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 the attention of students from all over the world. However, when it comes to living and studying in the country, students need sufficient money to pay for their expenses.


Applying for a student loan in Australia is simple today, and every student should take advantage of it. However, you need to keep certain things in mind before applying for a student loan.


Here we’ll discuss in detail about student 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


Keep in mind that you not only have to cover tuition fees but also other expenses, including, boarding, housing, insurance and general living expenses. So, be wise and spend some time to evaluate your financial needs before getting to 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 up a distance education course

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

  • You should have a part-time job

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

  • You need to get good grades, and you must be capable of completing your course in 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 of Australia

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

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

  • You should be financially strong so that you can 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 name of the student or parent. 



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


Here are some of the loans you can obtain in Australia to pay for 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 avail this loan. You have to repay this loan by the deadline agreed upon, but if you fail to do so, an interest rate of 2.5% will be applied.


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


  • Through this loan, you can expect to get up to $1500 in cash. 



Secured Personal Loan


  • To get this loan, you need to provide the 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 really expensive. All in all, the unsecured loan is flexible, and you can use it for a variety of purposes. 



Long-Term or General Purpose Loan


  • This loan is provided by both private banks and universities. It covers different expenses, apart from your tuition fees such as the cost of living, travel expenses, and more. As different banks offer this type of loan, you can borrow a larger amount 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 who is 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 here is that the car you purchased 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 are allowed to 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 can be used to buy a car, travel, manage 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, the minimum amount that you are allowed to borrow is $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 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 repayment of short term loans:


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

  • If the amount of loan 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 in the form of an online payment, cheque, cash, or money draft.

  • If you fail to repay the amount within seven days of the due date, a specific rate of interest 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 repayment of 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 in the form of online payments, cheques, or money drafts. 

  • If you fail to pay the university loan on the scheduled date, you may not be allowed to obtain your documents from the administration of your university, and you will also not be permitted to see the end 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 you graduate. 

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



If anything regarding obtaining or repaying a student loan in Australia is not clear to you and you have doubts, you should consult your financial advisor or the faculty of your university. You can even take guidance from previous graduates of your university who had taken a loan. 


Useful Links to Explore:  


Don't forget to share this post!

Please Subscribe to our Newsletter