Can I Get Student Loans As An African Living In Europe?

However, many students who do not qualify for scholarship opportunities or receive grants often rely on student loans to fund their higher education expenses.

Access to quality education does not come easy as it is expensive, and for many people, it seems unaffordable without any help or assistance.

In this way, student loan facilities are set up to help students; whether undergraduate or otherwise, get a quality education without any unnecessary strain on their financial capacity.

What Are Student Loans?

Student Loans serve as financial aid given to students by government, or private loan facilities to help cover the expenses of their education.

Student Loans cover aspects like tuition, book fees, maintenance cost e.t.c all through your studies.

Unlike grants or scholarships, student loans will be repaid but the repayment terms and conditions are dependent on the loan provider.

Generally, the loans are paid on a monthly or biweekly basis and payments span from 5 years to as much as 20 years depending on your loan service provider.

Advantages Of Student Loans

Different benefits can be enjoyed when you apply for a student loan to help with your studies. Some of them include:

  1. Lower interest rate

Student loans generally come with a lower interest rate which makes it a more affordable and reasonable option when compared to other loan facilities. Loan providers understand that students are the ones applying for the job and it is not a business venture. When you apply for a student loan, the interest rate you’d be given will be low, but the figure depends on your loan service provider.

  1. Covers other aspects

Student loans cover more than just tuition. Although the amount of the loan and the type of loan may differ according to the different loan services, the difference may not be as wide. However, some of the student loan providers disburse the funds directly into the school’s account to now be remunerated to the student.

  1. Ease of Application Process.

The application for student loans is done online making it easy for students to apply from anywhere without location being a barrier.

Student Loans For International Students.

International students are also called foreign students. They are students who go abroad to study. They take part or all of their tertiary education in a country that is different from their home country.

As an African student who desires to study abroad or as an African student currently living in Europe and desires to further your studies abroad, you might be wondering if there are any student loan options available for you.

The answer is yes.

Although some student loans are open to indigenes, there are also student loan options open for international students too.

However, some student loan facilities require a cosigner before approval. Most times, the cosigner has to meet the requirements below:

  • A good credit score
  • Steady Income
  • Favourable 15% or less debt-to-income ratio
  • A resident of the host country

This implies that it is possible for African students living in Europe to apply for and get student loans to aid their education journey as long as they meet up with the requirement stated by the student loan provider.

How To Apply For Student Loans

As stated above, the application process for student loans is online and this reduces the stress attached to it. It is however necessary to get the documents needed during the process.

As an African student living in Europe who wants to apply for student loans, the first step is the check the different student loan providers and pick the one that is most suitable for you.

Before picking a loan service provider, consider factors like:

  • Supported schools: check if your school is among the list of schools the loan service provider is affiliated with.
  • Maximum amount: check the maximum and minimum amount they offer, and see if it tallies with your budget.
  • Ease of application process: What is the application process like? Is it suitable for you? Consider these questions.
  • Eligibility condition: do you meet the eligibility requirements? Do you have all the necessary documents they are requesting for?
  • Eligible countries: is your country of origin and the country where your school is situated endorsed by the loan service provider?
  • What do the loans cover: does it only cover tuition? Is the maintenance fee also included?
  • Repayment term: how flexible is the repayment plan? How possible will it be for you to meet up so you do not default?
  • Supported programmes: is the course of study and certification you are pursuing endorsed by the loan service provider:
  • Interest rate: What is their interest rate like? Is it affordable?

These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before going on ahead to pick a loan service provider for your student loan.

Types Of Student Loans

There are two major types of student loans, the other ones fall under any of these two. They are:

  • Federal student loans
  • Private student loans

Federal Student Loans

Federal loans are sponsored by the government but they are mostly for the indigenous people of a country who are studying in that particular country.

For African students living in Europe, it might not be possible to get access to federal loans, except if you have become a citizen of that country.

However, there are international loan options available to you that are equally effective. Examples include direct subsidized loans, direct unsubsidized loans, direct grad PLUS, direct parent PLUS, and direct consolidation.

Private Student Loans

Private loans on the other hand are offered by private lenders and African students living in Europe who want to apply for student loans can opt for this option. Examples include undergraduate loans, graduate loans, income share agreements, and career training and trade school loans.

Federal Student Loans                     Vs                    Private Student Loans

Lower interest rates Interest rates are higher
Income-driven repayment plans Fixed repayment plans
Access to federal loan forgiveness programs Does not offer any federal loan forgiveness option.


Loan Options For Africans Living In Europe

Having considered the different types of loans and the loans available to African students living in Europe, let’s now look at some loan service providers that offer international student loans.

1. Prodigy Finance

Prodigy Finance was founded in 2007 and it is a Fintech organization with an office in London, United Kingdom. So far, Prodigy Finance has disbursed over $1.4 billion. The 2022 impact report from Prodigy Finance states that they have served over 28,000 students globally in 850 schools in 150 countries. They do not require any collateral or cosigner.

Supported schoolsProdigy Finance currently supports about 850 schools in 150 different countries.

Maximum amount: the amount to be borrowed is dependent on the school and the course of study but can cover up to 100% of the tuition and living expenses.

Ease of application process: the application process for Prodigy students is online.

Eligibility conditions: The basic requirements to endorse eligibility include:

  • Must be admitted to a school and programme in the US, Canada & the UK supported by Prodigy Financing.
  • Must be willing to study abroad.
  • Must reside in one of the countries supported by Prodigy Financing.

Eligible countries: Prodigy Finance supports about 800 schools offering Master’s courses in the various programmes listed above.

Repayment term: Payment doesn’t start until 6 months after studies if you study abroad on a Prodigy loan. They have a flexible repayment term of 7 to 20 years

Supported programmes:  Prodigy Finance currently supports programmes in Business, STEM, public policy, law and health science courses. To get begin the Prodigy application process, click here. 

Interest rate:  the minimum annual percentage rate (APR) they offer is 11.18%. Individual rates differ according to the circumstances, the loan amount and the term. The average APR for student loans is 14.88%.

2. Lendwise

Lendwise is a private loan provider in the U.K. They also offer loans to international students. This means that African students living in Europe can apply for international student loans. They are also committed to providing education aid by offering loans to U.K. residents to help fund their postgraduate, short courses or professional qualifications in top schools in the U.K. They also do not require a guarantor or a cosigner.

Supported schools: Lendwise supports schools in the U.K.

Maximum amount: Students can borrow from $5,000 to as much as $100,000 but terms and conditions apply.

Ease of application process: the application process is equally online. To begin the application process, click this link.

Eligibility condition:  As an international student who wants to apply for a loan, you are to meet the following conditions:

  • PDF of your Local credit report dated in the last 30 days after submitting your application
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Postgraduate students, be between 23-25 years.

To know more about the eligibility criteria, click here.

Eligible countries: Lendwise offers loans to U.K. residents, however, other European or international candidates can equally apply for loans if they have an offer from a U.K. university.

What do the loans cover: Lendwise loans primarily only cover tuition fees. However, a small maintenance fee can be included and disbursed into the student’s account when they start the course.

Repayment term: The repayment period is 10 years.

Supported programmes:  Lendwise supports postgraduate programmes in the U.K. To know more about the schools and programmes they support, click this link.

Interest rate: They have a fixed interest rate that ranges from 7% to 12%. The interest rate differ based on the type of loan you are applying for.

3. HSBC Student Loan

HSBC Student Loan is equally another student loan provider in the U.K. They offer loans to graduate and postgraduate students. International students can also apply for loans from them.

Supported schools: they equally support schools in the U.K.

Minimum amount: The minimum amount they offer is $5,000.

Ease of application process: The application process is equally online.

Eligibility condition:  To know more about the eligibility requirements, click this link.

Eligible countries: they are open to students in the U.K na international students.

What do the loans cover: the loans cover your tuition fees and living expenses.

Repayment term: repayment term is within 7 to 10 years.

Supported programmes:  they support graduate and undergraduate programs too.

Interest rate: They offer a variable interest rate of 4.5%.


I Hope you found this Article helpful!!

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