Key Takeaways

For Singaporean students aiming to study abroad, exploring various student loan options from banks and licensed moneylenders is crucial. Assessing eligibility, understanding loan terms, interest rates, and additional fees are essential steps. Alternatives like scholarships, grants, and personal savings should also be considered to finance international education effectively.

Studying abroad offers a great opportunity for personal growth and academic achievement. For many Singaporean students, pursuing education overseas is not just about earning a degree but about experiencing global cultures, developing language skills, and preparing for a competitive job market.

However, the financial bit of studying abroad can be challenging. The costs of international tuition, living expenses, and travel are substantial. Understanding and choosing the right student loan is crucial to managing these expenses. Let’s look at the best overseas student loans available for Singaporeans, including where and how to apply to make your educational goals a reality.

What to Consider Before Applying for a Student Loan

Eligibility Requirements

Before looking at the specifics of different loans, establish whether you qualify for them.

Eligibility criteria vary widely among lenders but typically include age, nationality, income levels, and whether you have a guarantor. Ensure you meet these requirements before proceeding with an application.

Loan Amount and Tenure

Determine how much money you need and over what period you will pay it back. Consider the total cost of your education, including tuition, living expenses, and additional costs like travel and books.

Most lenders offer different maximum loan amounts and terms, which can impact your repayment schedule. Choose a loan that covers your educational costs and provides a repayment tenure that aligns with your financial projections.

Interest Rates

Interest rates can vary significantly between lenders and affect the total amount you repay.

Look for the most favourable interest rates and understand whether they are fixed or variable, which will influence your monthly payments.

Fees and Charges

Additional fees associated with your student loan can include application fees, processing fees, and early repayment penalties. Each lender has its fee structure, so reading the fine print and understanding all the costs involved in your loan is essential.

Best Overseas Student Loan Providers in Singapore

Singaporean students have various options when looking for financial support to study abroad. These include:

Banks Offering Student Loans

Several major banks in Singapore provide student loans with competitive terms. Banks generally offer flexible repayment terms extending to 10 years, allowing students to spread their payments and lessen the monthly financial burden.

The amount you can borrow often depends on your course of study and whether the loan is secured or unsecured. Some banks offer loans that cover up to 10 times your or guarantor’s monthly income.

Interest rates are generally competitively priced and can be more favourable compared to other financial institutions. Banks offer fixed and variable rates, allowing students to choose based on risk tolerance and financial outlook.

Licensed Moneylenders

Licensed moneylenders offer a viable alternative for students who might not meet the requirements of banks or who need quicker loan approvals. These institutions typically provide shorter application processes and faster disbursement of funds.

Licensed moneylenders are relaxed compared to banks, often requiring less stringent credit checks. While the amounts might be lower than those offered by banks, the terms are flexible, and repayment can be tailored to suit the borrower’s financial situation.

Also, interest rates are capped by regulations, ensuring they do not exceed a maximum set by the authorities, which helps maintain the affordability of the loans.

Comparison of Student Loan Options

When planning your education abroad, comparing different loan options is crucial to ensure you make an informed decision. Below is a table that outlines various student loans available in Singapore, highlighting their interest rates, processing fees, and loan tenures.

This comparison will help you understand the differences and choose the best loan to fund your international studies.

Loan Comparison Table

LenderInterest Rate (p.a)Processing Fee

Maximum Loan Amount

Loan Tenure

DBS Bank4.38% charged after the study period

2.5%Up to $160,000 or ten times the combined income of you and your guarantor

Up to 10 years


4.5% (EIR 5.17%)

2.5%Up to $150,000 or ten times your salary

Up to 20 years


From 5.20% (Education Loan Board Rate plus 0.45% p.a.)¹

2.25%Up to $200,000 or eight times your monthly income

Up to 10 years


0.11% monthly interest rate (EIR of up to 9.18%)

2%Up to $200,000, eight times your monthly income

Up to 10 years

Credit 21

Custom Rates
Custom RatesCustom based on need


Note: Credit 21 offers customised loan solutions tailored to individual needs, providing flexible terms that fit different financial situations and education goals.

Alternatives to Student Loans

While student loans are a common solution for financing education abroad, several alternatives can reduce or eliminate the need to incur debt. Exploring these options can reduce the financial strain associated with overseas studies.


Scholarships are perhaps the most sought-after form of financial aid because they do not require repayment. These are typically awarded based on academic merit, sports achievements, artistic talents, or other specific criteria the awarding body sets.

Merit-based scholarships are offered by educational institutions, private organisations, and public entities and are awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional academic records or excellence in other fields.

Applying for scholarships can be competitive and often requires submissions of essays, recommendation letters, and maintaining a high GPA. Besides covering tuition fees, some scholarships offer stipends for living expenses, travel, and books.

Bursaries and Grants

Bursaries and grants are another form of financial aid based on the student’s financial need, academic merit, or a combination of both.

Unlike loans, these do not need to be repaid. They may cover a portion or the entirety of tuition fees and, in some cases, contribute towards living expenses.

Government and Private Grants

In addition to scholarships and bursaries, various grants are available from government bodies and private organisations that aim to support students in funding their education.

Some grants are targeted at students pursuing specific fields of study or research that are in high demand or of particular importance to the country’s development.

For students interested in research, there are research grants that support your studies and contribute towards the costs of your research projects.

Using Personal and Family Resources

Finally, personal savings or family support can be an excellent way to fund overseas education. In Singapore, parents can use their Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings to pay for their children’s education, which is a significant help for local and some approved overseas institutions.

Personal savings can go a long way in covering part of the education expenses if planned well in advance.

Are you ready to start your international educational journey but concerned about finances? At Credit 21, we understand the importance of your academic goals. We offer personal loans tailored to support your overseas education needs. Secure your financial future and focus on your studies without the stress of financial constraints. Start your application with Credit 21 today and take a step closer to achieving your dreams.

Top Reasons to Study Abroad

Pursuing higher education overseas is not only about gaining a degree from a foreign university but also about the holistic experience of living and studying in a different cultural environment. Here are the top reasons why Singaporean students should consider studying abroad:

Career Opportunities

An international degree can enhance your job prospects. Employers often value the diverse experience of education from abroad, recognising skills like adaptability, global awareness, and cross-cultural communication.

Studying abroad allows you to build a global network of contacts, which can be invaluable for your career. Additionally, graduates with international experience often stand out in job applications, offering highly valued perspectives in the global market.

Personal Development

The experience of studying abroad is transformative. It challenges students to step out of their comfort zones and adapt to new situations, fostering personal growth and independence.

Immersing yourself in a new culture improves your knowledge and appreciation of different perspectives.

Skill Enhancement

The educational systems in different countries often have unique strengths, providing opportunities to develop specific skills that may not be as readily available at home.

For many, studying abroad is an opportunity to learn or master a second language, a skill highly sought after by many employers. Certain regions are known for excellence in specific fields of study (e.g., technology in Silicon Valley, fashion in Paris), offering access to specialised knowledge and training.

Global Perspective

Living and studying abroad can profoundly change the way you view the world. It broadens your perspective, making you more aware of global issues and how different cultures approach them.

Global markets knowledge is particularly beneficial for students in business and finance, as it helps them understand global markets and economies.

Life-Long Memories

The experiences you gain while studying abroad can lead to lifelong memories and friendships. From travelling to new places to experiencing international cuisine, the adventures are as educational as they are enjoyable.

Top Universities to Consider for Studying Abroad

Here are some of the top regions and countries renowned for their educational institutions and are popular among Singaporean students.

Universities in the United Kingdom

The UK has several prestigious universities known for their high academic standards and rich historical backgrounds. Here are some considerations:

  • University of Oxford and Cambridge: Known globally for their excellence in various disciplines.
  • Imperial College London: Highly regarded for science and technology courses.
  • University of Edinburgh: Offers a vibrant student life in one of Scotland’s most beautiful cities.

Universities in the United States

The US offers various universities that excel in different fields, providing flexible education systems and numerous opportunities for research and internships.

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): A world leader in technology and engineering.
  • Harvard University: Offers unparalleled resources in business, law, medicine, and more.
  • Stanford University: Known for its entrepreneurial environment, especially in Silicon Valley.

Universities in Australia

Australia is a popular destination for Singaporean students due to its proximity, high quality of life, and excellent universities.

  • University of Melbourne: Offers a comprehensive curriculum and vibrant campus life.
  • Australian National University: Renowned for research and strong ties with government bodies.
  • University of Sydney: Known for its leadership in health, humanities, and science.

Universities in Canada

Canada is known for its welcoming environment and high educational standards.

  • University of Toronto: Offers a wide range of programs and has a strong research focus.
  • McGill University: Renowned for its medical school and active student community.
  • University of British Columbia: It has a beautiful campus that attracts international students.

Universities in New Zealand

New Zealand universities are known for their strong research programs and smaller class sizes, providing a more personalised education.

  • University of Auckland: The largest and most comprehensive university in New Zealand.
  • University of Otago: Known for its medical school and health sciences.

Start Your Journey of Studying Overseas Today!

Before starting your journey abroad, take the time to thoroughly research and consider all aspects of your intended course and destination. Ensure the financial commitments are manageable and the educational benefits align with your career aspirations. With the proper preparation, studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Ready to Finance Your Overseas Education?

Planning your education abroad can be exciting, but managing the finances can be challenging. At Credit 21, we offer loan solutions to help you fund your international studies without stress. Explore your options and find the right financial support with us.

Apply for a loan today and take the first step towards realising your educational dreams.