Final Thoughts on Handling Loans

You’re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resources—including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.

Loans and visas are two topics that people think of as a given, and almost no one dives deeper to understand the nuances. But we know you’re different! And we hope you read this chapter completely. If you didn’t, here are some key points to remember: loans are not the only way to fund yourself, traditional banks are not the only source of loans, and it is important to follow the do’s and don’ts we laid out if you choose to take a loan.

If you’ve decided to take a loan, fantastic! First, make sure to use the Loan Estimation sheet in the Dream Tracker to figure out exactly how much you need, then add a 10% buffer on top. We laid out some key terms related to loans in the chapter, which will come in handy. One of the biggest factors in taking a loan is your credit score: the higher it is, the better are your terms.

We covered four kinds of entities that lend money: traditional Indian banks, traditional U.S. banks, neobanks, and non-banks. A neobank is a new type of bank that is 100% digital, sometimes mobile-only. Non-bank lenders are typically fintech companies who are primarily focused on lending, but also offer other useful features like scholarships and U.S. bank accounts. You can use the flowchart we created to figure out suitable options, and then use the table to compare them further.

When getting a quote, do your due diligence, try to bargain, and do apply to more than one lender. Once you get quotes, use the method you followed to rank your universities once again. Create a repayment plan on day one, keep looking for refinancing options, and if you take multiple loans, see if you can get a better rate by consolidating them. Congratulations once again on getting your admit and working to fulfill your dream financially!

A Little Reflection on Loans

​think​Did you estimate the amount needed? Was it less or more than your expectation?

Did you know about neobanks before reading this chapter? Were they more advantageous than a traditional bank?

What was something that surprised you while looking into the various entities? Is it worth sharing with the wider community?

If you found this post worthwhile, please share!