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5 Best MBA Student Loan Refinance Options of February 2023

When refinancing MBA student loans, choose the lender that saves you the most money.

By Cecilia Clark 

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Business school graduates can be ideal candidates for student loan refinancing. MBAs often earn high incomes and work in the private sector, so they would be OK refinancing federal loans and losing benefits like income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

The best MBA student loan refinance lender is the one that saves you the most money. But if multiple options offer similar savings, look for loans with features that tie into your repayment or professional goals.

Here are our picks for the best lenders for MBA student loan refinancing, as well as tips on how to decide if this strategy is right for you.

Best MBA Student Loan Refinance Options

Our pick for

Extra features

SoFi can help grow your professional network with in-person member events. Other benefits, such as career coaching, may be of use if you got an MBA to change careers.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

650

Fixed APR

4.49-8.99%

Variable APR

4.99-8.99%
Check rate

on SoFi's website


Variable APR

4.99-8.99%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who want plenty of benefits with their refinanced student loan.

Pros

  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

  • Additional perks like career planning, job search assistance and entrepreneurship support available.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.

  • Loan size minimum is higher than most lenders.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 700+.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000, up to your total outstanding loan balance.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, an associate degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

Fixed rates range from 4.49% APR to 8.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 4.99% APR to 8.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.

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Our pick for

Fast payoff

Earnest Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on Earnest's website

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

680

Fixed APR

4.39-8.99%

Variable APR

4.09-8.29%
Check rate

on Earnest's website


Variable APR

4.09-8.29%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who want to customize their repayment schedule to pay off debt fast.

Pros

  • Customizable payments and loan terms.

  • Option to skip one payment every 12 months.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • You can’t apply with a co-signer.

  • Loans aren't available in Nevada.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 760.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $500,000.

  • Must have a degree: No, but must be within six months of graduation and have income or a job.

Available Term Lengths

5 to 20 years

Disclaimer

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 4.64% APR to 9.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 4.09% APR to 8.54% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account.

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College Ave Student Loan Refinance
Check rate

on College Ave's website

College Ave Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
College Ave Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

Mid-600s

Fixed APR

4.99-8.99%

Variable APR

4.44-8.99%
Check rate

on College Ave's website


Variable APR

4.44-8.99%

Key facts

Best for borrowers who want a nonstandard loan term — six or nine years, for instance.

Pros

  • You can choose any loan term between 5 and 15 years.

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.

  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Mid-700s.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000, depending on the highest degree earned.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, an associate degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

5 to 15 years

Disclaimer

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply. As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000. Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Flat Repayment Option with an 8-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.78% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 54 monthly payments of $25 while in school, followed by 96 monthly payments of $176.21 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $18,266.38. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. Information advertised valid as of 12/21/2022. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

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RISLA Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
RISLA Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

680

Fixed APR

5.29-7.74%

Variable APR

N/A

Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Best for borrowers who want payment flexibility should they run into financial trouble.

Pros

  • Income-based repayment plan available, with forgiveness after 25 years.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.

  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: 748.

  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $250,000, depending on the highest degree earned.

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 10 or 15 years

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Our pick for

Refinancing before graduation

The earlier you refinance, the more you could save. If you’re in an executive MBA program and have a job lined up, look for lenders that let you refinance before graduation.

ISL Refinance Loan

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
ISL Refinance Loan

Min. credit score

670

Fixed APR

6.93-11.58%

Variable APR

N/A

Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Best for saving on interest before graduation.

Pros

  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

  • You can refinance without a degree.

  • You can refinance while in school or during a medical residency.

Cons

  • Interest rates vary by refi product.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Approximately 750.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $300,000. (Minimum for California residents is $10,000.)

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20

Read Full Review

RISLA Student Loan Refinance

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
RISLA Student Loan Refinance

Min. credit score

680

Fixed APR

5.29-7.74%

Variable APR

N/A

Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Best for borrowers who want payment flexibility should they run into financial trouble.

Pros

  • Income-based repayment plan available, with forgiveness after 25 years.

Cons

  • No co-signer release available.

  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: 748.

  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $250,000, depending on the highest degree earned.

  • Must have a degree: No.

Available Term Lengths

5, 10 or 15 years

Read Full Review

How much could student loan refinancing save MBAs?

Business school students graduate with an average MBA student debt of $66,300, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics. If you repaid that much debt on the standard, 10-year repayment plan with an interest rate of 7%, you'd pay $92,376 overall. Reducing the interest rate to 5% would drop that total to $84,385 — a savings of almost $8,000.

The amount you’d save would depend on your loan's terms. For example, the $66,300 includes undergraduate loans, but students often start MBA programs in their late 20s. That means you could already be halfway done with repayment, decreasing your savings. Alternatively, a 2019 Bloomberg Businessweek survey found that many business school graduates owe more than $100,000. Refinancing that much MBA student debt would increase your savings.

Plug your info into a student loan refinance calculator to determine how much you could save.

Should you refinance MBA student loans?

If you paid for your MBA with private student loans, there’s little downside to refinancing them. Consider refinancing whenever you qualify for a better rate. That may be while you’re in business school, after you graduate or both. Refinance lenders typically don’t charge fees, so you begin saving money immediately.

Here are some additional questions that can help you decide if an MBA student loan refinance makes sense for you:

  • What type of rate do you have? Most student loan refinance lenders let you choose a fixed or variable interest rate; some offer hybrid rates as well. If you originally went for a private MBA loan with a variable rate to keep costs down, you may want to lock in a fixed rate via refinancing to avoid future increases. Or maybe you opted for a fixed rate during school to minimize risk. If you’re now confident in your earning power and want to repay loans faster, you could refinance into a lower variable rate.

  • Are your loans lacking features you want? In addition to interest rates, refinancing can change other aspects of your loans, like shortening your repayment term to let you pay off loans fast. Some lenders offer features that could tie into additional financial goals. For example, you may be able to refinance your debt with your spouse’s to save you both money. Or a lender might offer a discount on other loans — like a mortgage — by refinancing with them.

  • Do you have federal student loans? You’ll hopefully have a good grasp on your career trajectory after finishing business school, so refinance federal student loans only if you’re sure you won't need benefits like income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. You can’t get those back after refinancing. If you have a mix of federal and private loans, you can always refinance just the private loans to keep federal loan protections.

STUDENT LOAN REFINANCE RATINGS METHODOLOGY

Our survey of more than 29 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and the top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

We consider 41 features and data points for each financial institution. Depending on the category, these include the availability of biweekly payments through autopay, minimum credit score and income requirement disclosures, availability to borrowers in all states, extended grace periods and in-house customer service.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

Last updated on December 21, 2022

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best MBA Student Loan Refinance Options of February 2023

Frequently asked questions