity is simply too low, the IRS could think about the loan a present and could also be topic to reward tax. 

Take observe that the donor has to pay the reward tax. US residents, Green Card holders, resident aliens and nonresident aliens may give as much as $15K with out paying any reward tax. Except for nonresident aliens, the surplus will depend in the direction of the lifetime property tax exclusion of $11.4M (just lately raised within the 2018 tax legislation and expires in 2025. The exclusion could also be lowered sooner or later).

Option 2: Apply for a private loan to repay your worldwide student loan

There are a number of choices for US visa holders to take out private loans. If you’re strategic, you should utilize these loans to repay your student loan. You may resolve to do that if the rate of interest you’re supplied on a private loan is best than the rate of interest in your student loan. 

READ:   How to Defer Student Loans When You're Going Back to School

However, this technique has disadvantages. By doing this, your new loan might be a private loan, not a certified student loan. For some taxpayers, as much as $2500 of student loan curiosity paid annually is tax deductible, and you’d lose this tax profit if choose to remodel your student loan into a private loan. The curiosity on private loans isn’t deductible.

Related Article: Can I take the student loan curiosity deduction if my loan was from a non-US bank?

Some lenders that refinance worldwide student loans into private loans embrace:

Avant Loans 

  • Considers non-citizen loan candidates

  • Requirements embrace: 

  • Interest charges: Varies by state and is normally between 9.95% to 35.99%

  • Learn extra right here: 

Nomad Loans 

  • Serves as a market matching each US residents and non-citizens to lenders

  • Requirements fluctuate by lender 

  • Interest charges: As low as 4.24%

  • Learn extra right here:

Option 3: Refinance your worldwide student loan via a personal student lender 

J-1, H-1B, E-2, O-1 or TN visa holders might be able to personal student loan refinancing from choose firms. These firms embrace:


  • Offers refinancing for H-1B, J-1, L-1, E-2, and E-3 visa holders 

  • Requirements embrace: 

  • Interest charges: 2.49% to eight.07% APR

  • Learn extra right here:

Prodigy Finance

  • Offers refinancing for worldwide students learning within the UK or the US with an F1-OPT, H1B, L1 and O-1 visa and different legitimate visa sorts for worldwide students

  • Requirements embrace: 

    • UK or US tackle. If you’re within the US, it is best to dwell in certainly one of these states: AK, CO, DC, FL, GA, IL, KS, KY, MD, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI. UK residents ought to pursue a program within the UK and US residents must be learning within the US.

    • Graduate of a college supported by Prodigy

    • I-20 Form

  • Interest charges: 4% plus LIBOR price (at present at 2.5%) capped at 25%

  • Learn extra right here:


  • Offers refinancing for US residents, Green Card Holders, and people holding a J-1, H-1B, E-2, O-1, or TN visa with at the least two years earlier than visa expiry

  • Requirements embrace: 

    • Employed, has enough earnings from different sources or has a job provide with a begin date of inside 90 days from the date of the loan utility

    • Strong month-to-month money move

    • Responsible monetary historical past

  • Interest charges: 2.49% to 9.95%

  • Learn extra right here:

Laurel Road

  • Offers refinancing for US citizen or a resident alien with a Green Card who can current a Valid I-55 Form.

  • Requirements embrace: 

  • Interest charges: 2.55% to 7.02%

  • Learn extra right here:

Related Article: International Student Employment Options After Graduation

Related Article: What You Need To Know About Money And Student Visas

Consider All International Student Loan Refinancing Options Wisely

International student loan refinancing could also be difficult however it’s price pursuing a greater rate of interest if you could find one. Before you progress ahead with refinancing, you should definitely think about the brand new rate of interest, loan time period, any lender charges, and tax implications. An skilled monetary and tax advisor like MYRA may help level you in the best route about whether or not and easy methods to refinance your worldwide student loans. 

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