When borrowing a loan in the U.S., international students should consider the following:
- Interest rate terms (ie: fixed or variable)
- 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.
Here is a quick estimate of what a loan might look like in repayment:
|Amount borrowed (loan principal)||Approximate Interest Accrual During One Year of Enrollment (9 months)||2.5% Origination Fee||Total Loan Balance At Beginning of Repayment||Estimated Monthly Payment with 15 Year Repayment Period*|
|*Your payment will vary due to differing disbursement dates and variable interest rate. This estimated payment is based on a 7% interest rate and 180 month repayment period.|
You can use this loan calculator to get a specific estimate of your monthly payments depending on the amount you plan to borrow.
When thinking about repayment, please take into consideration your citizenship country, economic situation, exchange rates, and job prospects. Our office is available by phone, email and in-person to have conversations around what amount to borrow. Visit our Contact Us page to set up an appointment
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:
- Review the University Student Financial Services’ page on Finding a Private Loan for Harvard University Graduate & Professional Students and read the important information there.
- Review the Private Loan Options.
- Search ELMSelect for a list of available lenders. Harvard graduate and professional students are not required to use the lenders on this list.
- 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.