Best Medical School Loans in March 2024

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Edited byAmy Wilder
Edited byAmy Wilder

Updated: March 22, 2024

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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.

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College Ave Review


  • College Ave

    Best for those who want flexible repayment options.


    • 4.43% - 17.99%Fixed APR
    • 5.59% - 17.99%Variable APR
    • $1,000 minimum, no maximumLoan Amount
    • Not requiredCo-signer

    College Ave was founded in 2014 and offers a range of student loans for borrowers across all levels. Its student loans for medical school boast repayment flexibility, with a grace period of up to 36 months. Borrowers do not have to pay any origination fees and may get a discount on their interest rate if they enable AutoPay.

    However, College Ave’s student loans come with a maximum loan limit of $150,000, which may not be enough to fund the full costs for medical school, depending on the institution. The company requires students to make satisfactory academic progress (SAP), and proof is required from the school.

    Pros

    • Flexible repayment options
    • Prequalification with a soft credit check for interested borrowers
    • No origination fees
    • 0.25% discount on interest rate for AutoPay
    • Grace period of up to 36 months

    Cons

    • A maximum loan limit of $150,000
    • Charges late payment fees
    • Requires students to make satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
    College Ave

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

    In 1972, Sallie Mae began providing federal education loans. Today, the company offers private student loans for graduate, undergraduate or career-training students — including those in medical school.

    Sallie Mae’s student loans for medical school offer students a generous 36-month grace period, with up to 48 months of deferment during residency and fellowship. It also charges no origination fees — all to give medical students a chance to focus on their education. However, the APR can reach as high as 14.46% for fixed loans and 15.08% for variable loans — but this will depend on the borrower’s financial history and credit score.

    Pros

    • No origination fees
    • Can cover up to 100% of school expenses
    • Offers 48 months of deferment during residency and fellowship
    • Offers a 36-month grace period
    • Has flexible repayment schemes

    Cons

    • APR can be as high as 15.08% for variable and 14.46% for fixed
    • Charges a late fee of 5%
    • Funds may take around 10 days to be released
    Sallie Mae

Ascent Review


  • Ascent

    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

    Ascent has been providing student loans since 2015, with the aim of revolutionizing education financing. In addition to offering flexible repayment plans, it also offers borrowers a 0.25% interest discount if they enable automatic payments along with a grace period of up to 9 months. For medical students, Ascent offers the opportunity to defer payments for up to 48 months. It even offers borrowers the chance to receive money by referring friends with a reward of $525.

    However, Ascent’s interest rates may be higher than others, as its maximum limit for fixed rates is 16.75%. Students may also only borrow up to a maximum of $400,000.

    Pros

    • No origination or prepayment penalty fees

    • Flexible repayment plans

    • Defers loans up to 48 months for half- or full-time students

    • Grace period up to nine months after graduation

    • Offers a discount of 0.25% for AutoPay


    Cons

    • Has a high fixed APR limit at 16.75%
    • Does not clarify eligibility requirements for medical school borrowers
    • Has a minimum annual income requirement
    Ascent

SoFi Review


  • SoFi

    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
    • OptionalCo-signer

    Founded in 2011, SoFi is the first company to offer refinancing for both private and federal student loans. Today, the company offers a range of financial products — student loans, refinancing, mortgages, credit cards, insurance and investment options. While SoFi does not have a specific student loan for medical school, it does offer grad school financing as well as medical resident and medical professional refinancing.

    SoFi’s graduate school loan, which can be used for medical school, has a maximum loan cap of $20,500. This makes it great for students who only need a small loan to fund extra expenses, such as living expenses, books or other miscellaneous fees. Additionally, SoFi does not charge any fee, be it origination, disbursement, late or prepayment penalty fees. Borrowers with cosigners may also benefit from its cosigner release after 24 months of consecutive, full principal and interest payments.

    Pros

    • Offers co-signer release after 24 consecutive months of on-time payments
    • Application process is done entirely online
    • Offers several repayment options
    • No fees (origination, late or prepayment)
    • Offers unemployment protection

    Cons

    • Grace period of only six months
    • Loan disbursement may take four to six weeks
    • Low maximum loan amount of $20,500 per year
    SoFi

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.

1
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.

2
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.

3
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.

4
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.

5
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.

6
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.

7
Consistently make payments

If you get approved, use the money to fund your education and start repaying your loan.

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HOW WE REVIEWED STUDENT LOAN LENDERS

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.

Which is better for medical schools, federal or private student loans?
How much can you borrow for medical school?
Do I need a co-signer to get a medical school loan?
When should I start repaying my medical school loans?
How much does it cost to attend a medical school?
How are interest rates determined in a medical school loan?
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*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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