Residency Relocation Loans: What They Are and Where You Can Borrow

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Residency relocation loan funding can be used to pay for miscellaneous expenses as medical students match to their residency programs. Since expenses related to exploring residency programs aren’t included in standard financial aid packages, fourth-year medical students may need to find funding through private lenders.

There are options when shopping for a medical residency and relocation loan, however, so it’s important to know where to find a competitive offer.

What is a residency relocation loan?
Where to borrow a residency relocation loan
Using a personal loan to pay for residency relocation costs
Residency relocation loan FAQ

What is a residency relocation loan?

Relocation loans for medical students nearing residency mainly take two forms: private student loans or personal loans. Costs, such as application fees, flights, transportation, accommodations, meals during program visits and moving expenses, may be paid through a residence relocation loan if needed.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, these were some of the average costs associated with applying for residency programs as of 2019:

  • Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) fees: $860
  • National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) fees: $85
  • Interview costs (including travel, lodging, food, etc.): $3,700

Medical students looking to be matched with a residency program spend an average of about $4,645. It’s important to note that the total amount of money that students spend on residence relocation may be more or less, depending on factors such as the number of programs to which they apply and seasonal travel rates.

Considering that thousands of dollars can be spent during the residency search — not including medical school costs — students may choose to take out a residency relocation loan to fund the expense.

Where to borrow a residency relocation loan

4 Residency Relocation Loan Options
Lender APRs Loan Amount
Sallie Mae ● Variable: 2.75% – 10.65%
● Fixed: 4.74% – 11.85%
$1,000 to 30,000
Discover ● Variable: 2.09% – 11.49%¹
● Fixed: 5.09% – 12.39%¹
$1,000 to $5,000 or $18,000, depending on your specialty
Wells Fargo ● Variable: 4.33% – 10.30%
● Fixed: 4.99% – 10.72%
$1,000 to $15,000
PNC ● Variable: 4.70% – 11.87%
● Fixed: 4.54% – 11.79%
$1,000 to $15,000

¹Lowest rates shown include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments. The interest rate ranges represent the lowest and highest interest rates offered on Discover student loans, including Undergraduate, Graduate, Health Professions, Law and MBA Loans.

Sallie Mae Medical Residency and Relocation Loan

The Sallie Mae residency relocation loan offers students from $1,000 to $30,000 for residency-related costs.

You can choose from a variable or fixed interest rate, as well as defer payments as long as you’re enrolled at least half-time. The loan also offers deferment during your grace period, which is the first three years after graduating. If you leave school or drop below half-time, your grace period is shortened to nine months.

By enrolling in automatic payments, you lower your interest rate by 0.25 percentage points. The Sallie Mae residency relocation loan doesn’t charge origination fees or early prepayment penalties.

Eligibility

Borrowers must:

  • Be pursuing or have the following degrees:
    • Doctor of medicine (M.D.)
    • Doctor of osteopathy (D.O.)
    • Doctor of podiatric medicine (D.P.M.)
    • Doctor of veterinary medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.)
  • Be enrolled in an accredited institution at least half-time or have graduated from a participating school within the past 12 months
  • Be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents

A cosigner who is either a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident may be included in the loan application if the borrower doesn’t meet citizenship or credit criteria. After you make a minimum of 12 on-time principal and interest payments, you may request to have your cosigner released from the loan if you meet credit history and income requirements.

Discover Residency Loan

Discover offers up to $18,000 in residence relocation funding for students planning to practice allopathy, dentistry, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, podiatry and veterinary medicine. For students practicing nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy, or students planning to be physician assistants, the maximum residency relocation loan amount is $5,000.

The lender doesn’t charge application, origination, early payment or late fees. It offers multiple repayment options, with a 0.25 percentage point discount for students who enroll in automatic payments. Students who select the in-school, interest-only repayment option also receive a 0.35 percentage point interest rate reduction.

Borrowers who are enrolled at least half-time, in a medical residency, serving active duty in the military or serving a public service organization may qualify for student loan deferment.

Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • Be in their last year of medical school or have graduated within the past 12 months
  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Be able to pass a credit check

If you don’t meet credit or citizenship requirements, you can choose to have an eligible cosigner on the loan.

Wells Fargo MedCAP-XTRA loan

Students who need to pay for expenses related to their residency search can look into a Wells Fargo medical residency relocation loan, also called the MedCAP-XTRA loan. You can borrow a minimum of $1,000 and up to $15,000 for residency and relocation expenses. However, the lender imposes a cap of $5,000 for interview travel and $10,000 for relocation costs. There are no application, origination or late fees, or penalties for early payments.

To get a lower interest rate, Wells Fargo makes available one of the following discounts:

  • 0.50 percentage point reduction for borrowers who have a Portfolio by Wells Fargo relationship
  • 0.25 percentage point reduction for borrowers who have a qualified Wells Fargo checking account
  • 0.25 percentage point reduction for borrowers who have a prior or current Wells Fargo student loan

If you enroll in automatic payments while in repayment, you may be eligible for an additional 0.25 percentage point discount. Repayment starts six months after leaving medical school or five to seven years after the first loan disbursement. If you’re an allopathic or osteopathic student, you get a 36-month grace period before you must start repaying the loan.

Eligibility

Borrowers must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Attend an approved school for an approved program, including allopathic medicine, osteopathic, dentistry and podiatry
  • Demonstrate positive academic progress in their program of study

A cosigner may be added to the loan application as long as they meet eligibility requirements.

PNC Solution Loan for Health Professions Residency

PNC Bank offers relocation loans for medical students of $1,000 to $15,000 with no application or origination fees. Additionally, borrowers can choose among three repayment terms: 5, 10 or 15 years.

For added savings on loan interest, you’ll receive a 0.50 percentage point interest rate discount when you enroll in automatic payments from your checking or savings account. This is 0.25 percentage points more than the autopay discount offered by our other featured lenders.

Payments can be deferred while you’re in residency for up to four years, with a six-month grace period. PNC Bank allows cosigners, offering cosigner release after at least 48 consecutive, on-time payments. You’ll also need to demonstrate the ability to repay your loan payments and meet credit criteria to remove your cosigner from the loan.

Eligibility

Borrowers (including students and possible cosigners) must:

  • Be in the process or planning to enroll in an approved medical residency program. Approved programs include doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S.), M.D., D.O. and D.V.M.
  • Be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents and have lived in the U.S. for the past 2 years
  • Be able to meet credit qualifications and debt-to-income requirements

Using a personal loan to pay for residency relocation costs

In addition to private student loans, personal loans are another option to pay for the cost of residency relocation. Although these two loan types may seem similar, they are different in a few key ways.

For example, private student loans may offer lower interest rates and require you to use the funds toward a specific expense. Personal loans, however, are disbursed directly to you rather than your school’s financial aid office and are more easily dischargeable during a bankruptcy.

Where to borrow a personal loan for residency relocation

2 Personal Loan Options for Residency Relocation
Lender APR Loan Amount
Laurel Road Fixed: 8.01% – 16.30% $5,000 to $15,000
SunTrust Fixed: 9.99% to 15.95% as of March 12, 2020
— check with lender for latest rates
Up to $50,000

Laurel Road Personal Loan for Medical Residents

Students in training or who have a residency match letter may apply for a loan. The online lender offers up to $15,000 toward residency relocation costs with repayment term options of five or seven years.

When you sign up for automatic electronic funds transfer, you’ll receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount. Additionally, if you have another Laurel Road lending account, you may be eligible for a relationship discount.

Eligibility

Borrowers must:

  • Be U.S. citizen or permanent residents (if a permanent resident, the borrower must show proof that they have a valid I-551 card with at least 10 years between the issue and expiration dates)
  • Meet qualifications on credit history

SunTrust Physician Loan

SunTrust Physician Loans are available to fourth-year medical students who’ve received a residency match. You may apply for up to $50,000 toward personal expenses related to residency relocation. There are no application or origination fees or early payment penalties for this residence relocation loan.

The lender offers repayment terms of up to 10 years. Eligible students may receive the option to make interest-only payments up to the first 48 months after disbursement. After this time, you may be able to renew this option for your second year.

Eligibility

Borrowers must:

  • Be matched with a residency program
  • Be pursuing doctor of dental medicine (D.M.D.), D.D.S., M.D. D.O. or D.P.M. degrees
  • Have qualifying income and credit

Residency relocation loan FAQ

Can a federal student loan cover residency relocation costs? Yes. If you have unused federal student loans, those extra funds can be used toward resident relocation.

How much should I borrow? To reduce the overall medical school debt you’ll owe, maximize the amount of federal student loan funds you’re eligible for and only borrow alternative loans up to the amount you need.

Can I borrow a residency relocation loan with bad credit? Yes. However, you’ll need to find a cosigner with strong credit and a lender that accepts applications with a cosigner. If you decide to apply for a residency relocation loan with a cosigner, try to find a lender that offers cosigner release if possible.

Should I consider a cosigner for a residency relocation loan? If you don’t meet credit requirements or aren’t a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may need a cosigner for a residence relocation loan.

How do I find the best residency relocation loan for me? To find your best residency relocation loan, estimate your realistic residency relocation expenses and compare offers across multiple lenders. Make sure you’re comfortable with the borrowing amount and terms (interest rate, deferment and grace periods, repayment terms and cosigner requirements) before applying.

Paul Sisolak contributed to this report.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2020!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.82% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 19, 2020 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your creditworthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
    See Consumer Licenses.
  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.
  5. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Opploans.

Opploans Disclosures

Direct Deposit required for payroll.

Opploans currently operates in these states: . *Approval may take longer if additional verification documents are requested. Not all loan requests are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on credit determination and state law. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day.

  1. To qualify, a borrower must (i) be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; (ii) reside in a state where OppLoans operates; (iii) have direct deposit; (iv) meet income requirements; (v) be 18 years of age (19 in Alabama); and, (vi) meet verification standards.
  2. NV Residents: The use of high-interest loans services should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any loan transaction.

  3. OppLoans performs no credit checks through the three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Applicants’ credit scores are provided by Clarity Services, Inc., a credit reporting agency.

  4. Based on customer service ratings on Google and Facebook. Testimonials reflect the individual’s opinion and may not be illustrative of all individual experiences with OppLoans. Check loan reviews.

  5.  

    Rates and terms vary by state.


3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

4 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. The loan terms presented are not guaranteed and APRs presented are estimates only. To obtain a loan you must submit additional information and documentation and all loans are subject to credit review and our approval process. The range of APRs is 7.99% to 29.99% and your actual APR will depend upon factors including your credit score, usage and history, the requested loan amount, the stated loan purpose, and the term of the requested loan. To qualify for a 7.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available. All loans are made by Cross River Bank and MetaBank®, N.A., Members FDIC.

5 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates from 6.79% – 20.89% (6.79% – 20.89% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%- 18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
     
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 9.99% APR to a high of 35.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

7 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.

†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com

**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.


8 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

9 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.

**Example: A $5,900 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,619.75, repayable in 36 monthly installments, with an APR of 29.95% would have monthly payments of $250.30.

Based on the responses from 11,574 customers in a survey of 210,584 newly funded customers, conducted from 1 Feb 2018 – 1 Aug 2019 95.05% of customers stated that they were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with Avant. 4/5 Customers would recommend us. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.


* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 7.99%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s lending partners. Information on Upgrade’s lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.

5.99% – 18.82%1$5,000 - $100,000

Visit SoFi

6.27% – 35.99%$5,000 - $30,000

Visit Upstart

7.99% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $35,000

Visit Upgrade

99.00% – 199.00%2$500 - $4,000

Visit OppLoans

5.99% – 24.99%3$5,000 - $35,000

Visit Payoff

7.99% – 29.99%4$7,500 - $40,000

Visit FreedomPlus

6.79% – 20.89%5$5,000 - $50,000

Visit Citizens

9.99% – 35.99%6$2,000 - $25,000

Visit LendingPoint

6.95% – 35.89%7$1,000 - $40,000

Visit LendingClub

5.99% – 17.24%8$5,000 - $75,000

Visit Earnest

9.95% – 35.99%9$2,000 - $35,000

Visit Avant

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.