Attending medical school involves a hefty sum, as the average cost of a degree is $54,698 per year or $218,792 for four years. To fund a degree in medicine, a federal student loan for medical school is the best option, as it features a low-interest rate and benefits that can be useful in the future.
However, federal student loans may not be enough to cover the costs, which is where a private student loan for medical school can help. MoneyGeek evaluated more than 30 lenders to determine which offered the best student loans.
College Ave Review
- College Ave
Best for those who want flexible repayment options.
- 4.44% - 15.99%Fixed APR
- 5.09% - 15.99%Variable APR
- $1,000 minimum, no maximumLoan Amount
- Not requiredCo-signer
Sallie Mae Review
- Sallie Mae
Best for students who might need a long deferment and grace period.
- 3.50%–13.83% Fixed APR Range
- 1.37%–11.76%Variable APR Range
- $1,000 minimum, no maximum
- Allowed but not requiredCo-signer
Best for those who need resources to improve 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
Best for those who need small loans.
- 3.22%–11.16%Fixed APR Range
- 1.10%–11.68%Variable APR Range
- $5,000 minimum, no maximumLoan Amount Range
Federal Student Loan Options for Medical School
For any aspiring medical student, starting with federal student loans should be the first option. Federal student loans for medical school tend to have lower interest rates than private loans, making repayment easier over the years. Interested borrowers can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form online.
There are three types of federal student loans for medical school students:
- Direct PLUS or Grad PLUS loans: A Direct PLUS loan or Grad PLUS loan is a type of federal student loan meant solely for graduate or professional courses, which includes medical school. The current interest rate for a Grad PLUS loan is 7.54%.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Direct Unsubsidized Loans are standard federal student loans. They are available for graduate and undergraduate students, with the fixed interest rate currently at 6.54% for graduate borrowers.
- Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL): The HPSL is a needs-based loan for undergraduate and graduate students in health profession fields but is only available for students attending participating schools. The interest rate for HPSL loans is 5%.
How to Choose a Student Loan for Medical School
Choosing a private student loan for medical school is a serious decision as it affects your finances for a significant period. It’s helpful to understand the steps involved and what you need to consider when applying for a loan.
Look for flexible repayment terms
Lenders that offer flexible repayment schemes, such as interest-only payments or deferring repayment until after graduation, can help you focus on what matters most: your education. Choose a lender with different repayment options when looking for a private student loan for medical school.
Compare interest rates
Your interest rate determines how much you pay on top of the principal. Interest can be paid during your schooling or in tandem with the principal, depending on the repayment schemes of your lender. Choose an interest rate that is low with a manageable loan term.
Determine what fees are included
The potential fees included in your loan can include origination, late payment, disbursement and prepayment penalty fees. Find out if your desired lender charges fees, as these can add up quickly.
Borrow within the maximum amount
Determine how much you need to borrow and whether that falls within the lender’s maximum amount. If the lender offers up to the total cost of education, then make sure to figure out how much you can afford to borrow and try to avoid overborrowing.
Assess benefits and discounts
Some lenders offer extra benefits, like a discount on your interest rate, if you meet certain requirements. Any benefits and discounts should factor into your decision.
Apply for a student loan
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices based on the repayment term, interest rate, fees, loan amount and benefits, find out the application process to apply for your loan. Most lenders now allow you to apply entirely online.
Consistently make payments
If you get approved, use the money to fund your education and start repaying your loan.
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 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.
With the consumer in mind, we also factor in each lender’s customer support, business ratings and additional features that could make your experience easier and more accessible — like pre-qualification, payment options and mobile apps.
Frequently Asked Questions About Medical School Loans
Applying for a student loan for medical school is common for those who want to further their education to begin a career in healthcare. Get a deeper understanding of private student loans for medical school with our answers to frequently asked questions.
- Ascent Funding. "Ascent Funding FAQs." Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Ascent. "Ascent Funding Private Student Loan Program & Student Benefits Standard RFI Questions and Responses." Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Ascent Funding. "Medical School Loans." Accessed December 9, 2022.
- College Ave. "Medical School Loans." Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Education Data Initiative. "Average Cost of Medical School." Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Federal Student Aid. "Grad PLUS Loans." Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Federal Student Aid. "Interest Rates and Fees for Federal Student Loans." Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Federal Student Aid. "Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans." Accessed December 9, 2022.
- Sallie Mae. "Sallie Mae® Medical School Loan." Accessed December 9, 2022.
- SoFi. "Graduate Student Loans." Accessed December 9, 2022.
- The University of Mississippi. "Federal Health Professions Student Loans." Accessed December 9, 2022.
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