Personal loans and car loans for college students with competitive rates.
You don’t have a lot of options if you need a loan while you’re still in school — but Boro’s is one of them. Formerly specializing in personal and car loans for international students, this lender now offers financing to all types of students in the US. This lender focuses on lending to students with little credit history, but still offers competitive rates.
What types of loans does Boro offer?
Boro offers personal loans and new and used car loans for college students. International students on F-1, OPT, H-1B, J-1, L or O-1 visas are eligible, as well as US citizens and permanent residents. Here’s how they work in a nutshell.
You can use your personal loan for just about any legitimate use, including paying for extra classes, buying a new laptop or miscellaneous living expenses.
- Loan amounts. $1,000 to $3,000 in most states. Starting at $2,001 in Alabama.
- Loan terms. 1 year(s) to 3 year(s)
- APR. Fixed rates from 15.9%–19.9%.
- State availability. Available in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
Boro offers one standard auto loan that you can use to either buy a new or used car from your dealership or to refinance an existing car loan.
- Loan amounts. Starting at $5,000 in most states with no limit to how much you can borrow. Minimum loan amounts start at $5,500 in California, $6,001 in Massachusetts and $10,001 in Arizona. Connecticut has a maximum amount of $14,999.
- Loan terms. from 1 year(s)to 3.50 year(s).
- APR. Variable rates from 4.49%–13.99%.
- State availability. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The Boro Scholarship Program
In addition to offering personal and auto loans, Boro offers $2,000 scholarships to international students. To be eligible you must:
- Study in the US on an F-1 visa.
- Be an undergraduate or master’s student.
- Have strong academic performance, extracurriculars or social leadership skills.
You can apply for a scholarship for next semester through Boro’s site. If applications are closed, fill out a form asking to be notified once they open again.
Why should I consider taking out a loan with Boro?
- Designed for students. Most lenders won’t work with you while you’re in school. Boro will.
- Credit not necessary. You don’t need to have a credit score to qualify — though good credit can help your application.
- Nonresidents can qualify. Boro is willing to work with international students who don’t have a green card.
- No cosigner needed. This lender is one of the few options for international students that doesn’t require a creditworthy cosigner.
- Competitive rates. While the starting rate on Boro’s personal loan is high compared to other personal loan providers, its maximum rates stop well below average.
Where does Boro fall short?
- You have to be a student. You need to be enrolled in a US university or college to be eligible for a Boro loan.
- Limited availability. Boro personal loans are only available in 14 states and its auto loans are only available in 31 states as of August 2018.
- It considers your grades. If you don’t have a GPA of 2.0 as an undergrad or 3.0 as a graduate student, you aren’t eligible for a Boro loan.
- Down payment on auto loan. Boro only finances 65% to 75% of your vehicle’s value — depending on your loan amount. Most other car loan providers finance at least 80%.
- Low range of personal loans. With a maximum loan amount of $3,000, you probably won’t be able to use your personal loan to cover costs for next semester.
- No cosigners allowed. You’ll need to qualify on your own to be eligible for a Boro loan.
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How much will it cost me to borrow with Boro?
Costs depend on what loan you’re interested in, though both are relatively competitive. Boro personal loans start with a high 15.9% APR, but stop at 19.9% — much lower than the maximum personal loan rate of 36% in most states.
Its car loans are even more competitive, with APRs starting at a low 4.49% and ending at 13.99%. But with the auto loan, you’ll also need to pay a 25% to 35% down payment on your new car.
If you’re more than 15 days late on either Boro loan, it charges a $15 late fee. While the provider doesn’t charge an origination fee on its personal loans, it might on its car loans, depending on which state you live in.
What do customers say about Boro?
Almost nothing. As of August 2018, it has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). But that’s based on factors like marketing practices and how it handles customer complaints — not reviews. It’s also been accredited with the BBB since 2016, which can help its score.
It has no reviews on its BBB page and no Trustpilot page. In fact, we could only find one mention of Boro auto loans in forums. The customer said that Boro was one of their only options when they were looking to get a car loan and that they were satisfied with the rates and terms. They strongly recommended it.
Are Boro loans safe?
Generally, yes — though there’s no way to absolutely guarantee the safety of any information you submit online. It uses SSL encryption to protect data you send through Boro’s online application. And it uses Norton Security to regularly scan the site for malware and areas of vulnerability.
How do I apply for a loan with Boro?
To get an auto loan, you should visit your dealership first to find the model and make you’re interested in buying. But those interested in a personal loan can get started right away. Follow these steps to apply online:
- Go to the Boro site and click Apply Now.
- Next to Category, select which type of loan you’re interested in: Auto Loan or Personal Loan.
- Follow the directions to create an account and fill out the application.
- Wait for a Boro loan specialist to get back to you and let you know if you’re approved.
- Follow the loan specialist’s directions to upload additional documents and complete the application.
- Read your loan agreement carefully before signing it.
- Wait to receive your funds. Boro sends your funds directly to your personal bank account or to your car dealership, depending on your loan type.
After you sign your loan documents, you can get your personal loan as soon as the same business day. With a car loan, your dealership might receive the funds as soon as the next business day. Overall, the personal loan process takes less time from start to finish than the car loan.
To meet Boro’s general eligibility requirements, you must:
- Be over 18 years old.
- Be enrolled at a university or college in the US.
- Be a US citizen, permanent resident or have an F-1, OPT, H-1B, J-1, L or O-1 visa.
- Have a minimum GPA of 2.0 if you’re an undergraduate or 3.0 if you’re a graduate student.
More about Boro
Boro is a Chicago-based lender that specializes in providing financing to people who don’t have a Social Security number or credit history. Instead, it looks at factors like your educational background, earning potential and your banking history both in the US and abroad. In fact, about 86% of its customers have no credit history when they take out their first Boro loan.
Boro could be one of your only options as a college student looking for a personal or auto loan — especially if you’re not a US citizen or permanent resident. And its competitive rates hold up to the competition.
However, its limited state availability, small personal loan amounts and relatively high car loan down payments might make you want to consider other options. Check out our guide to student loans to learn about more of your borrowing options while in school, or visit our guide to getting a loan as a nonresident.