International Student Loan Options

When borrowing a loan in the U.S., international students should consider the following:

  • Interest rate terms (ie: fixed or variable)
  • Fees
  • Repayment incentives for the borrower
  • Total cost
  • Deferment and forbearance options
  • Repayment timelines and flexibility

Please note that many of these loans have annual and lifetime limits. It is not guaranteed that multiple lenders will approve your application. Even if approved for multiple loans, you may still be left with a gap between your total cost of attendance budget (tuition/fees/living expenses), your personal resources, and financial aid including your loans.

A list of lenders who responded to the University’s Request for Information and offer private educational loans to international students may be found through the University’s Student Financial Service’s site. Harvard graduate and professional students are not required to use the lenders on this list.

To begin the search for a lender, please follow these 4 steps:

  1. Review the University Student Financial Services’ page on Finding a Private Loan for Harvard University Graduate & Professional Students and read the important information there.
  2. Review the Private Loan Options.
  3. Search ELMSelect for a list of available lenders. Harvard graduate and professional students are not required to use the lenders on this list.
  4. Once you have contacted a lender and been pre-approved for a loan, please complete the Preliminary Private Loan Request Form and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. This is an important step in securing and finalizing your aid for the year.

Once we have received and reviewed your response to the Preliminary Private Loan Request Form, you will receive an email indicating that your MyFinaid is updated. This information will be sent to the Admissions Office and can be used as part of your financial certification for your visa application.

While some loan programs do not require a U.S. co-signer, applying with an eligible U.S. cosigner may offer more favorable terms and conditions. International students who have a U.S. co-signer should review loan options on both the “Graduate” and “International” pages on ELMSelect


Note: The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, like all of Harvard University, has no financial interest in your choice of lender.