Best Education Loan for Studying Overseas

Studying at a university overseas can be a very attractive opportunity to students in Singapore. This allows them to learn at some of the world's best universities and colleges while learning about another part of the world. However, studying internationally can also be quite expensive. Below, we've compiled a list of the best student loans available that can make this educational experience possible.

Our Picks For the Best Standard Payment Education Loans for International Studies

There are two general categories of education loans: standard payment and deferred payment. Education loans with standard payment structures require students to make equal payments throughout the duration of the loan. On the other hand, interest-first (or interest-only) study loans allow students to make smaller payments while they are in school. With that said, interest-only loans are typically more expensive over the entire tenure of the loan. In this section, we discuss the best standard payment education loans for studying overseas.

Education Loans - Standard PaymentProcessing FeeInterest Rate During SchoolInterest Rate After SchoolMonthly Instalment During SchoolMonthly Instalment After SchoolTotal cost
CIMB Education Loan2%5.39%5.39%S$407S$407S$4,816
OCBC FRANK Education Loan2.5%4.50%4.50%S$397S$397S$4,198
POSB Further Study Assist3%5.88%5.88%S$413S$413S$5,479
Maybank Education Loan - Overseas Studies2%4.88%4.88%S$401S$401S$4,389
RHB Education Loan - Overseas2%4.88%4.88%S$401S$401S$4,389

Cheapest Education Loan for International Studies: OCBC FRANK Education Loan

OCBC Frank Education Loan - Standard

Consider this if you require an education loan for studying overseas

Early Repayment Fee 1% of loan prepaid
Late Payment Fee S$50
Age 17 & Above

OCBC's FRANK Education Loan, which is also a great option for students that study locally, is the cheapest education loan for students that study overseas. The bank charges the lowest interest rate in the market at 4.5% and a reasonable processing fee of 2.5%. OCBC's study loan is also particularly attractive to students going overseas as it allows borrowers to obtain sizeable loans of up to S$150,000 or 10 times their (or their guarantor's) monthly income.

OCBC FRANK Education Loan
Processing Fee2.5%
Interest Rate4.50%
Tenure1-8 Years
Min PrincipalS$1,000
Max PrincipalS$150,000 or 10x monthly income of guarantor
Annual Income Requirement of GuarantorS$24,000

Best Large Education Loan for Studying Internationally: Maybank Education Loan

Maybank Education Loan - Overseas Studies

Consider this if you require a large education loan for international studies

Early Repayment Fee 1% of loan prepaid
Late Payment Fee 3% min $30
Age 18 & Above

Maybank's Education loan for studying overseas is a great option for borrowers that require very large loans. While OCBC's education loan for students studying outside of Singapore is slightly less expensive than Maybank's, Maybank allows students to borrow the largest loans of up to $200,000 or 8 times their guarantor's monthly income. This allows individuals that earn more than S$225,000 to obtain larger loans through Maybank compared to OCBC, which allows borrowers to obtain loans of S$150,000 or 10 times their monthly income.

Maybank Education Loan
Processing Fee2%
Interest Rate4.88%
Tenure1-8 Years
Min PrincipalUnknown
Max PrincipalS$200,000 or 8x monthly income of guarantor
Annual Income Requirement of GuarantorS$24,000

Best Interest-Only Education Loan for Studying Overseas

While some students will be able to begin paying off their loans while they study, many will not be able to handle the financial burden until after they complete their studies. For students that would prefer to make smaller repayments during school, there are "interest-only" loans that allow them to only pay interest until they've completed their studies. However, this does require borrowers to pay more over the lifetime of their loans. Below are the best options for interest-first loans for international study. The table below assumes a loan of S$25,000 over a 6 year tenure with 4-year interest-only period.

Education Loans - Interest ServicingProcessing FeeInterest Rate During SchoolInterest Rate After SchoolMonthly Instalment During SchoolMonthly Instalment After SchoolTotal cost
CIMB Education Loan - Interest Servicing Repayment2%5.99%5.39%S$125S$1,101S$7,918
OCBC FRANK Education Loan - Graduated2.5%4.50%4.50%S$94S$1,091S$6,314
OCBC FRANK Education Loan - Graduated Plus2.5%4.50%4.50%S$94S$2,134S$6,864
RHB Education Loan - Graduated2%4.88%4.88%S$102S$1,094S$6,644
RHB Education Loan - Deferred2%4.88%4.88%S$0S$1,324S$7,278

Best Interest-Only Student Loan: OCBC FRANK Education Loan - Graduated

OCBC Frank Education Loan - Standard

Consider this if you prefer the cheapest possible interest servicing education loan

Early Repayment Fee 1% of loan prepaid
Late Payment Fee S$50
Age 17 & Above

OCBC's FRANK Education Loan is the cheapest interest-only education loan. It offers the lowest interest rate of 4.5% and a reasonable processing fee of 2.5%. Additionally, it extends the interest-only period to up to 4 years. OCBC calls this repayment program Graduated. OCBC FRANK Education Loan also comes with a Graduated Plus program that extends the interest-only period to 5 years. Besides the method of repayment, other terms are identical to the standard payment option we mentioned above. Below is a demonstration of how monthly payments and total cost differ for standard option and interest-only option.

Loan of S$25,000 over 6 YearsOCBC FRANK - StandardOCBC FRANK - GraduatedOCBC FRANK - Graduated Plus
Monthly instalment During SchoolS$397S$94S$94
Monthly instalment After SchoolS$397S$1,091S$2,134
Total costS$4,198S$6,314S$6,864

Honorable Mention: RHB Education Loan

RHB Education Loan - Deferred (Local)

Consider this if you are unable to obtain one of the other top education loans

Early Repayment Fee 1% of loan prepaid
Late Payment Fee 10.7% on overdue amount
Age 21 - 62 (at loan maturity)

While OCBC and Maybank stand out as the best options for students seeking loans to study overseas, RHB is another good option for students that require loans to finance their education. In fact, RHB offers the same low interest rates and processing fee as Maybank for standard and interest-only loans. However, there are a few reasons that Maybank's loans are preferable to RHB's. First, Maybank offers large loans than RHB. It also offers loans to students with guarantors that earn at least S$24,000 annually, which is less than RHB's income requirement of S$30,000. With this said, RHB may be suitable backup option for borrowers that are unable to obtain loans from OCBC or Maybank.

RHB Education Loan
Processing Fee2%
Interest Rate4.88%
Tenure1-8 Years
Min PrincipalS$5,000
Max Principal4x monthly income, 6x monthly income or S$120,000 if annual income is greater than S$120,000 or net assets exceed S$2m
Annual Income Requirement of GuarantorS$30,000

Cost Comparison of Education Loans

The graph below provides a cost comparison of international education loans. The graph displays the total cost of each loan, which includes all interest payments and processing fees. For the purposes of comparison, we assume that a S$25,000 loan is taken out for 6 years and that monthly payments are made on-time.

Total Cost of a 6 Year, S$25,000 Education Loan for International Studies
William Hofmann

William is a Senior Research Analyst at ValuePenguin Singapore, focusing on banking and SMEs. He previously was an Economic Consultant at Industrial Economics Inc.

Comments and Questions