Summary of Best MBA Student Loan Refinance Options of April 2020
|Lender||Fixed APR||Variable APR||Min. Credit Score||Learn More|
Earnest Student Loan Refinance
4.25 - 8.77%
3.50 - 8.72%
PenFed Student Loan Refinance
3.23 - 5.53%
2.23 - 6.97%
Prodigy Student Loan Refinance
6.56 - 8.65%
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SoFi Student Loan Refinance
4.25 - 8.77%
3.50 - 8.70%
Does not disclose
CommonBond Student Loan Refinance
4.25 - 6.45%
3.50 - 6.45%
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance
2.88 - 7.48%
1.58 - 8.28%
Our pick for
Refinancing before graduation
The earlier you refinance, the more you could save. If you’re in an executive MBA program — or if you otherwise have a job waiting for you in the private sector — look for lenders that let you refinance without a degree.
Our pick for
If your post-MBA salary lets you afford to pay more each month, consider a lender that enables speedy repayment.
Our pick for
International MBA students
Most lenders require international students to build U.S. credit or get a co-signer to qualify for refinancing. If you’re unable to do either, you have fewer options.
Our picks for
These lenders’ extras may put a competitive offer over the top, depending on your professional or financial goals.
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. The total amount repaid would rise to $92,376 if done on the standard, 10-year repayment plan with an interest rate of 7%. Reducing the interest rate to 5% would drop the total repaid to $84,385 — a savings of almost $8,000.
The amount you’d save would depend on your loans' 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. 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 considerations to help 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.
Last updated on October 15, 2019
To recap our selections...
NerdWallet's Best MBA Student Loan Refinance Options of April 2020
- Earnest Student Loan Refinance: Best for Refinancing before graduation
- PenFed Student Loan Refinance: Best for Fast payoff
- Prodigy Student Loan Refinance: Best for International MBA students
- SoFi Student Loan Refinance: Best for Extra features
- CommonBond Student Loan Refinance: Best for Extra features
- Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance: Best for Extra features