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You may decide to borrow supplemental private education loans to help bridge the gap between your cost of attendance and any other resources you are using to finance your education. These are generally credit-based loans.

When considering supplemental loan programs, pay close attention to:

  • Interest rates—are they fixed or variable?
  • Length of repayment period
  • Any borrower benefits, such as interest rate reductions and services
  • Deferment options
  • For international students, whether a U.S. co-signer is required

While private loans are not eligible for the income-based repayment plan or the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, private loans are eligible for the HKS Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP).


Each November through an open Request for Information (RFI) process, Harvard University seeks out data from lenders who offer non-federal education loans for the upcoming academic year. The RFI process was designed for Harvard to provide information to its graduate students on private loan products with competitive rates and other borrower benefits. Be sure to review Harvard University Graduate & Professional Student Private Loan to see the results of the latest RFI.

Learn more about private student loans and supplemental lenders from the University Student Financial Services office.