Alternative Loan Options for US Students and Permanent Residents

The Harvard University Credit Union now offers an education loan that can be used by US students without a loan cosigner. This loan can be used to assist students with academic related costs that are not covered by their existing financial aid awards.

US Students can choose between the Graduate Plus Loan and the Harvard Credit Union Loan. Please review the loan comparison worksheet. If after reviewing the comparision chart, you decide that you would like to borrow the Harvard Credit Union Loan please follow the instructions below.

Alternative Loan Restrictions for Domestic Students

In addition to the loan eligibility criteria, certain restrictions will apply:

  1. Loan Amount Limitations: Students attending the GSD are limited to a maximum of $12,000 per year when applying for the HUECU private loan.
  2. Adverse credit histories: Students with adverse credit history may be turned down from this loan. Students will have the option to apply with a credit-worthy US cosigner. An eligible cosigner can be anyone who is a US citizen or permanent resident with a satisfactory credit rating.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact either the lender of your choice, or the Office of Financial Assistance.

Application Instructions

Once you have reviewed the information and decided on which loan you want to borrow, please do the following:

  1. Download, review, and complete the loan request form and submit it to the Office of Financial Assistance.
  2. Download and complete the alternative loan borrowers Entrance Interview Form and return it to the Office of Financial Assistance.
  3. Complete the lenders application process, and follow their instructions.

    Apply for the Harvard Credit Union Loan online

Once you have completed the loan application process, we will notify the lender of our approval of your loan and the amount. At that time, we will add the loan to your anticipated aid so it is reflected in the balance on your Harvard term bill. If your term bill balance is or will be paid by a means other than one of these loans, and the loan causes a credit on your bill, we will refund the excess to you for living expenses at the start of the semester.

To submit documents or questions to the GSD Office of Financial Assistance, you may mail the forms to us at 48 Quincy Street, Room 422, Cambridge MA 02138. You may also fax (617-495-8949) or email the information to us at

Additional Information

Please visit the following websites for information on Libor and Prime.

The Harvard University Student Loan Code of Conduct

Students who know a US citizen or permanent resident who is willing to serve as a loan cosigner may have additional loan options. Information on these loan programs is provided on the Private Loan Options for Graduate & Professional Students website.

Resources: Financial Aid: Types of Aid: Alternative Loan Options for US Citizens and Permanent Residents

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