We all love True or False questions! You have a 50/50 chance at getting the question correct, don’t you? But what if someone could help you improve your chances beyond the flip of a coin? What if we could remove 50% of your doubt on questions around an important topic like “Student Loans”?
Join us on a little journey as we debunk myths and answer questions that many MBA students encounter as they look to fund their programs. Let’s do it!
1. True or False: I can get a loan for tuition AND living expenses.
TRUE. You can borrow funds for tuition, fees and living expenses up to the school approved Cost of Attendance budget. Be sure to check with the school for any budget appeals as all loans in the US must be certified and approved by the school.
2. True or False: I need to show assets to secure a loan.
FALSE. Many lenders will offer loans to students with a co-signer or with the school as the guarantor. Some newer and innovative peer-to-peer lenders will assess students on their future potential and not require any collateral or co-signors.
3. True or False: Interest rate is the only thing that I should look for in a loan offer.
FALSE. While interest rate is a very important component of the loan offer that will determine your monthly payments, students must consider all fees and interest accruals when comparing offers. Most lenders will be required to share the APR (annual percentage rate), which will provide the effect of all costs of financing.
4. True or False: I must notify my school that I am taking a loan.
TRUE. In the US, students must complete a Financial Aid form with their school, confirming any loans or financial aid that they will be using to fulfill their program budget.
5. True or False: I can get all of the money upfront.
FALSE. All US schools require that the loan proceeds are disbursed according to the school schedule and will often split the funds evenly over the program terms. Please contact the school’s financial aid office for any special arrangements.
6. True or False: The length of the loan’s term and the loan’s total interest cost have an inverse relationship.
TRUE. While a loan with a longer term (i.e. 20 years vs. 10 years) will provide the borrower with more flexibility and lower monthly payments, the total interest cost over the life of the loan will be significantly greater than a shorter loan term. Make sure to consider the best option for your budget.
7. True or False: I can use a Letter of Confirmation from the lender for my VISA application.
TRUE. Once you have completed your loan application and received an approved offer, lenders can provide you with the Letter of Confirmation that can be used for your I-20 form and VISA application.
8. True or False: I need to repay my loans immediately.
FALSE. Most lenders will not require repayment during school and many will offer a grace period of 6 to 9 months following graduation. Be sure to read the details of the loan offer regarding early repayment and any associated fees.
9. True or False: I don’t have to pay back my loan.
FALSE. While there are a few special loan forgiveness programs available, loans must be repaid in the provided term of 10 to 20 years depending on the offer. If the borrower encounters problems making their monthly repayments, many lenders will offer forbearance arrangements for financial hardship, health issues or extraordinary circumstances.
10. True or False: US loans must be repaid in USD.
TRUE. Loans offered in the US must be repaid in USD, so make sure to think about how you will repay your loans if you return to your home country outside of the US. Many lenders offer a variety of repayment methods to make it as easy as possible, but currency fluctuations will be the responsibility of the borrower.
So, how did you score?
Your education is too important for a guessing game, so make sure you get the facts as you are preparing for your MBA. To learn more about how you can fund your program, sign up to join the Accepted Webinar “How to Fund Your MBA Abroad” on November 4th, 2015 at 1PM EST.
Joel Frisch is Prodigy Finance‘s Director of Business Development in the US. Prior to Prodigy, he has spent his career in financial services and employee management solutions. Joel is a lifelong teacher with a goal of spreading financial literacy.