nw_logo_hor_rgb_screen  guide for  magoosh-logo-purple-800x181  students

Pay for grad school with confidence.

NerdWallet and Magoosh Online Test Prep have teamed up to bring you tools to pay for grad school. Read on to learn more about your options and how NerdWallet can help you get on track.

Always apply for federal student aid, grants and scholarships with the FAFSA.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a form the government uses to determine the types and amount of financial aid you might qualify for. Fill it out each year you’re in school to be considered for grants, loans and work-study programs.

The FAFSA is your key to unlocking financial aid from federal, state, university and other sources. Plus, it only takes half an hour on average to complete when you’re prepared. Let us help you get started.

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FAFSA Guide

Apply for financial aid and use our guide to get answers to questions based on your unique family situation.


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Find Private Student Loans

If you’ve exhausted all of your federal financial aid options, private loans could help you cover remaining costs.

Use private student loans to fill any financial gaps.

When paying for grad school, make sure you exhaust all of your options — scholarships, grants, work-study and federal student loans — before turning to private student loans.

If you do need to take out private student loans, check out the five options we’ve listed below to find the right lender for you. Before choosing one, make sure to compare interest rates. With private loans, you can choose a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate. A fixed rate will stay the same throughout the life of the loan. A variable interest rate, which may start out lower than a fixed rate, could increase or decrease as economic conditions change. It’s also worth looking at the borrower protections that private lenders offer, such as flexible repayment plans or the option to defer your payments if you hit a rough patch.


How NerdWallet can help you

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Save money

Read our articles below and learn all you need to know to save money through refinancing.

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Compare options

Our tools offer an impartial look at student loan refinancing lenders to help you choose the offer that’s best for you.

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Get expert advice

NerdWallet gives you the guidance you need to finance your education and pay back your student loans.

Compare private student loans

Compare the five lenders we’ve listed below to find the best one for you.

Lender APR ranges* Types of loans Borrower
protections
Nerd review

Fixed:
4.75%-11.50%3

Variable:
3.00%-10.05%4

Undergraduate
Graduate
Payment deferral or interest payments while in school.5

Financial hardship forbearance.6

Option to temporarily reduce monthly payments.7


SunTrust review
Ascent logo

Fixed
4.94% to 14.41%8

Variable
3.49% to 12.74%8

*includes Ascent Independent non-cosigned rates

Undergraduate
Graduate
Independent (non-cosigned loan)
Payment deferral or interest-only payments while in school.

Financial hardship forbearance.

Ascent review
SoFi logo

Fixed
4.25% APR to 8.00%

Variable
3.69% to 7.12%

Parent No payment deferral available (repayment begins immediately) SoFi review
CommonBond

Fixed:
5.48% to 9.67%

Variable:
3.04% to 8.95%

Undergraduate
Graduate
Payment deferral while in school.

Financial hardship forbearance.

CommonBond review

Discover logo

Fixed:
6.24% to 12.99%

Variable:
3.87% to 11.12%

Undergraduate
Graduate
Parent
Payment deferral while in school.

Financial hardship forbearance.

Option to temporarily reduce monthly payments.

Discover review
Sallie logo

Fixed:
5.75% to 12.87

Variable:
3.25% to 12.62%

Undergraduate
Graduate
Payment deferral or interest-only payments while in school.

Option to make interest-only payments for the first 12 months after your grace period.

Financial hardship forbearance.

Sallie Mae review

For more options, check out NerdWallet’s student loan homepage or contact your local community bank or credit union.


Learn more about paying for grad school