Pursuing an MBA can help you improve your career — but it comes at a cost. Fortunately, if you need help funding a degree, there are various avenues to get an MBA student loan, whether federal or private.
While federal student loans should be maximized first, they may not always be enough. This is where private MBA student loans come in, as they can be used to help close the gaps in funding. For instance, they can help pay for any remaining tuition, living expenses, the cost of books and more.
To help you find student loans for MBA programs, MoneyGeek reviewed over 30 private lenders and assessed them based on six key categories: affordability, accessibility, consumer friendliness, customer service, flexibility and lender transparency.
College Ave Review
- College Ave
Best for students who need flexible repayment terms.
- 4.44% - 15.99%Fixed APR Range
- 5.09% - 15.99%Variable APR Range
- $1,000 minimum, no maximumLoan Amount Range
- Not requiredCo-Signer
Best for those who need a long grace period.
- 4.43% - 14.90%Fixed APR Range
- 5.32% - 16.20%Variable APR Range
- $1,000 upLoan Amount Range
- Allowed Co-Signer
Sallie Mae Review
- Sallie Mae
Best for students enrolled half-time.
- 3.50%–13.83% Fixed APR Range
- 1.37%–11.76%Variable APR Range
- $1,000 minimum, no maximumLoan Amount Range
- Allowed but not requiredCo-Signer
Best for MBA students who need additional financial literacy
- 4.36%–14.08%Fixed APR Range
- 1.47%–11.31%Variable APR Range
- $2,001–$200,000Loan Amount Range
- Non-U.S. citizens and temporary residentsCo-Signer
Federal MBA Student Loan Options
Before applying for any private student loans, MBA students should first maximize their federal student loans, as they often come with low interest rates. A student can apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form online.
For federal student loans, borrowers have two options: Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Grad PLUS Loans.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: A Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to graduate and undergraduate students. The maximum amount you can borrow is determined by your attendance cost and other financial aid. For graduate borrowers, the interest rate is 6.54%.
- Grad PLUS Loans: A Grad PLUS Loan is meant for graduate and professional students. The interest rate for Grad PLUS Loans is 7.54%. The maximum amount you can borrow is up to the cost of attendance minus other financial assistance.
Borrowers must pay loan fees for both Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Grad PLUS Loans. It’s possible to have all or part of your loan forgiven if you meet certain requirements.
Factors to Consider in an MBA Student Loan
Before applying for an MBA student loan, it’s important to consider several factors, compare options and find the best loan offer available to fit your needs.
- Program and school eligibility: Some lenders only provide loans to students attending the schools they support, which can vary. If your desired lender does not support your school, chances are you won’t be able to get an MBA student loan from it.
- Basic eligibility requirements: Understanding the requirements are crucial as some lenders may have particular criteria, such as requiring you to maintain a specific grade point average or use the loan only for certain expenses.
- Repayment terms and options: The repayment term is the length of the loan. Ideally, you should give yourself enough time to repay the loan at a rate that is comfortable for your situation.
- Interest rates: A loan's cost is determined by its interest rate. The lower the interest rate, the less you will pay in total over the life of your loan. A low interest rate should come with a manageable loan term — after all, the longer the term, the more interest you will pay.
- Maximum loan amounts: This is the maximum you can borrow, which is worth considering if you need to borrow more than a lender’s maximum. Ideally, it’s best to borrow from as few lenders as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions About MBA Student Loans
Getting an MBA student loan can help you further your career, but you may have questions about your best options. We’ve answered common questions about student loans for MBAs to help you navigate these loans.
We reviewed more than 30 private student loan lenders using 35+ individual data points across six key categories: loan affordability, accessibility, consumer friendliness, customer service, flexibility and lender transparency.
Within each ranking criteria category, we considered several individual data points that we feel carry the most weight when choosing a private student loan lender. These factors include APR ranges, available loan amount, minimum credit score, minimum income amount, application fees and disbursement time.
Here at MoneyGeek, we value you, the consumer, so we also factor in each lender’s customer support, business ratings and additional features that could make your experience easier and more accessible — like prequalification, payment options and mobile apps.
After careful consideration and calculation, our picks are decided and chosen with your best interest in mind. Our personal loan recommendations and expert tips are meant to help you make the best decision when choosing a lender that meets your needs.
- Ascent. "Ascent Funding Private Student Loan Program & Student Benefits Standard RFI Questions and Responses." Accessed December 7, 2022.
- College Ave Student Loans. "MBA Student Loans." Accessed December 7, 2022.
- Earnest. "Earnest MBA Loans." Accessed December 7, 2022.
- Sallie Mae. "MBA Loan." Accessed December 7, 2022.
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