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.
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.
|4 Residency Relocation Loan Options|
|Sallie Mae||● Variable: 1.25% – 9.44%
● Fixed: 4.74% – 11.85%
|$1,000 to 30,000|
|Discover||● Variable: 1.24% – 10.99%¹
● Fixed: 4.24% – 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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|
|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.
- 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.
- 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
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!
|Lender||APR Range||Loan Amount|
|5.99% – 18.82%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|4.66% – 35.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|7.99% – 35.97%*||$1,000 - $35,000|
|99.00% – 199.00%2||$500 - $4,000|
|5.99% – 24.99%3||$5,000 - $35,000|
|7.99% – 29.99%4||$7,500 - $40,000|
|7.99% – 20.88%5||$5,000 - $50,000|
|9.99% – 35.99%6||$2,000 - $25,000|
|10.68% – 35.89%7||$1,000 - $40,000|
|9.95% – 35.99%8||$2,000 - $35,000|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Opploans.
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.
3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.
4 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.
5 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
6 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.
7 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.
All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage and history. The APR ranges from 10.68% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 9.56% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 13.11%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $192.37. The total amount repayable will be $6,925.32. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. The origination fee ranges from 2% to 6% (average is 4.86% as of 7/1/2019 – 9/30/2019). In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,001 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 or longer.
8 Important Disclosures for Avant.
*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/.