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Boro personal loans for college students review

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Get a small loan to help pay for college or other expenses while you’re still in school.

Boro isn’t your typical lender. It offers small-dollar personal loans specifically designed for college students. But it’s not available in all states, and it won’t be much help if you have a large expense.


Max. Loan Amount

15.9% (starting at)



Product NameBoro Personal Loans for Students
Min. Loan Amount$1,000
Max. Loan Amount$3,000
APR15.9% (starting at)
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Minimum Loan Term1 year
Maximum Loan Term3 years
Go to Boro's website

What makes Boro personal loans unique?

Boro is one of a handful of lenders that offers personal loans to college students. It doesn’t require you to meet a minimum income or credit score, and you can even use the funds to cover educational expenses — a rare occurrence for a personal loan.

It’s also one of the few lenders that’s willing to work with international students. In fact, Boro used to specialize in loans for noncitizens, though it’s now opened eligibility to US citizens and permanent residents. It accepts A-5, C-8, F-1, OPT, H-1B, J-1, L-1 and O-1 visas.

What is a Boro personal loan?

A Boro personal loan is a small-dollar term loan for college students and recently graduated young professionals. Loan amounts start at $1,000 in most states — $2,001 in Alabama — and top off at $3,000. You can take 1 to 3 years to pay it back with APRs of 15.9% (starting at) . Boro’s average APR is 18.6%.

Boro compares its personal loans to a credit card — the main credit alternative for college students. Its APRs are lower than most student credit cards, and making set monthly repayments can help you avoid building up credit card debt while you’re in school.

The relatively long terms on such a small loan amount has both benefits and drawbacks. Longer terms mean lower monthly payments, which may be more affordable while you’re in school. However, it also means you’ll end up paying more in interest than you would with a shorter term.

Let’s take a look at an example. Say you borrow $2,000 from Boro at an APR of 18.6%. Here’s how it breaks down by loan term:

Loan term Monthly repayment Total cost
1 year $183.93 $207.18
2 years $100.43 $410.30
3 years $72.91 $624.69

As you can see, a shorter loan term results in higher monthly repayments but cuts the total cost of your loan by more than a third. Try to go for the shortest term you can comfortably afford to pay to reduce the total cost of your loan.

What are the benefits of a Boro personal loan?

From its low maximum APR to its referral program, here are a few perks of taking out a Boro personal loan:

  • Use it to pay for school. Boro is one of the few personal loan providers that allows you to use your funds to cover educational expenses.
  • Accepts international students. Boro works with students on A-5, C-8, F-1, OPT, H-1B, J-1, L-1 and O-1 visas in addition to US citizens and permanent residents.
  • No credit score necessary. While having a credit history can strengthen your application, you don’t need to have a credit score to qualify.
  • Low maximum APR. Many personal loan providers cap their APRs at 36% — the legal limit for a personal loan in most states. Boro stops at 19.9%.
  • Referral program. You and a friend can earn up to $100 each if you refer them to Boro and they’re approved for a loan.

What to watch out for

While Boro might be open to borrowers that most lenders aren’t willing to work with, there are some drawbacks to its personal loans. While not as expensive as a short-term loan, it’s still not as cheap as a federal or private student loan. If either of those are still options for you, consider applying for them first.

You might also want to consider the following drawbacks before you apply:

  • Only practical for small expenses. You won’t be able to cover the cost of a full semester with a Boro loan at most schools. But it can be useful for books or a new laptop.
  • High minimum APR. Even if you happen to have a strong credit history, the lowest APR you can qualify for is 15.9% — a far cry from bank loans that start well under 10%.
  • Minimum GPA requirement. You need at least a 2.0 GPA if you’re an undergraduate and a 3.0 GPA if you’re a graduate student.
  • Limited state availability. Boro personal loans are only available in 18 states.

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Am I eligible?

To meet Boro’s general eligibility requirements, you must:

  • Be enrolled in a US college or university or be a recently graduated young professional.
  • Be a US citizen, permanent resident or hold one of the following visas: A-5, C-8, F-1, OPT, H-1B, J-1, L-1 or O-1.
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.0 for undergraduates or 3.0 for graduate students.
  • Live in an eligible state.
  • Be at least 18 years old.

While Boro doesn’t have any credit or income requirements, good credit and a steady income will strengthen your application.

Eligible states

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

How do I apply?

You can apply for a Boro personal loan online. Before you get started, you might want to have the following documents on hand to speed up the application:

  • Identification. US citizens need to provide both their Social Security number and a copy of their driver’s license or government-issued ID. Green card holders need to provide a copy of their passport and green card, while international students need their passport and I-20.
  • Proof of academic standing. Boro asks to see your most recent transcripts or standardized test results (SAT, TOEFL, IELTS) if you haven’t completed a semester yet.
  • Bank account information. Boro asks for information on a US bank account that you frequently use.

Once you have your documents together, follow these steps:

  1. Click Go to Site to be redirected to Boro’s application.
  2. Create your account by entering your university email and password. Read the electronic communications agreement, terms of use and privacy policy. Then click Sign Up.
  3. Check your school email and confirm your account.
  4. Follow the directions to complete the application.
  5. Review your loan offer and sign the documents online.
  6. Wait to receive your funds.

Once you sign your loan documents, you may be able to have your loan funds deposited into your bank account as soon as the same day.
More about Boro

Step-by-step instructions to apply with screenshots

  • I got the Boro personal loan. Now what?

    Now you need to start making monthly repayments. How much you owe each month should be outlined in your contract.

    Boro has two options for repayment: automatic payments or check. Automatic payments involve less work — just connect your bank account and Boro automatically deducts your repayment each month when it’s due. If you pay by check, you’ll need to send it a few days before your payment is due to make sure Boro receives it on time.

    If you’re more than 15 days late on a payment, Boro charges a late fee of $15. It might also show up on your credit report and hurt your credit score. If you’re concerned you’ll be late or have any additional questions about your loan, call 800-840-6604.

    Bottom line

    Boro is one of a handful of lenders out there willing to work with college students — especially international students. While its rates don’t start as low as your standard personal loan provider, it’s one of the most competitive financing options out there for the borrowers it works with. Just make sure you’re a resident of an eligible state before you apply.

    Want to learn more about your student loan options? You might want to check out our student loans guide. Or visit our personal loans page to find more lenders you might qualify with.

    Frequently asked questions

    Image source: Boro.com

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