How To Get Car Loans For International Students In The USA


Cars are necessary for almost everyone, including students, especially in the US, where transportation costs can be expensive. You will even need it more if you go to school in a  state where access to public transportation is difficult. 

And if you’re an international student, you will not only need a car to go to class; you will also need it to run errands and navigate around where you’re staying without having to bother about the timetable-bound public transport.


Getting a car in the U.S isn’t difficult, but it’s expensive; there are ways to go about ad it’s possible to get car loans and make your car acquisition process easy.

So if you’re an international student as and you’re thinking about getting a car loan, the guide below will outline everything you should know about, including how you can get car loans as an international student in the USA, the requirements you need to get the loan and many things.


How To Get Car Loans For International Students In The USA


How To Get Car Loans For International Students In the USA


Getting car loans for international students will not be as easy as for local students, but it’s possible. To get a car loan as an international student in the US, follow the steps listed below:


  1. Research For Car Loan Companies.
  2. Compare The Car Loan Companies Features.
  3. Apply For The Car Loan.
  4. Wait For The Car Loan Approval.
  5. Get An Auto Insurance.
  6. Start Making Payment.


Car Loans For International Students In the USA


  • Research For Car Loan Companies


International students are eligible for numerous loans in the United States, but the issue is that most lenders don’t like considering non-U.S. citizens for loans as they believe non-citizens are high-risk borrowers. 

Although this doesn’t mean you can’t get a loan, you must do proper and thorough research to find the car loan companies willing to work with international students and have great features and interest rates.


  • Compare Car Loan Companies Features

After your research, compare the costs of car loans for international students, all of the loan companies on your list, and check their interest rates so you can get the one with the lowest interest rate.

Then search well to find if there are origination fees, prepayment, or late fees, check their customer support service- how you can easily reach the lender if there are any issues.

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If it’s through live chat, phone call, or any other easy method and look out for the companies that will defer payments if you’ve issues with payments and for how long they will do that.

Then after comparing all these, you can now pick the one that’s perfect for you.


  • Apply For The Car Loan

After finalizing your choice and picking the loan company suitable for you, then apply. Proceed with filling out the application form and ensure to read the loan terms thoroughly and understand them before putting down your signature. 

If there’s any part of the loan terms you don’t seem to understand perfectly, consider asking for help from a professional to know what you’re getting into very well.


  • Wait For The Car Loan Approval

The process of getting a car loan may take a while so take your time to wait patiently for the approval of the car loan as they have to process your application and see if your car loan application should be approved or not.


  • Get Auto Insurance

After getting approval for the car loan, ensure you get auto insurance, it’s compulsory in the United States. Having auto insurance allows you to enjoy certain benefits, and it works to protect you and your car.


  • Start Making Payment

This is the last but most essential step once you’ve received the car loan. The next step is to plan your repayment process and budget your expenses so you can easily start your monthly payment. You should take this step seriously to avoid any problems.


Should You Use Your Student Loans To Buy A Car?


Should You Use Your Student Loans To Buy A Car


Financial experts highly recommend not to use your student loans to buy a car. This is a bad idea because as student loans are taken to cater for educational expenses, using them to buy a car will bring you more expenses than you bargained for as a student. 


Additionally, the interest rate is one of the reasons why using your student loan to get a car is not ideal. Interest rates on student loans are higher than the ones on car loans, so in the long run, getting a car with your student loan will cost you more. 

Another reason why you shouldn’t use student loans to buy a  car is devaluation.

After a year, a car will be worth about 20% less than you bought it for and will depreciate by 15 to 25% every year after, and while the car is losing value, the interest is accruing, so ask yourself if this is worth using your student loan on. 


On top of all this, if you’re planning to use a federal student loan, it’s illegal. The federal student loans carry more restrictions than any other private loans as they’re backed by the government and offer low-interest rates.

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Before you can even take a federal loan, you have to agree to use the loan for educational expenses and not for a car. Finally, to avoid being in a situation where you’re still paying for a car you probably don’t drive anymore 10 to 20 years after you bought it, it’s better not to use your student loan to buy a car.


What Are The Requirements For An International Student Car Loan? 


Getting a car loan as an international student is not easy but getting to drive your car is worth it. The requirements for an international student car loan include:


  1. A Driver’s License.
  2. Auto Insurance.
  3. An Auto loan.


  • A Driver’s License

You need to have a driver’s license to prove your driving ability, be it an international or a local one. 

If you don’t have a driver’s license, you can apply for one, especially if you’re staying long-term and the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has a detailed fact sheet and other resources to assist you in getting one.


  • Auto Insurance

This is another requirement for the international student car loan. It would help if you had auto insurance; it’s required by the law for all drivers to have insurance. 

Apart from home with having auto insurance, it would help if you also had applied for a driver’s license. And thankfully, getting auto insurance as an international student is not difficult.


  • An Auto loan

This is an essential requirement as, without a loan, you can’t get the car you want. So you need to gather all the documents required for a car loan application and apply. 

Several companies work with international students, but their requirements and restrictions differ.


What Are The Documents Needed for a Car Loan for Foreign Nationals?


There are certain documents you need to provide to get a car loan in the U.S as a foreigner. These documents include:

  1. Letter of Employment.
  2. Finance Qualification Form.
  3. Payment Documents.
  4. VISA.
  5. Proof of Lawful Residence.


  • Letter of Employment: This only applies to you if you’re working. You will need a letter from your employer to confirm your employment, employment terms, salary, and benefits.
  • Finance Qualification Form: This is another vital document you need to apply for a car loan as a foreign national. This document provides information about your finances, employment, and living conditions.
  • Payment Documents: This is another type of document you need for your car loan application. Ensure you have copies of your phone bill, utilities, rents, cable, bank statements, and tuition.
  • Visa: This is the most acceptable form of identification for international students. As an international student with a  visa, you can use it as your primary means of identification while applying for a car loan.
  • Proof of Lawful Residence: These are the documents you need to prove your lawful residence, and these documents include the U.S Visa, green card, or driver’s license.
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Can International Students Get Loans Down Payments?


Yes, international students get a loan down payment. Getting loans as an international student to help cover the cost of a car down payment is possible. This is even good as having a significant down payment results in reduced monthly payments and interest rates. 


But ensure you understand the financial meaning of every step you’re taking and if you don’t make sure to seek help from a professional, don’t make any financial decisions blindly.



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Getting a car as an international student not only saves your time but money also. Getting a car as an international student has even been made easier with access to car loans. You have to make sure all the needed documents are available. 

Although the process of getting a car loan for international students is not very easy, definitely worth the process.

You need to take your time to do research and understand what you’re getting into so you don’t make any mistakes that will be detrimental to your financial future.

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