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Student Loans

By Terry Savage on June 26, 2024 | College Savings / Student Loans

I go to college outside of the US (in Ireland). My student loan was set up through “SallieMae”. I am looking to take out a different loan for the upcoming year because the loan has an interest rate of 16% due to the cosigners poor credit. Interest has already accrued despite me still being in college. What is the best way for me (19 yrs) to get a lower rate? Can I get a loan on my own?

Terry Says

Whew, that’s a complicated question. And part depends on whether you’re attending a college outside the U.S. that actively participates in the Federal Student Loan program.  And it depends on whether you’re considered “emancipated” — that is not receiving majority support from your parents.

Here’s an article that describes the challenges of getting Federal student loans for schools outside the U.S.  It’s a place to start investigating the possibilities of getting a new loan for your school abroad.

In the meantime, have you looked into refinancing the SalleMae loan?  It’s a private student loan — not federal.  And your co-signer bears an equal responsibility for repayment.  I’m not sure that you could refinance that — but check at or   And perhaps you could find another co-signer for a newly refinanced loan? Also, double check as to whether that high rate loan from Sallie Mae is accruing interest while you are still in school.  If not, you might want to wait until you graduate and can refinance on your own when you have a job.



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