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Study Loan for International Students: how to Apply and Get it

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Study loans, also known as education loans or student loans, are financial products designed to help students cover the costs of tuition, accommodation, books, and other educational expenses.

These loans typically come with favorable terms, including low-interest rates, flexible repayment options, and deferred payments until after graduation.

Studying abroad is a dream for many Nigerian students seeking quality education and global exposure. However, financing international education can be daunting due to high tuition fees, living expenses, and other associated costs.

Fortunately, study loans offer a viable solution, providing financial assistance to students pursuing higher education overseas. In this guide, we explore the process of applying for and securing study loans for international students in Nigeria.

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How to apply for study loans

For Nigerian students aspiring to study abroad, securing a study loan can make the dream of international education a reality. However, navigating the application process and meeting the eligibility criteria can be challenging. Here’s how to apply for and get a study loan as an international student in Nigeria:

1. Research Loan Providers and Programs

The first step in obtaining a study loan is to research loan providers and programs catering to international students in Nigeria. Start by exploring reputable financial institutions, government-sponsored schemes, and private organizations offering study loans for overseas education. Consider factors such as interest rates, loan terms, repayment options, and eligibility requirements when comparing different loan programs.

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2. Determine Eligibility and Requirements

Before applying for a study loan, carefully review the eligibility criteria and requirements set by the loan provider. Eligibility criteria may vary depending on the lender and the specific loan program but typically include factors such as academic performance, admission to an accredited institution, proof of enrollment, and a co-signer or guarantor.

International students may also need to provide additional documentation, such as a valid passport, visa, admission letter from the university, proof of funds, and a statement of purpose outlining their educational and career goals.

3. Choose the Right Loan Option

Once you’ve determined your eligibility and researched available loan options, choose the loan option that best fits your needs and circumstances. Consider factors such as loan amount, interest rate, repayment period, and any additional benefits or features offered by the lender.

Opt for a loan program that offers competitive interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and favorable conditions for international students. Pay attention to details such as loan disbursement process, currency exchange rates, and any associated fees or charges to ensure transparency and affordability.

4. Gather Required Documentation

Before applying for a study loan, gather all the required documentation and paperwork to support your application. This may include academic transcripts, standardized test scores (such as SAT or TOEFL), proof of identity, proof of admission to the university, financial statements, and any other relevant documents requested by the lender.

Ensure that all documents are accurate, up-to-date, and properly authenticated to avoid delays or complications during the application process.

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5. Submit Your Loan Application

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary documents, complete the loan application form provided by the lender. Be thorough and accurate when filling out the application, providing detailed information about your educational background, financial situation, intended course of study, and future career plans.

Include any additional documentation or supporting materials required by the lender to strengthen your application. Double-check the application form for completeness and accuracy before submitting it to the lender.

6. Await Loan Approval and Disbursement

After submitting your loan application, the lender will review your application and assess your eligibility for the study loan. Approval times may vary depending on the lender’s processing procedures, but you can expect to receive a decision within a few weeks to a few months.

If your loan application is approved, the lender will disburse the loan funds directly to the educational institution or to your designated bank account, depending on the loan disbursement process. Once the funds are disbursed, you can use them to cover tuition fees, living expenses, travel costs, and other educational-related expenses associated with studying abroad.

7. Repay Your Loan

Upon graduation or completion of your studies, you will be required to start repaying your study loan according to the terms and conditions outlined in the loan agreement. Repayment typically begins after a grace period, during which you may be exempt from making payments.

Make timely payments towards your study loan to avoid defaulting on the loan and damaging your credit score. Consider setting up automatic payments or creating a repayment plan to manage your loan obligations effectively.

8. Seek Financial Aid and Scholarships

In addition to study loans, explore other financial aid options and scholarship opportunities available to international students. Many universities and organizations offer scholarships, grants, and fellowships to support students pursuing higher education abroad.

Research scholarship programs based on your academic achievements, field of study, nationality, and other eligibility criteria. Apply for scholarships early and submit all required documentation to maximize your chances of receiving financial assistance.

9. Stay Informed and Seek Guidance

Throughout the process of applying for and securing a study loan, stay informed about changes in loan policies, regulations, and requirements that may affect your eligibility or repayment obligations. Seek guidance from financial advisors, university counselors, or student support services to navigate the complexities of international education financing.

By staying proactive, informed, and organized, you can successfully apply for and obtain a study loan as an international student in Nigeria, paving the way for a rewarding educational experience abroad.

Study loans for international students in Nigeria offer a valuable opportunity to pursue higher education abroad and achieve academic and career goals. By following the steps outlined in this guide and carefully planning your financing strategy, you can access the financial resources needed to embark on your educational journey with confidence and success.

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What does study loan cover

International students are eligible to apply for loans up to the amount of the school’s total cost of attendance, less any additional aid they may have received. The total cost of attendance consists of living expenditures, education-related costs including books and transportation, and tuition, lodging and board. 

A study loan typically covers various expenses associated with education, including:

1. Tuition Fees: Study loans often cover tuition fees charged by educational institutions for enrollment in academic programs.

2. Books and Supplies: Funds from a study loan can be used to purchase textbooks, course materials, and supplies required for coursework.

3. Living Expenses: Study loans may also cover living expenses such as accommodation, food, transportation, and utilities for students living away from home.

4. Equipment: Loans can be used to purchase equipment necessary for academic pursuits, such as computers, software, and specialized tools or instruments.

5. Travel Costs: For students studying abroad or attending institutions located far from home, study loans may cover travel expenses, including airfare, visas, and travel insurance.

6. Miscellaneous Expenses: Study loans may also cover other miscellaneous expenses related to education, such as laboratory fees, examination fees, and extracurricular activities.

It’s essential to review the terms and conditions of the study loan to understand exactly what expenses are covered and any limitations or restrictions that may apply. Additionally, borrowers should use study loan funds responsibly to ensure they are used for educational purposes and contribute to academic success.

Requirements for study loan in nigeria

In Nigeria, requirements for a study loan may vary depending on the financial institution or organization offering the loan. However, common requirements for obtaining a study loan in Nigeria typically include:

1. Acceptance into an Accredited Institution: Applicants must provide proof of acceptance or admission into an accredited educational institution, whether it’s a university, college, or vocational school.

2. Proof of Nigerian Citizenship: Applicants are usually required to be Nigerian citizens or permanent residents of Nigeria.

3. Minimum Age Requirement: Most study loan providers require applicants to be at least 18 years old at the time of application.

4. Academic Performance: Some study loan providers may consider the applicant’s academic performance, such as grades or standardized test scores, as part of the eligibility criteria.

5. Letter of Offer: Applicants may need to provide a letter of offer or admission from the educational institution stating the program of study, duration, and tuition fees.

6. Guarantor or Collateral: Depending on the loan amount and terms, applicants may be required to provide a guarantor or collateral to secure the loan. 

7. Financial Need: Some study loan providers may assess the applicant’s financial need based on factors such as household income, family size, and other financial obligations.

8. Documentation: Applicants must provide various documents, including a completed loan application form, valid identification (such as a national ID card or passport), academic transcripts, and any other documentation requested by the loan provider.

9. Repayment Plan: Applicants may need to demonstrate a feasible repayment plan, including how they intend to repay the loan after completing their studies.

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Institutions that offer study loans in Nigerian 

In Nigeria, several financial institutions and organizations offer study loans to support students in pursuing their educational goals. Some of the companies and institutions that provide loans in Nigeria include:

1. Nigerian Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund)

TETFund offers study loans and scholarships to Nigerian students at tertiary institutions to cover tuition fees, books, and other educational expenses.

2. Nigerian Higher Education Foundation (NHEF)

NHEF provides study loans and scholarships to exceptional Nigerian students enrolled in undergraduate programs at top universities in Nigeria and abroad.

3. Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG)

NLNG offers study loans and scholarships to Nigerian students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies in various fields, including science, engineering, and social sciences.

4. Nigeria International Scholarship (NIS)

 NIS provides study loans and scholarships to Nigerian students to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate studies abroad in accredited institutions.

5. Educational Institutions

Some universities and colleges in Nigeria offer study loans or financial aid programs to support their students’ education. These programs may include tuition assistance, grants, or low-interest loans.

6. Commercial Banks

Several commercial banks in Nigeria, such as Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), Access Bank, and First Bank of Nigeria, offer study loans and educational financing solutions to students at various academic levels.

7. Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

Some MFIs in Nigeria provide study loans and educational financing options tailored to students’ needs, including tuition fees, accommodation, and other expenses.

8. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

Certain NGOs in Nigeria, such as the Tony Elumelu Foundation and MTN Foundation, offer study loans, grants, or scholarships to Nigerian students to support their educational pursuits.

9. State Government Scholarship Boards

State governments in Nigeria often have scholarship boards or agencies that provide study loans, grants, or scholarships to indigenes of the state pursuing higher education.

10. Private Sector Organizations

Some private companies and corporate organizations in Nigeria offer study loans or educational support programs as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives to invest in the education sector.

Students seeking loans in Nigeria should research and explore the offerings of these companies and institutions to find the most suitable financing options for their educational needs. Additionally, it’s essential to review the eligibility criteria, application processes, repayment terms, and available support services before applying for a study loan.


What is a study loan, and how does it work?

A study loan is a form of financial assistance provided to students to cover educational expenses such as tuition fees, books, and living expenses. It typically requires repayment with interest after the completion of studies.

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligibility criteria vary among loan providers, but typically, Nigerian citizens or permanent residents enrolled in accredited educational institutions are eligible. Applicants often need to demonstrate academic merit and financial need.

What expenses does it cover?

Study loans in Nigeria can cover various expenses, including tuition fees, books, accommodation, transportation, equipment, and other educational-related costs.

How do I apply for a study loan in Nigeria?

The application process varies depending on the loan provider. Generally, applicants need to complete an application form, provide supporting documents (such as admission letters and academic transcripts), and undergo an assessment of their financial need and academic performance.

What documents are required to apply?

Commonly required documents include admission letters, academic transcripts, identification documents, proof of Nigerian citizenship, guarantor information, and financial statements or income evidence.

What are the interest rates and repayment terms?

Interest rates and repayment terms vary among loan providers. Interest rates may be fixed or variable, and repayment terms may include grace periods, deferment options, and installment plans tailored to the borrower’s circumstances.

Can study loans be used for studying abroad?

Yes, study loans in Nigeria can be used for studying abroad, covering expenses such as tuition fees, living expenses, travel costs, and visa fees.


In conclusion, access to study loans in Nigeria plays a pivotal role in facilitating educational advancement and empowering students to achieve their academic aspirations. 

With various companies, financial institutions, and organizations offering study loans and scholarships, Nigerian students have opportunities to pursue higher education both domestically and abroad. These initiatives not only alleviate financial burdens but also foster academic excellence and contribute to national development. 

As students leverage study loans to acquire knowledge and skills, they become equipped to make significant contributions to society, driving innovation, progress, and socioeconomic transformation in Nigeria and beyond.

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Oluwatobi Olowe
Oluwatobi Olowe

Tobi Olowe has over 3 years of experience as a content writer specializing in Tech discoveries, site optimization, building content that rank well and boosting overall site performance.

Articles: 101

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