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6 Best MBA Student Loan Refinance Options of October 2019

Ryan LaneOctober 15, 2019

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

Summary of Best MBA Student Loan Refinance Options of October 2019

LenderFixed APRVariable APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

3.45-6.99%

2.05-6.49%

650

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Purefy's website

3.48-6.03%

2.67-7.41%

670

Check Rate

on Purefy's website

Prodigy Student Loan Refinance

Prodigy Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

N/A

6.56-8.65%

N/A

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

3.46-7.94%

2.14-7.94%

Does not disclose

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

3.21-7.24%

2.14-7.21%

660

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Splash Financial's website

3.48-7.02%

2.25-7.41%

670

Check Rate

on Splash Financial's website

LenderFixed APRVariable APRMin. Credit ScoreLearn More
Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

3.45-6.99%

2.05-6.49%

650

Check Rate

on Earnest's website

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Purefy's website

3.48-6.03%

2.67-7.41%

670

Check Rate

on Purefy's website

Prodigy Student Loan Refinance

Prodigy Student Loan Refinance

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

N/A

6.56-8.65%

N/A

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

3.46-7.94%

2.14-7.94%

Does not disclose

Check Rate

on SoFi's website

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

3.21-7.24%

2.14-7.21%

660

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Check Rate

on Splash Financial's website

3.48-7.02%

2.25-7.41%

670

Check Rate

on Splash Financial's website

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.

Earnest Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Earnest's website

Earnest Student Loan Refinance

Earnest Student Loan Refinance
Fixed APR 
3.45-6.99% 

Variable APR 
2.05-6.49% 

Min. Credit Score 
650 

Check Rate

on Earnest's website


Key facts

If you’re enrolled in business school at least half-time, you can refinance with Earnest in your last semester before graduation. Part-time students — likely those in an evening MBA program — must wait until receiving their degrees.

Rating and Review

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 Delaware, Kentucky and Nevada.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • 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

Specific Annual Percentage Rate (APRs) offered within these ranges will depend on a variety of factors including your creditworthiness and other application details. Annual percentage rates (APRs) reflect 0.25% discount for optional enrollment in autopay. Your approval for an Earnest Loan is subject to the full underwriting of your loan application. Read more about qualifying for a loan with Earnest here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Fast payoff

If your post-MBA salary lets you afford to pay more each month, consider a lender that enables speedy repayment.

PenFed Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Purefy's website

PenFed Student Loan Refinance

PenFed Student Loan Refinance
Fixed APR 
3.48-6.03% 

Variable APR 
2.67-7.41% 

Min. Credit Score 
670 

Check Rate

on Purefy's website


Key facts

PenFed offers short loan terms and the ability to make biweekly payments or greater-than-minimum payments via autopay, helping borrowers repay loans faster.

Rating and Review

Pros

  • Married couples can refinance student loans into a single loan.

  • 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.

Cons

  • No formal deferment/forbearance options.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 777.

  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $300,000.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, at least a bachelor’s degree.

Available Term Lengths

5, 8, 12 or 15 years

Disclaimer

Rates and offers current as October 1, 2019. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 3.48% APR to 6.03% APR and Variable Rate range from 2.67% APR to 7.41%. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Read Full Review

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.

Prodigy Student Loan Refinance
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Prodigy Student Loan Refinance

Prodigy Student Loan Refinance
Fixed APR 
 

Variable APR 
6.56-8.65% 

Min. Credit Score 
 

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Key facts

Prodigy refinancing caters specifically to international graduate students, including MBAs. You don’t need a U.S. credit history or co-signer to qualify, but must be working and have a graduate degree.

Rating and Review

Pros

  • The only lender that offers non-co-signed student loan refinancing for international graduates.

  • No late fees.

  • No co-signer or U.S. credit history needed.

Cons

  • No fixed interest rates.

  • No formal deferment/forbearance options.

  • Available only to borrowers in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: No credit history requirements.

  • Loan amounts: $15,000 to $350,000.

  • Must have a degree: Yes.

Available Term Lengths

7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

Read Full Review

Our picks for

Extra features

These lenders’ extras may put a competitive offer over the top, depending on your professional or financial goals.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on SoFi's website

SoFi Student Loan Refinance

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Fixed APR 
3.46-7.94% 

Variable APR 
2.14-7.94% 

Min. Credit Score 
Does not disclose 

Check Rate

on SoFi's website


Key facts

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.

Rating and Review

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 from 3.460% APR to 7.944% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.140% APR to 7.944% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.140% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.04588% plus 0.100% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR 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. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

Read Full Review
CommonBond Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on CommonBond's website

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance
Fixed APR 
3.21-7.24% 

Variable APR 
2.14-7.21% 

Min. Credit Score 
660 

Check Rate

on CommonBond's website


Key facts

CommonBond makes a donation to Pencils of Promise for each loan it issues. It also regularly takes a few borrowers to help the nonprofit with its work in Ghana.

Rating and Review

Pros

  • Forbearance of 24 months is longer than many lenders offer.

  • 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.

Cons

  • Loans aren’t available in Mississippi and Nevada.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $500,000.

  • Must have a degree: Yes.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

Disclaimer

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. ‍ All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.19% effective August 10, 2019.

Read Full Review
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Splash Financial's website

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance

Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance
Fixed APR 
3.48-7.02% 

Variable APR 
2.25-7.41% 

Min. Credit Score 
670 

Check Rate

on Splash Financial's website


Key facts

Splash is one of the few lenders that lets spouses refinance student loans together (PenFed does as well). If you’re married and your spouse also has debt, refinancing together based on your post-MBA finances could save you both money.

Rating and Review

Pros

  • Married couples can refinance student loans into a single loan.

  • You are assigned a dedicated banker.

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

Cons

  • No formal deferment/forbearance options.

  • You may need to become a member of a credit union to qualify.

Qualifications

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 778.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to no maximum.

  • Must have a degree: Yes, a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Available Term Lengths

5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15 and 20 years

Disclaimer

Variable APR: Annual Percentage Rate [APR] is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Variable rates are based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of April 01, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.48%. Variable interest rates range from 3.11% - 7.85% (3.11% - 7.85% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower's loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable rate on the student refinance loan is 9.00% for 5-year and 8-year terms, and 10.00% for 12-year and 15-year terms. The floor rate is 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Variable APRs and amounts subject to increase or decrease. Variable rates are indexed to the one-month LIBOR rate and assume a one-month LIBOR rate of 2.48%. Your actual interest rate may be different than the student loan interest rates in these examples and will be based on term of loan, your financial history, and other factors, including your cosigner's (if any) financial history. State restrictions may apply.

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. 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.

» MORE: How to pay off $100,000+ in student loans

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.

» MORE: MBA student loan repayment and forgiveness options

Last updated on October 15, 2019

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best MBA Student Loan Refinance Options of October 2019