Complete guide to education loans available for Indian students pursuing higher studies abroad. Read on to go over the available options & general requirements.
|⚠️ Aeldra Bank closed their operations in August 2022. Check out Wise for an alternative way of sending money from India to USA.
|📝 Table of contents
Aeldra is a digital banking company that works with a US partner to provide specific banking services to Indian citizens. Many traditional US banks don’t allow non-US citizens to open bank accounts, but Aeldra's partnership with Blue Ridge Bank helps overcome that hurdle. This is especially useful for Indian students, freelancers, or those that want to move to the US.
The company was founded in 2019 by 3 IIM-Bangalore graduates and has offices in the US and in India. Aeldra is looking to diversify to other countries, but for right now they only have products for the US-India corridor.
They provide 3 main services to Indian citizens looking to move to the US:
- A local US bank account
- A linked Mastercard debit card
- Access to an investment brokerage account
One of the most useful aspects of Aeldra is that you can open an account even before you arrive in the US. ¹
Aeldra is legal in India and the US. It is in compliance with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines and America’s regulations.
While you are in India, you can send money to fund your Aeldra account using your Indian bank account. But you won’t be able to use the account to make purchases until you have arrived in the States. You’ll also only get your Mastercard debit card once you are in the US and have let Aeldra know of your physical US mailing address.
As long as you are an Indian citizen, you will still have to follow the rules of the RBI when sending foreign currency abroad. The RBI, under the Liberalized Remittance Scheme, caps the amount you can send out of India at $250,000 USD per financial year. You will be required to hold a PAN card in order to send money from India.
Aeldra is safe. With the company’s partnership with Blue Ridge Bank in the US, you have access to the safety and security of an FDIC-insured bank. It also has 2-factor authentication and 256-bit encryption and SSL to secure and protect your information online.
|🏦 FDIC, short for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, is backing from the US government that your deposits are covered up to $250,000 if the member bank falls through.²
It is fairly simple to open an Aeldra account. The entire process is online but first, you must be eligible. It is required that all applicants have an Indian passport and a PAN card before applying for an Aeldra bank account. You may also need an Aadhaar number too.
If you have those ready, here are the steps to open a bank account with Aeldra:
- Go to Aeldra’s Open An Account page or download their app on iOS or Android
- Click on Open an Account
- Select where you are applying from
- Answer the prompt regarding a US Social Security number
- Complete the application details
- Submit the application
Aeldra is also open to US citizens with a Social Security number, so you will be asked about that. But it is not required to open an Aeldra account. You can open the account with just a valid Indian passport.
Make sure to have a scanned copy of your Indian passport before starting your application. You may also be asked to take a selfie to verify your identity too.
Once you have submitted your application, Aeldra will verify and confirm your details and it will be checked with the US government’s KYC and Anti-Money Laundering regulations.
You can start accessing your account once you have been approved. Since it is a completely digital process, you can only access your account online or through the app. You can also start moving your Indian money into your Aeldra account, even before you arrive in the States.
|⚠️ An Aeldra account will be a checking account but it does not come with check writing capabilities. Instead you can make purchases with the linked debit card.
There are 3 main ways to transfer money from your local Indian bank account to your new Aeldra account:
|With an ABA/Routing Number transfer
|Available at most commercial and private banks in India
|A SWIFT transfer
|Available at SBI, ICICI, DBS and when ABA/Routing is not available
|Money Transfer Service
|A third party, like Wise, which can be often cheaper than banks
Aeldra recommends using the ABA/Routing number transfer method if it is available with your Indian bank, versus SWIFT because it is faster. But money transfer services like Wise can be faster and cheaper than both.
Sign up with Wise, and send money online from your Indian bank account to your local Aeldra account in the US. Aeldra recommends Wise even if you are sending money to India too.
If you are already abroad, check out the Wise multi-currency account that comes with a linked debit card. With an ability to hold 65+ currencies, including Indian rupees, you can shop like a local wherever you are.
Depending on which option you choose to use, you’ll find the required account and bank details when you open your Aeldra app. You’ll need those details to send the funds to the correct account in the US. Make sure you keep an eye on the bank name and the codes/routing number required.
For more information, check out Aeldra website on transferring funds from an Indian account
Aeldra does not require a minimum balance in the account.
There is one centralized number and email address to reach Aeldra in case there are any problems or questions:
Phone +1 844 333 3101 (toll-free in the US)
You can also take a look at Aeldra’s FAQ page to troubleshoot any issues you are having or answer general questions. ³
Sources used for this article:
All sources checked as of 14 February, 2022
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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