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Questions to Ask a Lender Consumer Information The Rowe Fund

Private banks offer loan programs for educational costs. Most of these loans will require a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen. Interest rates generally are variable. The borrowing limit for private loans is the total cost of education for the academic year (as defined by Johns Hopkins University) less any financial aid or scholarships already received.

As a service to students and their families, Johns Hopkins University makes available this link to the Maryland Student Loan Marketplace which assists in comparing private loans and in identifying potential lenders. The Maryland Student Loan Marketplace was designed by the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA) to help students and their families navigate the world of private student loans. The Marketplace is an online, education financing resource that provides students with a transparent process to evaluate private loans. In addition, it provides access to a Learning Center which supplies critical information needed to engage in smart borrowing practices. It is one of many tools that may be helpful when selecting a private loan lender. The University does not endorse or recommend any lender, nor does the University have any financial interest in any lending institution. Students and their families have the right to select the educational loan provider of their choice.

Johns Hopkins University Financial Aid Code of Conduct and Policy on Educational Loans.

Questions to ask a Private Lender (Top)

  • What is your lowest interest rate and fee combination and how can I get it? Is the rate only for a limited period or is it for the life of the loan?
  • For variable rate loans, is there a limit on how high the variable rate can go? How often is the interest rate adjusted, and how is it determined?
  • What interest rate can I get on a fixed-rate loan?
  • How long will I be repaying the loan? Is there any penalty for paying it off early?
  • When do I have to start making payments? How long can I defer payments while I'm in school? If I go to graduate school and defer payments, how much will I owe when I do start making them?
  • Will I lose my discount for paying on time if I have only one late payment or if I ask for a change in the payment schedule?
  • What proportion of your borrowers get the discounts you offer? Are your discounts guaranteed or are they subject to change later?
  • Would you allow me to defer or reduce my payments temporarily because of economic hardship? Under what circumstances and for how long?

-- From the Project on Student Debt (see website below)

Consumer Information on Student Loans (Top)

For more information on comparing lender benefits, see the following website:

For questions to ask when considering a private loan, see the following website:

Information on current market interest rates is available at

Some additional sites with information on private loans for international students are as follows: (see to the section on Financing College)

The Rowe Fund Student Loan Program (Top)

Leo S. Rowe Pan American Fund

Every year since 1948, the Leo S. Rowe Pan American Fund program of the
Organization of American States has been granting interest free student
loans, to individuals from Latin America and Caribbean countries to help
them cover their studies and research at accredited institutions in the
United States. These loans are made on the understanding that when the
recipients have completed their studies, they are to return to their
respective home countries to assist in their countries' economic
development and social integration.

Applications are accepted and reviewed year-round. For more information, and to download the application forms, visit



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