Best Overseas Student Loans & Where to Apply?


Key Takeaways

Top overseas student loan options in Singapore include DBS Further Assist, OCBC’s Frank Education Loan, Maybank Student Loan, CIMB Education Loan, POSB Further Study Assist, and Standard Chartered Education Loan. These loans offer competitive interest rates (ranging from 4.38% to 5.20% per annum) and flexible repayment terms (up to 10 years). Alternatives include licensed money lenders and merit-based scholarships. Evaluate eligibility, interest rates, fees, and penalties to choose the best option for your educational needs.

Embarking on an overseas education is an exciting journey filled with new experiences, challenges, and opportunities. However, one of the biggest hurdles for students is financing their studies abroad.

The tuition, accommodation, and living expenses can be daunting, and choosing the many loan options available can be overwhelming.

This article aims to guide you through the best overseas student loans and where to apply, ensuring you make an informed decision to support your educational aspirations.

Factors to Consider When Applying for a Student Loan


Before diving into the loan application process, it’s crucial to understand the eligibility criteria set by different lenders. Each financing option has specific requirements, such as minimum income levels, guarantor requirements, and proof of enrollment in an accredited institution.

For example, some banks require a minimum annual income of S$24,000 for the borrower or guarantor. Ensuring you meet these criteria can save you time and avoid unnecessary rejections.

Loan Amount and Tenure

Understanding how much you can borrow and the repayment period is essential. Most lenders offer loans that cover a significant portion of your tuition and living expenses, but the amounts can vary.

For instance, DBS Further Assist allows a maximum loan amount of S$160,000, while Maybank Student Loan offers up to S$200,000. The tenure for these loans typically ranges from 8 to 10 years, giving you ample time to repay without overwhelming financial stress.

Interest Rates

Interest rates are a critical factor in choosing a loan. They determine how much you’ll end up paying over the loan tenure. Rates vary between lenders.

For example, DBS offers an interest rate of 4.38% per annum, whereas CIMB’s rate is slightly higher at has a 0.11% p.a prime rate with EIR being 9.18% p.a and it goes reducing over the years. Comparing these rates and understanding the effective interest rate (EIR) can help you choose the most cost-effective option.


Apart from the interest rate, various fees can impact the overall cost of your loan. Standard fees include processing fees, legal fees, and cancellation fees.

For instance, OCBC charges a processing fee of 2.5%, which can add up if you borrow a significant amount. It’s also important to consider the penalties for late repayment. Some lenders impose hefty fines, which can significantly increase your debt if you must be more careful.

Penalties for Default

Defaulting on your loan can lead to severe financial consequences. Most lenders charge penalties for late repayments, ranging from additional interest to legal action.

For example, some lenders may charge a monthly late payment fee of up to $60. Understanding these penalties beforehand can help you plan your finances better and avoid falling into a debt trap.

Best Education Loan Options in Singapore

DBS Further Assist

DBS Further Assist is popular among students for its competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options. With an interest rate of 4.38% per annum and a processing fee of 2.5%, it offers a maximum loan amount of S$160,000.

The loan tenure can extend up to 10 years, making it manageable for most borrowers. Eligibility criteria include a minimum annual income of S$18,000 for the borrower and S$24,000 for the guarantor.

DBS also has an overseas student program loan that offers zero interest when you’re studying. The facility allows you to pay as low as $100 monthly. Students make applications online, and guarantors provide their details. The loan process takes 5 to 7 working days.

Frank by OCBC

OCBC’s Frank Education Loan is another excellent option for students. It offers an interest rate of 4.5% (EIR 5.17%) and a processing fee of 2.5%. The maximum loan amount is S$150,000 or ten times your salary, whichever is lower.

The loan tenure is up to 8 years. To qualify, you need a minimum annual income of S$24,000. This loan is ideal for students who need substantial funding but can repay within a shorter period.

Maybank Student Loan

Maybank’s Student Loan stands out for its high loan amount and flexible terms. With an interest rate of 5.20% per annum, you can borrow up to S$200,000 or eight times your monthly income, whichever is lower. The loan can cover additional educational-related expenses such as accommodation.

The loan tenure can extend up to 10 years, providing ample time for repayment. Eligibility includes a minimum annual income of S$18,000 for a full-time student, S$30,000 for a part-time student, and S$30,000 for the guarantor.

CIMB Education Loan

Depending on loan tenure, CIMB has different interest rates for some student loans, ranging from 5.83% to 9.18% and a processing fee of 2%. The maximum loan amount is S$200,000, with a tenure of up to 10 years.

This loan suits students needing significant funding and more extended repayment periods. Eligibility criteria include a minimum annual income of S$24,000 for both the borrower and the guarantor.

POSB Further Study Assist

POSB Further Study Assist offers competitive interest rates and flexible loan amounts. The interest rate is 4.38% per annum, with a processing fee of 2.5%. Borrowers can secure up to S$160,000, which is suitable for covering tuition and living expenses. The loan tenure is up to 10 years. Eligibility requirements include a minimum annual income of S$18,000.

Standard Chartered Education Loan

Standard Chartered offers an education loan with an interest rate of 4.5% per annum and a processing fee of 2%. The maximum loan amount is S$150,000 or ten times your monthly income, whichever is lower.

The loan tenure is up to 8 years. This loan is suitable for students seeking substantial funding with flexible repayment options. Eligibility criteria include a minimum annual income of S$30,000.

Alternatives to Bank Loans

There are other alternatives to bank loans which could probably be cheaper in the long run:

Licensed Money Lenders

Licensed money lenders offer a viable alternative to traditional bank loans, especially for those who may not meet stringent bank criteria. These lenders provide flexible terms with a loan tenure of up to 36 months and interest rates capped at 4% per month. The loan amount can go up to S$300,000 or six times your monthly income, and there’s no requirement for a high credit score. This option is accessible to Singaporeans over 18 years old who can provide proof of income.

Merit-Based Scholarships

Merit-based scholarships, awarded based on academic excellence, leadership, and extracurricular achievements, are an excellent way for top-performing students to fund overseas education.

Scholarships can cover tuition fees, living expenses, and other related costs, significantly reducing students’ financial burden. Institutions and private organisations in Singapore offer a variety of scholarships, so it’s worth researching and applying to as many as possible.

If you need a reliable loan to fund your overseas education, Katong Credit offers personalised solutions to meet your needs. We provide loans to individuals with flexible terms and competitive rates. Apply now with Katong Credit and take the next step towards achieving your educational goals.

How to Fund Your University Education

Beyond loans and scholarships, multiple avenues exist to fund your university education. Bursaries are another form of financial aid based on need rather than merit. Educational institutions, government agencies, and private organisations typically offer them.

Additionally, personal savings and family contributions can be crucial in covering costs. Parents’ CPF savings can be used to pay tuition fees at local universities, further easing the financial load.

Benefits of Studying at an Overseas University

Below are some of the benefits you end up getting when you consider studying at an overseas university:

Career Opportunities

Graduates with international education are often seen as more competitive in the job market. An overseas degree can open doors to global career opportunities that might not be available with a local education. Employers value the diverse perspectives and problem-solving skills that come with international experience.

Personal Development

Living and studying abroad pushes you out of your comfort zone, fostering personal growth and independence. Adapting to a new culture, managing daily life in a foreign country, and overcoming challenges all contribute to building resilience and self-reliance.

Skill Development

Overseas education often includes learning new languages and technical skills, which are highly valued in today’s globalised job market. These skills enhance one’s resume and ability to work in diverse environments.

Cultural Exposure

Studying abroad exposes you to different cultures, customs, and lifestyles. This experience broadens your horizons and helps you develop a more inclusive and global outlook. It also provides a unique opportunity to build an international network of friends and professional contacts.


Living with housemates and managing your household chores teaches valuable life skills. It prepares you for future responsibilities and makes you more self-sufficient. These experiences are crucial for personal development and maturity.

Choose the Right Student Loan Today

Choosing the right loan to finance your overseas education is crucial and requires careful consideration. By understanding the various options available, you can make an informed choice that best suits your needs. Remember to explore all avenues, including bank loans, licensed money lenders, and scholarships.

Considering an overseas education loan? Katong Credit offers flexible loan solutions tailored for individuals. Apply for a loan with Katong Credit to support your educational journey abroad.