Student Loans for International Students: A Complete Guide
International students in Australia opt to study further in the country for many reasons: To land a job in Australia, to extend their stay in the country, advance in their current jobs etc. However, for a majority of students, their financial situation obstructs their way forward. Though the course fees are relatively less in Australia compared to its western counterparts, most of the students still require external financial support.
Can international students get education loan in Australia?' is one of the most frequently asked (or rather googled) questions. The straightforward, quite disappointing answer to this question is 'No'. Australia doesn't offer education loan to international students. You can't avail support from the HELP program either which helps domestic students with their financial needs. The reason for this is a no-brainer. International students are temporary residents in the country, only a small percentage of them gets to stay back in the country. So, it's a high risk for the banks to lend them education loans. Even if you work part-time, the banks don't consider the salary as a reliable source of income to pay back their loans. So, it is nearly impossible for an international student to avail education loan in a foreign country, not only in Australia.
But, this doesn't mean all doors are shut for foreign students in Australia. If you are one of those students seeking funds to study further, here are some of the suggestions we have for you.
Loan from your home country
Of all the options available, approaching your home branch for a loan is highly likely to yield success. You are a low-risk prospect to the banks in your home country than the ones in Australia. Especially, the bank in which you maintain an account and repaid loans in the past would be happy to have you back. Unless you haven't maxed out your limits at the bank, it is always good to go back to them for more money. Countries have different policies on education loans. Up to a certain limit, the bank may issue loans without a cosigner or collateral. But, if your needs are higher, they might demand a guarantor or a property as collateral.
As a student, if you secure a loan from your home country and you land a job in Australia, it would be easy to pay the loan back in future. Earn in Australian dollars, pay in your currency!
If it's not clicking with your home bank, check out the interest rates of other banks on education loans and apply to the ones with the lowest rate.
On top of scholarships and bursaries, many top Australian universities offer loans to international students. To receive this support, a student must be residing in Australia and pursuing a full-time course in the university. These loans aim to support students at difficult times covering their basic expenses. Students can show proof to the university that they are not financially sound to pay for study-related expenses.
University loans are generally interest-free and issued to students who have a steady source of income. Universities lend up to $3000 and have their own repayment terms. Check out the university website to understand their eligibility terms and conditions.
For a loan amount of more than $500, you may be asked to produce a guarantor who is either an Australian citizen or a permanent resident.
Personal loans are an option for students who work in Australia with an approved employer and earn a taxable income. You can get different loans like home loan, car loan, payday loan etc.
Like the banks in any other country, banks require documents such as your visa information, your payslips, your employer and employment information to assess your eligibility. You may need a cosigner when you apply for a higher loan amount.
You can use this money to pay your tuition fees.
Australia has four major banks called the Big 4 - Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, Australia New Zealand (ANZ) and National Australia Bank (NAB). You can check their loan structures and go with the one that works for you. There are other financial institutions that lend loan to non-Australian residents.
There are a set of temporary visas that are accepted by banks when a loan application is made. If you are on one of those visas and you hold a job with a regular income, your chances are better.
For instance, Westpac accepts the following visas
100 Partner visa
103 Parent visa
115 Remaining Relative visa
124 Distinguished Talent visa
132 Business Talent visa
143 Contributory Parent visa
151 Former Resident visa
155 Resident Return visa
176 Skilled Sponsored visa
187 Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme visa
188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa
190 Skilled Nominated visa
457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa
482 STSOL Temporary Skill Shortage visa (Short Term skilled occupation list)
visa (Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List)
487 Skilled Regional Sponsored visa
489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa
801 Partner (Permanent) visa
820 Partner visa
835 Remaining Relative visa
856 Employer Nomination Scheme visa
857 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa
858 Distinguished Talent visa
887 Skilled regional visa
888 Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa
890 Business Owner visa
892 State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner visa
893 State/Territory Sponsored Investor visa
While applying to study your next course, seek help from an experienced education counsellor. They listen to your goals, understand current circumstances and suggest the right path ahead. You can get from them information about scholarships, bursaries and other forms of financial support from the government and institutions. Make use of those opportunities and bring down your study costs. If you are now considering studying in Australia further, book an appointment with our expert counsellors and achieve your goals smartly.