Every year around this time the nation’s colleges and universities fill up with students from all around the world. These students not only study, they buy cars, shop, and need medical care, all of which cost money.
Some have a hard time doing many of those things, Brian Hoffman said. Mr. Hoffman is the founder and CEO of Nomad Credit, a financial marketplace for people underserved by other options. The platform allows international students and visa holders to search for education loans, education loan refinancing, personal loans, auto loans, auto insurance, student medical insurance, renter’s insurance and credit cards. Nomad Credit’s search engine provides comparable options for the credit seeker to compare.
Mr. Hoffman said Nomad identified several gaps when researching the services provided to international students. One is their awareness of online lending. Many students come from regions that do not offer online lending opportunities and are surprised to learn they can apply for loans online.
This is a prime market. International students understand the language and are not likely to have allegiances to local brands. Be the first in mind and you have an advantage.
The reverse is also true. Nomad Credit works with international lenders who have options international students may be eligible for. If a search reveals a lender the student recognizes from their home country that helps too.
“We work with lenders in India and the United States so students can search for and compare loan options in their home country vs. the United States,” Mr. Hoffman said.
Nomad Credit also works with international students attending school in countries other than the United States, Mr. Hoffman said. They have helped a student from India obtain financing in Singapore and another apply in the Netherlands.
“We’re starting with international students in the United States, but we have plans to get into other countries too,” Mr. Hoffman said.
Nomad Credit’s marketing efforts are focused on India, which has the second largest pool of students coming to study the STEM disciplines, business development director Nathan Treadwell said. Other strong student countries of origin are China, Nigeria, the United Kingdom and Canada.
“We also cater to international workers,” Mr. Hoffman said. Some of those people are used to taking out loans at double-digit rates, only to get to the United States and find options at less than half that, he added.
“Many come with good jobs, but they cannot get a credit card for six months until their score hits a certain number,” Mr. Hoffman said. “We provide a number of options for those customers.”