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9 Best MBA Student Loans of July 2024

After exhausting free aid, evaluate your finances and employment situation to choose an MBA loan.

Cecilia Clark
By
Last updated on July 9, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Karen Gaudette Brewer
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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NerdWallet's student loans content, including articles, reviews and recommendations, is produced by a team of writers and editors who specialize in consumer lending. Their work has appeared in The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Nasdaq, MSN, ABC News, MarketWatch and many other national and regional media outlets. They also have appeared on NerdWallet's “Smart Money” podcast, as well as local TV and radio.
Top Private Student Loan Lenders
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2024 Best Private Student Loan Overall
College Ave Private Student Loan
5.0/5
NerdWallet rating
College Ave Private Student Loan
Fixed APR
3.99-17.99%
Variable APR
5.59-17.99%
Min. credit score
Mid-600s
on College Ave's website
on Credible’s website
Sallie Mae Undergraduate Student Loan
Fixed APR
4.15-15.49%
Variable APR
5.37-15.70%
Min. credit score
Mid-600's
on Sallie Mae's website
on Credible’s website

Best MBA Student Loans

Lender
NerdWallet Rating
Min. credit score
Fixed APR
Variable APR
Learn more
Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan

Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan

Read review

None

5.50-7.05%

N/A

Federal Grad PLUS Loan

Federal Grad PLUS Loan

5.0
/5
Best for Borrowers who want to minimize risk

None

7.54-7.54%

N/A

Sallie Mae MBA Loan

Sallie Mae MBA Loan

GO TO LENDER SITE
on Sallie Mae's website
on Sallie Mae's website
COMPARE RATES
on Credible’s website
on Credible’s website
4.5
/5
Best for Students getting an MBA part-time

Mid-600's

4.15-14.48%

5.37-14.97%

College Ave MBA Student Loan

College Ave MBA Student Loan

5.0
/5
Best for Students getting an MBA part-time

Mid-600s

4.22-14.47%

5.59-14.47%

SoFi MBA Loan

SoFi MBA Loan

5.0
/5
Best for Borrowers with excellent credit

Mid-600s

4.74-14.83%

5.74-15.86%

Our pick for

All borrowers as a first option

Federal unsubsidized direct loans have fixed interest rates and minimal fees, but graduate students can only take out up to $20,500 annually — which may not cover all your MBA costs.

Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan
Read review
Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan

Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan

5.0
Min. credit score

None

Fixed APR

5.50-7.05%

Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Graduate students are ineligible for subsidized loans.

Pros
  • More flexible repayment options for struggling borrowers than other lenders.
  • Subsidized loans do not collect interest while in school or during deferment.
  • Lower interest rates than many private lenders.
Cons
  • You pay an origination fee.
Qualifications
  • No credit check or minimum income is needed to borrow.
  • Loan amounts for undergraduates: $5,500 year one, $6,500 year two, $7,500 year three and thereafter, up to a total of $31,000
  • Independent students and graduate students have higher loan limits.
  • Undergraduate interest rate fixed at 3.73%, while grad students get higher 5.28% rate
Available Term Lengths10 to 25 years once repayment begins, depending on the repayment plan.
Read Full Review

Our pick for

Borrowers who want to minimize risk

Federal loans have options private loans don’t, like income-driven repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which offer unique flexibility and protections if you’re entering an uncertain job market.

Federal Grad PLUS Loan

Federal Grad PLUS Loan

Min. credit score

None

Fixed APR

7.54-7.54%

Variable APR

N/A

Key facts

Graduate students can take out up to their cost of attendance, minus other aid received, in PLUS loans.

Pros
  • More flexible repayment options for struggling borrowers compared with private lenders.
  • All borrowers who attend a school authorized to receive federal aid can qualify.
Cons
  • May have higher interest rates compared with private lenders.
  • You pay an origination fee.
  • You can’t see if you’ll qualify without a hard credit check.
Qualifications
  • Grad PLUS loan borrowers must not have adverse credit history.
  • Borrowers with adverse credit history can still receive a grad PLUS loan by enlisting a co-signer without adverse credit history or documenting extenuating circumstances for their credit history.
  • Loan amounts: Total cost of attendance minus other financial aid.
Available Term Lengths10 to 25 years once repayment begins, depending on the repayment plan.

Our pick for

Students getting an MBA part-time

Sallie Mae MBA Loan
COMPARE RATES
on Credible’s website
on Credible’s website
Sallie Mae MBA Loan

Sallie Mae MBA Loan

4.5
Min. credit score

Mid-600's

Fixed APR

4.15-14.48%

Variable APR

5.37-14.97%

Key facts

Rating and details displayed are for Sallie Mae’s private student loan. Sallie Mae MBA loans let you defer payments during an eligible internship for up to 48 months.

Pros
  • One of the few lenders to provide loans to part-time students.
  • Non-U.S. citizens, including DACA students, can apply with a U.S. co-signer.
Cons
  • You can't see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
Qualifications
    Available Term Lengths10 to 20 years
    DisclaimerLowest rates shown include the auto debit. Advertised APRs for Graduate School Loan, MBA Loans, and Graduate School Loan for Health Professions assume a $10,000 loan with a 2-year in-school period. Interest rates for variable rate loans may increase or decrease over the life of the loan based on changes to the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent. Advertised variable rates are the starting range of rates and may vary outside of that range over the life of the loan. Interest is charged starting when funds are sent to the school. With the Fixed and Deferred Repayment Options, the interest rate is higher than with the Interest Repayment Option and Unpaid Interest is added to the loan’s Current Principal at the end of the grace/separation period. To receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount, the borrower or cosigner must enroll in auto debit through Sallie Mae. The discount applies only during active repayment for as long as the Current Amount Due or Designated Amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. It may be suspended during forbearance or deferment. Advertised APRs are valid as of 7/12/2024.
    College Ave MBA Student Loan

    College Ave MBA Student Loan

    Min. credit score

    Mid-600s

    Fixed APR

    4.22-14.47%

    Variable APR

    5.59-14.47%

    Key facts

    College Ave MBA loans offer immediate, interest-only and flat payment plans, so you can minimize repayment costs while getting your degree.

    Pros
    • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
    • International students can qualify with a co-signer.
    • Nine-month grace period is longer than other lenders offer.
    Cons
    • You must be at least halfway through your repayment term before you can request a co-signer release.
    Qualifications
    • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: Mid-700s.
    • Minimum income: $35,000 per year.
    • Loan amounts: $1,000 up to the total cost of attendance.
    Available Term Lengths5, 8, 10 or 15 years
    DisclaimerCollege 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 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. If a payment is returned, you will lose this benefit. 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 7/10/2024. 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.

    Our pick for

    Borrowers with excellent credit

    SoFi MBA Loan

    SoFi MBA Loan

    Min. credit score

    Mid-600s

    Fixed APR

    4.74-14.83%

    Variable APR

    5.74-15.86%

    Key facts

    Rating and details displayed are for SoFi's private student loan.

    Pros
    • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
    • Multiple in-school repayment options available, including interest-only and flat-fee, and deferred for undergrad and grad students.
    Cons
    • Does not offer bi-weekly payments via autopay.
    Qualifications
      Available Term Lengths5, 7, 10, 15 years
      DisclaimerInterest Rates: Eligibility and Important Details. Fixed rates range from 4.74% APR to 14.83% APR with 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates range from 5.74% APR to 15.86% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates are capped at 17.95%. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 6/20/24 and are subject to change at any time. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term and type of repayment option you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer (if applicable) and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Check out our eligibility criteria at https://www.sofi.com/eligibility-criteria/. 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. UNDERGRAD + GRADUATE + MBA/LAW SCHOOL LOANS: This repayment example is based on typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Partial Payment option with a 10-year repayment term, a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in a single disbursement, a 0.25% autopay discount, and a fixed rate between 8.52%-14.83% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”) (with autopay). It also assumes the borrower remains in school for 4 years and has a 6-month grace period (together, the deferment period) before the loan term begins. It works out to 54 monthly payments of $25 during the deferment period, followed by 120 monthly payments ranging from $124.09-$160.30 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments ranging from $14,891.12-$19,235.46. This repayment example assumes that the borrower is signed up for autopay and that all payments are made on time, with no pre-payments. HEALTH PROFESSION LOANS: This repayment example is based on typical loan terms for a first year borrower who selects the Partial Payment option with a 10-year repayment term, a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in a single disbursement, a 0.25% autopay discount, and a fixed rate between 8.52%-14.83% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”) (with autopay). It also assumes the borrower remains in school for 4 years and has a 9-month grace period (together, the deferment period) before the loan term begins. It works out to 57 monthly payments of $25 during the deferment period, followed by 120 monthly payments ranging from $124.09-$160.30 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments ranging from $14,891.12-$19,235.46. This repayment example assumes that the borrower is signed up for autopay and that all payments are made on time, with no pre-payments. PARENT LOANS: This repayment example is based on typical loan terms for a borrower who selects the Immediate Repayment option with a 10-year repayment term, a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in a single disbursement, a 0.25% autopay discount, and a fixed rate between 9.02-14.83% APR (with autopay). The Immediate Repayment option assumes full payment begins 1 month after full disbursement. It works out to 120 monthly payments ranging from $126.78-$160.30 for a total amount of payments ranging from $15,214.08-$19,235.46. This repayment example assumes that the borrower is signed up for autopay and that all payments are made on time, with no pre-payments. Actual rates may vary based on repayment type, loan amount, creditworthiness, and other terms and conditions. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.19% to 14.83% annual percentage rate ("APR") (with autopay), variable rates from 5.74% to 15.86%% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.74% to 14.83% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 5.74% to 15.86% APR (with autopay). MBA AND LAW SCHOOL LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.74% to 14.83% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 5.74% to 15.86% APR (with autopay). HEALTH PROFESSION LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.74% to 14.83% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 5.74% to 15.86% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 6.25% to 14.83% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 6.07% to 15.86% APR (with autopay). 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. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 17.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. 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. Information current as of 6/20/24. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. SoFi Private Student loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. NMLS #696891 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). 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.
      Ascent MBA Student Loan
      COMPARE RATES
      on Credible’s website
      on Credible’s website
      Ascent MBA Student Loan

      Ascent MBA Student Loan

      Min. credit score

      Low-Mid 600s

      Fixed APR

      5.04-15.41%

      Variable APR

      7.74-15.85%

      Key factsBest for MBA students who want flexible payment options.
      Pros
      • Among the best for payment flexibility.
      • Grace period of 9 months is longer than many lenders offer.
      • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
      • Stands out for features that enable faster loan repayment.
      Cons
      • You must be enrolled at least half-time to qualify.
      Qualifications
      • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Not available.
      • Minimum income: Not available.
      • Loan amounts: up to $400,000.
      Available Term Lengths7, 10, 12 or 15 years
      DisclaimerAscent’s undergraduate and graduate student loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills or DR Bank, each Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 7/8/2024 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: AscentFunding.com/Rates. 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest rates require interest-only payments, the shortest loan term, a cosigner, and are only available for our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores. Actual APR offered may be higher or lower than the repayment examples above, based on the amount of time you spend in school and any grace period you have before repayment begins.
      Earnest MBA Loan

      Earnest MBA Loan

      Min. credit score

      650

      Fixed APR

      4.45-14.30%

      Variable APR

      4.99-15.15%

      Key facts

      Rating and details displayed are for Earnest's private student loan.

      Pros
      • Option to skip one payment every 12 months.
      • No late fees.
      • Nine-month grace period is longer than most lenders offer.
      Cons
      • Loans aren't available in Nevada.
      Qualifications
      • Typical credit score of approved borrowers: 758.
      • Minimum income: $35,000.
      • Loan amounts: $1,000 up to your total cost of attendance.
      Available Term Lengths5, 7, 10, 12 or 15 years
      DisclaimerEarnest Private Student Loans are made by One American Bank, Member FDIC, or FinWise Bank, Member FDIC. One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Finwise Bank, 756 East Winchester, Suite 100, Murray, UT 84107 Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC, 535 Mission St., Suite 1663 San Francisco, CA 94105, NMLS #1204917, with support From Navient Solutions, LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank, FinWise Bank, and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by agencies of the United States of America. © 2024 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.

      Our pick for

      International MBA students

      Many lenders — including Ascent, College Ave and Sallie Mae — offer MBA student loans to international students who have an eligible co-signer. Without a co-signer, choices for international MBA students are limited.

      MPOWER Private Student Loan

      MPOWER Private Student Loan

      Min. credit score

      None

      Fixed APR

      12.99-15.99%

      Variable APR

      N/A

      Key factsBest for international students and students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status.
      Pros
      • Offers a hard-to-find option: non-co-signed student loans for international and DACA students.
      • Borrowers are assigned a dedicated student loan advisor.
      • Borrowers can request forbearance of up to 24 months, which is longer than many lenders offer.
      Cons
      • Payment required while in school.
      • Offers only one repayment term: 10 years.
      Qualifications
      • MPOWER considers future income potential but does not factor in credit scores.
      • Loan amounts: Minimum $2,001. Maximum loan is $100,000, limited to $50,000 per academic period.
      Available Term Lengths10 years
      DisclaimerNote: Our loan does not support Canadian citizens studying in Canada. Canadian Permanent Residents and U.S. citizens are considered “international” when studying in Canada. International students, U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and DACA recipients in the U.S. or Canada. ‘International’ means you are a non-U.S. citizen or U.S. non-permanent resident studying at a university in the U.S., or you are a non-Canadian citizen or Canadian non-permanent resident studying at a university in Canada. ‘DACA’ means the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program initiated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012. In order to qualify as a DACA Student, you must have applied for, and been granted, DACA status by USCIS. As a graduate student, you can borrow with a fixed interest rate of 12.99% (13.98% APR¹). This is the maximum rate and will not increase. However, MPOWER offers borrowers a way to qualify for a discount; a 0.25% rate discount is possible by making your loan payments through automatic withdrawal from your bank account. If you qualify for this discount, your rate will be 12.74% (13.72% APR²). ¹[International graduate student with regular interest rate] The APR is calculated using the following assumptions: A loan is approved in the amount of US$10,000 with a 5% origination fee of US$500. The student will start making payments 45 days after loan disbursement. Payments will be interest only until graduation, plus an additional 6-month grace period. The remaining months of repayment are calculated using a 120-month amortization schedule. All payments are made on-time, a forbearance is never utilized, and there is no pre-payment of any principal. At an APR of 13.98%, the monthly payment amount is US$113.66 for the first 30 months. For the next 120 months, the monthly payment amount is about $156.71. ²[International graduate student with discounted interest rate] The APRs with discounts are calculated using the following assumptions: A loan is approved in the amount of $10,000 with a 5% origination fee of US$500. The student will start making payments 45 days after loan disbursement. The borrower signs up for automatic debit immediately after the loan is disbursed and remains on it for the life of the loan, which reduces the rate by 0.25%. At an APR of 13.72%, the monthly payment is US$111.47 for the first 30 months. For the last 120 payments, the monthly amount is US$155.17. Undergraduate Students in the U.S. or Canada As an undergraduate student, you can borrow with a fixed interest rate of 13.99% (15.01% APR³). This is the maximum rate and will never increase. However, MPOWER offers borrowers a way to qualify for a discount; a 0.25% rate discount is possible by making your loan payments through automatic withdrawal from your bank account. If you qualify for this discount, your rate will be 13.74% (14.75% APR⁴). ³[International undergraduate student with regular interest rate] The APR is calculated using the following assumptions: A loan is approved in the amount of $10,000 with a 5% origination fee of $500. The student will start making payments 45 days after loan disbursement. Payments will be interest only until graduation plus an additional 6-month grace period. The remaining months of repayment are calculated using a 120-month amortization schedule. All payments are made on-time, a forbearance is never utilized, and there is no pre-payment of any principal. At an APR of 15.01%, the monthly payment amount is $122.41 for the first 30 months. For the next 120 months, the monthly payment amount is $162.97. ⁴[International undergraduate student with discounted interest rate] The APRs with discounts are calculated using the following assumptions: A loan is approved in the amount of US$10,000 with a 5% origination fee of US$500. The student will start making payments 45 days after loan disbursement. The borrower signs up for automatic debit immediately after the loan is disbursed and remains on it for the life of the loan, which reduces the rate by 0.25%. A forbearance is never utilized and there is no prepayment of any principal. At an APR of 14.75%, the monthly payment is US$120.22 for the first 30 payments. For the last 120 payments, the monthly amount is US$161.39.

      Our pick for

      Borrowers from Texas

      Brazos Private Student Loan

      Brazos Private Student Loan

      Min. credit score

      680

      Fixed APR

      2.77-6.96%

      Variable APR

      5.00-9.44%

      Key factsBest for Texas residents and students of Texan colleges with strong financials or a qualified co-signer.
      Pros
      • May offer lower rates for graduate students than what are available through the federal government.
      • Applies extra payments to the loan principal by default.
      • Offers five loan terms, which is more than most lenders.
      Cons
      • Not available to borrowers enrolled in two year programs at community colleges.
      • Biweekly payments via autopay is not available.
      Available Term Lengths5, 7, 10, 15 or 20 years

      Which MBA student loan is right for you?

      Look at your finances and repayment goals to choose a federal or private student loan to pay for an MBA:

      • Generally, max out federal direct unsubsidized loans first. These loans have small fees — roughly 1% — and fixed interest rates of 8.08% for the 2024-25 academic year. Those terms may be close enough to what a private lender would offer you that any additional cost is worth the protections that come with federal loans. You can take out up to $20,500 annually in unsubsidized loans.

      • Then, look at your career trajectory. If unsubsidized loans won’t cover all your costs — the average MBA student debt is $66,740, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics — you can fill any remaining gap with federal grad PLUS loans or private loans. PLUS loans make sense if you want to work for a nonprofit, are changing careers or simply aren’t sure about your job prospects. Options like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven plans can help in these instances.

      • Or evaluate your current situation. Compare private MBA loan interest rates if you have strong credit and a good sense of your future income. For example, say your employer is sponsoring part of your MBA and you’ll earn a higher salary — and stay with the company for a set number of years — after you get your degree. You may feel OK taking on the risk of private loans to save on interest or overall costs.

      Not sure which situation describes you? Stick with federal loans. You can always refinance MBA loans with a private lender at a lower rate if your plans come into focus later.

      What to look for in a private MBA loan

      If a private MBA loan makes sense for you, look for the following features to ensure it meets your education and repayment goals:

      • You can qualify. Some private lenders provide MBA loans only to some schools or programs. Make sure yours is eligible before applying with a lender.

      • Low interest rates and fees. Graduate PLUS loans currently have an interest rate of 9.08% and an origination fee of roughly 4%. Don’t take out a private MBA loan that doesn’t beat those numbers. Shop around with multiple lenders to compare their interest rates and fees to get the best deal possible.

      • Flexible repayment options. If you want to pay loans off fast, choose a lender that offers features like a five- or seven-year repayment term. Also, look at the options for borrowers struggling to make payments. You may not be expecting trouble now but should know your options if issues arise.

      STUDENT LOAN RATINGS METHODOLOGY

      Our survey of more than 26 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

      We consider 40 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 July 9, 2024

      To recap our selections...

      NerdWallet's Best MBA Student Loans of July 2024

      • Federal Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan: Best for All borrowers as a first option
      • Federal Grad PLUS Loan: Best for Borrowers who want to minimize risk
      • Sallie Mae MBA Loan: Best for Students getting an MBA part-time
      • College Ave MBA Student Loan: Best for Students getting an MBA part-time
      • SoFi MBA Loan: Best for Borrowers with excellent credit
      • Ascent MBA Student Loan: Best for Borrowers with excellent credit
      • Earnest MBA Loan: Best for Borrowers with excellent credit
      • MPOWER Private Student Loan: Best for International MBA students
      • Brazos Private Student Loan: Best for Borrowers from Texas

      Frequently asked questions

      • Business school students can qualify for federal unsubsidized loans, as well as federal graduate PLUS loans. You can also borrow private student loans to pay for an MBA.

      • Some lenders offer private student loans specifically for MBA students. MBA loans may or may not have different features than graduate student loans; opt for the loan with the best terms for you.

      • The average business school graduate owes more than $66,740 in student loans, and about 58% of MBAs take out student loans, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

      • Federal loans are usually your best bet. But you may want to consider a private MBA loan if your credit is excellent and you’re assured of a job with a strong income once you finish your program.

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