Student Loans for International Students: A Complete Guide

International students are enquiring about medical student loans and their repayment options, including payment deferral.


Australia is known for its recognized schools, colleges, and universities, which grab students' attention worldwide. However, when it comes to living and studying in the country, students need sufficient money to pay for their expenses.


Applying for a student or personal loan in Australia is simple today, and every student should take advantage of it. However, you must remember certain things before applying for a student loan.


Here we'll discuss student, personal, and education loans in Australia for international students and how to get one.



1. Student Loans For International Students


The student loan system in Australia is called HELP (Higher Education Loan Program). It is an initiative by the Australian government that offers financial aid to students so that they can fund their education.


Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for HELP, but there are other sources through which they can get student loans. Here are two of them:


  • Universities 

  • Private Banks


Remember that you must cover tuition fees and other expenses, including boarding, housinginsurance and general living expenses. So, be wise and evaluate your financial needs before getting a loan.



2. Eligibility Criteria For Getting a University Loan 


  • You must have an Australian Visa.

  • You should not be in the final or first semester.

  • You should be a regular and full-time student at the university. You will not be eligible for a loan if you take a distance education course

  • You should have a solid academic record. You must get at least 18 credit points in one semester or 36 in one academic year. 

  • You should have a part-time job

  • You must prove your financial background and clear all your previous dues before applying for the loan. 

  • You need to get good grades and be capable of completing your course on time. 



3. Eligibility Criteria For Getting Student Loans From Private Banks


  • You should have an Australian Visa.

  • You need to reside in Australia.

  • You should have an account in a private bank in Australia

  • You must have a regular source of income. Remember, the monthly allowance from parents does not count. 

  • You need to secure admission to one of the universities approved by your bank. 

  • You should be financially strong to repay the loan on time. 

  • You have to provide security to the bank in the form of land or building, government securities or public sector bonds, or a bank deposit in the student or parent's name. 



4. Different Types of Student Loans That You Can Apply For


Here are some of the loans you can obtain in Australia to pay your tuition fees, including all the other additional expenses like travelling, the cost of living, and more.



Short-Term or Emergency Loans


  • Australian universities provide this type of loan to students who suddenly face a shortage of money. It is one of the interest-free student loans in Australia, and you don't need a guarantor to take advantage of this loan. You have to repay this loan by the agreed deadline, but an interest rate of 2.5% will be applied if you fail to do so.


  • To qualify for this loan, you must be a full-time student at an Australian university. Also, some universities may even require your current financial details to apply for the loan.  


  • You can expect up to $1500 in cash through this loan. 



Secured Personal Loan


  • To get this loan, you need to provide a bank guarantee by attaching an asset to your loan, such as a car or any other valuable property. The interest rate for a secured personal loan can be variable or fixed, but it is usually low. If you fail to pay the loan on time, the asset you've attached to the loan will belong to the bank. 



Unsecured Loan


  • With this type of loan, you don't have to give any collateral in exchange for the loan offered. But you will have to pay a higher rate of interest, which can get expensive. All in all, the unsecured loan is flexible, and you can use it for various purposes. 



Long-Term or General Purpose Loan


  • Both private banks and universities provide this loan. It covers different expenses, apart from your tuition fees, such as the cost of living and travel expenses. As other banks offer this type of loan, you can borrow more than emergency loans. 


  • You can get a general-purpose loan of up to $4000 to $8,000 from a university, and you can borrow a higher amount from a bank. Remember, universities provide interest-free general-purpose loans, but you need to pay interest to the bank. 



Medical Student Loan


  • A medical student loan in Australia can be used by a student pursuing a medical or dental degree. If you can fulfil the qualification criteria, you can obtain this loan in your final year or use it to pay for your tuition fees or other expenses like the cost of living, debts, and more. 



Car Loan


  • There are many lenders in Australia that offer car loans to international students. However, the catch is that your purchased car will be attached as collateral to your loan. The rate of interest for this type of loan is highly competitive. 



Payday Loan


  • Payday loans are a type of short-term emergency loan provided by banks in Australia. You can get this loan if you have a part-time job, a poor credit history, or are a benefit recipient. With a payday loan, you can borrow a small amount of money.



5. Top Private Student Loans Available For International Students


Here are the top two private student loans offered by banks in Australia:



Westpac Unsecured Personal Loan


The Westpac unsecured loan is great for buying a car, travelling, managing your debts, etc. This loan requires you to meet the following eligibility criteria:


  • You must be 18 years of age or above.

  • You must have approved employment in Australia

  • You need to have a regular or permanent source of income. 

  • You should have an acceptable visa or need to be a permanent resident in Australia.



Information Required by The Bank:


  • Name, phone number, and address of the current employer.

  • Any running debts

  • Investment details

  • Weekly details of after-tax income

  • Details of everyday expenses



ANZ Fixed Rate Personal Loan


You can use ANZ student loans in Australia to buy a car, repay your debts, travel or renovate your home. With this type of loan, you can only borrow $5000. This loan requires you to meet the following eligibility criteria:


  • You need to be 18 years of age or above.

  • You should be employed, and your job should pay you a minimum of $15,000 per year.

  • You need to have a valid visa or be an Australian resident. 



Information Required by The Bank:


  • ANZ account number (if you have one)

  • A copy of your driver's license (if you have one)

  • Employment and income details



6. How to Repay Your International Student Loan in Australia?


There are different rules and regulations to repay your short-term and long-term loans in Australia. Let's have a look:



Terms and Conditions For Repaying Short-Term Loans:


  • You must repay the amount within six months from the date the loan was approved. 

  • If the loan amount is higher than usual, you might be allowed to pay the loan within one year (this is only valid for exceptional circumstances).

  • You can repay the loan through online payment, cheque, cash, or money draft.

  • If you fail to repay the amount within seven days of the due date, a specific interest rate will be applied, which may vary depending on your university. 

  • Failure to pay the loan on time will have a negative impact and can add to your debt.



Terms and Conditions For Repaying Long-Term Loans:


  • You can repay long-term loans in fortnightly or monthly instalments, depending on what is agreed.

  • You need to pay the amount in full as soon as your course duration is over.

  • You can pay long-term loans through online payments, cheques, or money drafts. 

  • When you fail to pay the university loan on the scheduled date, you may not be allowed to obtain your documents from your university's administration. You will also not be permitted to see the results. 

  • An interest rate of 12% per annum may apply if you fail to pay the loan amount to the university.

  • For long-term bank loans, you may be allowed to repay the amount after graduation or a year or two after graduation. 

  • If you fail to pay long-term university loans on time, your guarantor (parent, relative, or friend) will be asked to repay the loan on your behalf. 


You should consult your university's financial advisor or faculty if anything regarding obtaining or repaying a student loan in Australia is unclear to you and if you have doubts. You can even take guidance from previous graduates of your university who had taken a loan. 


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