bank statement for i20

International students need to show proof of funds to receive I-20 from SEVIS approved U.S. Universities or colleges. Sometimes they have to borrow money to get bank statement to get I-20.

Students can attend F-1 Visa interview only after they receive I-20 in hand.  It’s not always possible for a family in India to have $50,000 in a bank account. Some people can’t afford to show that kind of money without an Education Loan.

For getting education loan, I-20 is required. So, what’s the solution? Some people use agents, who would lend money for few days to get a bank statement.

Borrow Money from Agent for Bank Statement

Here’s a question from a reader.

I have completed my Engineering in India with GPA 9.26 from NMIT, Bangalore and joined started working for Dell. I am very much interested in learning new things and gaining more and more knowledge.

I’m interested in studying abroad, hence took up a GRE training from Princeton Review for old format GRE, sadly due delay in receiving my passport, I could not write GRE in the old pattern.

But I, rescheduled my GRE to the new format and prepared from official ETS and Barrons GRE and scored 307/340 (160 in quant and 147 in verbal).

My father is a railway employee and cannot afford the fees for MS in the USA.  I get a monthly salary of Rs 21,000 in which I can save up to 10,000 Rs per month.

I want to do higher studies where I can get excellent exposure, facilities, knowledge gain and return of investment.

Recently few of my friends have gone to do MS in the US for Fall semester. They said I need a minimum of 40 lakhs for two years of M.S. ( about $50,000 for two years).

If that is true, then my dream of doing MS is shattered. 

Is there any way where I can do MS with an Initial amount of 5 lakhs in hand (can use some illegal way to show 20 lakhs in my account and then taken back).

I can do all sort of small jobs for sustaining day to day life in the US.

In this scenario, I’m ready to give 4 hours per week for preparation for GRE and willing to take up GRE in for Fall semester. Please guide me and give me some suggestions that I can implement so that I fulfill my DREAM.

Bank Balance and Cost of Education

A lot of students when trying to understand about total expenses for education in the USA have to go through this phase. You are going to run into a similar situation where, you will feel shattered and helpless. But, when you take the time to understand the expenses involved and how student sin the USA manage their fees, your fear will vanish.

Your father is in Indian Railways. I know it’s tough to pay for your education when income from Railway job would be just enough to pay for your family expenses. But, so many lower-middle-class families have found ways to send them to U.S.A.

Is it true that you might have to spend $40,000 for MS?

Yes, in worst case scenario, you might have to spend $40,000. When applying for admission, universities will require showing bank balance for first year fees and expenses.

Your first-year fees and living expense as per I-20 will be between $20,000 and above.

So, you have to get the letter from bank with a balance higher than first year expenses. In reality, most students don’t have that kind of money sitting in the bank account.

Options for Bank Statement

  1. Borrow money from relatives for few days, get the bank statement and return the cash.
  2. Using agents, who would give you the loan for few days to get bank statements (not advised).

You would ask, would universities verify the bank statement submitted for the proof of finances?  I have seen that happen. Even if you had your money and distribute it after few days, what’s going to happen.

Most students from India do this. They, pool the money from various sources, then get a statement and redistribute it. Sometimes, universities would ask a Bank Affidavit in addition to bank statement ( check required documents for I-20)

GRE Score and Admission

Your score of 307 is just above average. You can prepare for GRE for another 3 to 4 months and retake GRE by December.

Improve your score to 320+.

With good GRE Score, you can try to get admission with financial aid or scholarship. When you have financial aid, then you don’t have to show bank balance during the visa interview.

If you get 100% scholarship that pays for your tuition and stipend for living expense, then you can attend the interview without worrying about bank balance.

Improve Academic Profile

High GRE score combined with significant personal and academic profile will improve your chances to get admission with financial aid. For students and entry-level engineers, often ask how to improve my academic profile?

In India, we don’t have the concept of working as intern or research associate with companies or professors. Only very few students try hard to work as an intern. But, there is a way to get that experience while in school.

You must have heard about the outsourcing. But, I’m talking about outsourcing in small-scale.

I have this blog, and I need to get some work done, say to design a logo. It would cost over $500 to hire a designer to design a logo here in the USA. So, instead of spending $500, I can hire a designer for $50 in India, or other countries get same quality of work done. Look at sites like

If you can work for 50 to 100 hours, that will add value to your academic profile.

  • Go to the site now
  • Create a profile
  • Apply for a job

For first few jobs, you should quote offer lower hourly rate than the job posting. It will help you build your feedback and work experience.

It may not be possible for you to afford you the education in the USA right away. But, if you get Financial Aid, then you can make it work.


  1. Geetha kamath on February 11, 2020 at 10:12 PM

    Are fixed deposits and a provisional loan sanction letter from the bank be enough for financial declaration that a few universities are asking before they give admits . Which will be more than enough to cover the expenses mentioned by the university .

  2. Pooja pandya on August 17, 2017 at 4:54 AM

    Hi my name is Pooja , I am from Gujarat, I complete my with BBI
    I want to go New Zealand but I don’t have to show that much balance and I done my pte exam I got 5 band now what to do how to apply

  3. Pooja pandya on August 17, 2017 at 4:53 AM

    Hi my name is Pooja , I am from Gujarat, I complete my with BBI
    I want to go New Zealand but I don’t have to show that much balance and I done my pte exam I got 5 band now what to do how to apply

  4. Harshit on September 21, 2016 at 11:47 PM

    I have received admits from 3 universities for Spring 2017. I am planning to show 1 year expenses for i-20 form through my personal account though I will be borrowing money from my parents and relatives. After receiving i-20 form I am planning to apply for Student loan and for remaining expenses I will show fixed deposits and savings of my parents. Now my question is whether source of funds during i-20 and visa interview needs to be same. Like during i-20 i will be showing personal funds in my account and during visa interview i will be showing sponsorship by parents through fix deposits.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on September 29, 2016 at 10:12 PM

      Depends on your source of funds and your overall story of sponsors, why the change in source.

    • Nayana on March 18, 2018 at 10:26 PM

      Should the source of money shown for i20 and during visa need to be the same. If not, is it anything to worry about during visa interview???

      • Raghuram Sukumar on March 18, 2018 at 10:43 PM

        Depends on the source for I-20 and Visa. Can you describe the difference?

  5. Richa on August 13, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    You should apply for Phd program in US. Here, you can do Phd after BE , most of university give scholarship to phd students but they are reluctant to give it to MS students and after 2 years you can quit phd and take MS degree( yes you can do this here) or you can do phd itself it might take longer but you don’t have to pay fees from your pocket. It might take 4-6 years to do phd after BE. I am doing MS here and I have talked to many professors about funding all of them have told me same thing. Good luck.

  6. vs parnandi on August 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    it is a fact majority of students applying for MS make last minute attempts to show huge bank balances… as hsb told they borrow funds from friends, relatives, etc. it is only a temporary arrangement.. in fact, even rich people will not keep huge balance in savings bank account which yield little interest… try to mobilise funds from your friends and relatives.. there are offices assisting in pursuing MS in USA for fee.. they lend money for short intervals till we get bank statements.. they also guide you in selecting universities that offer scholarship…you will definitely get good admission with funding… try to improve your GRE score which is very very important…

  7. srikanth on August 12, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    I am extremely thankful for your kind reply and suggestions, i am overwhelmed.

    I will definitely start working hard and put more efforts than last time to get 320+. this time there will no half measures and full on efforts.

    I am thankful for your kind suggestion of Odesk. but according to the company policy i should not offer any services to a person,group or any organisation. But i will try to improve my skills by taking up assignments within the organisation itself.

    I can borrow money from relatives just to show the balance for 1st year fees and expenses,but have to return back as soon as visa process is over.So i wanted to know few universities which offer full scholarships for my profile
    GPA – 9.26
    GRE- 307(hoping for 322 next time)
    2 years of work experience
    TOEFL – 100-110(yet to take up)

  8. verghese on August 12, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Universities issue an I-20 based on the bank support documents you provide them.They expect you to pay it as and when required.Private universities can be really expensive without any aid.The tuition alone could be anywhere between $25K-$30k per year.Living expenses should be less than $600 per month for most Indian students.40 lac Indian rupees is not an exaggerated figure, but something that you should be ready to pay.If you are interested in getting any kind of financial aid apply for a doctoral program.

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