MBA Student Loans: 7 Lenders to Consider for Business School

 September 8, 2020
How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

Logo

OUR PROMISE TO YOU: Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less


Private Student Loan rates starting at 0.99% APR

0.99% to 11.98% 1
VARIABLE APR

Visit Lender

1.13% to 11.23% 2
VARIABLE APR

Visit Lender

0.99% to 11.44% 3
VARIABLE APR

Visit Lender

  • Variable APR

Note that the situation for student loans has changed due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and relief efforts from the government, student loan lenders and others. Check out our Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for additional news and details.

*          *          *

Master of Business Administration students can expect to shell out $70,000 to $200,000 for their multiyear degree, according to College Ave, a major lender of MBA student loans.

When scholarships and other financial aid aren’t enough, MBA loans can make attendance possible.

These products aren’t created equal, however, so it’s wise to learn about MBA loan terms, review some excellent MBA loan choices available and reevaluate your federal loan options as well.

What to look for in MBA student loans

MBA student loans are specialized private student loans offered exclusively to students who are accepted or enrolled in MBA programs.

And even if you attend one of the best business schools for avoiding debt, a responsibly-borrowed MBA loan can come in handy.

MBA loan interest rates

Private MBA student loans often beat interest rates and fees levied on federal loans available to MBA students.

However, getting the best MBA student loan interest rate likely will come down to your credit score. You’ll usually need at least a decent credit score to qualify for private student loans, and a score around 720 or higher can help you get the lowest rates.

If your score is lower, applying with a cosigner who has excellent credit can help you qualify for a better rate.

Other private MBA loan terms

You’ll need to make sure all aspects of an MBA loan fit your needs — not just the interest rate.

Make sure the lender:

  • Works with MBA students and will extend funding for your specific business school
  • Offers private MBA loans with the amount you need to borrow to cover your program costs
  • Has student loan terms that match your repayment goal, whether it’s repaying MBA loans in five years or 15
  • Provides in-school deferment and other manageable repayment options
  • Helps borrowers in repayment by offering protections such as forbearance for economic hardship

And if you haven’t already, ensure borrowing for your MBA is worth the cost of eventual repayment.

7 excellent MBA loans available today

We’ve rounded up our favorite lenders offering the best MBA loans. Each lender has its own loan terms and lending criteria, so see which lenders might be a good fit for you.

Additionally, advertised rates might not match what you’re offered. Complete a soft credit check when possible and compare your custom rate estimates.

Lender Unique feature
1. Citizens Bank ● Multiyear approval eases future borrowing
2. CommonBond ● Economic hardship forbearance for up to two years
3. Earnest ● Lowest variable and fixed interest rates
4. Sallie Mae ● 12 months of interest-only payments following graduation
5. SoFi ● Unemployment protection postpones your payment if you lose your job involuntarily
6. Ascent ● One-off cash back reward upon graduating
7. College Ave Student Loans ● Accessible for part-time students (like Sallie Mae)

1. Citizens Bank MBA Student Loans

Interest rates ● Variable rates that start as low as 1.42% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Fixed rates that start at 4.39% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Interest rate discount of up to 0.50% (reflected in quoted interest rates)
What to like ● Terms of five, 10 and 15 years on MBA loans from Citizens One, a brand name of Citizens Bank
● Loan limit up to the “total cost of education” or $225,000 limit, whichever is lower
● Full in-school deferment of MBA loans
● Option to make interest-only payments or start immediate repayment
● No MBA loan origination fee or prepayment penalty
Multiyear approval for eligible students
What to keep in mind ● International students need a permanent resident cosigner

2. CommonBond MBA Student Loans

Interest rates ● Variable rates that start as low as 5.82% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Fixed rates that start at 6.04% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Interest rate discount of 0.25% for enrolling in autopay
What to like CommonBond MBA loan terms of 10 and 15 years
● MBA loan limit up to the cost of attendance (after other student aid is applied) or $110,000 per year, whichever is lower
● Fully deferred, interest-only, or immediate repayment options
● Up to 24 months of access to forbearance for economic hardship
● No prepayment penalty
● Option to apply for an MBA loan alone or with a cosigner
What to keep in mind ● Origination fee of 2%, which is reflected in stated APRs from CommonBond
● 29 eligible MBA programs: If you don’t attend one, you could apply for CommonBond’s general graduate student loan
International student loans are inaccessible at CommonBond, but the lender partners with Prodigy Finance to serve foreign students

3. Earnest MBA loan

Interest rates ● Variable rates that start as low as 1.24% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Fixed rates that start at 3.55% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Interest rate discount of up to 0.25% (reflected in quoted interest rates)
What to like Earnest MBA loan terms of five, seven, 10, 12 and 15 years
● MBA loan limit up to the cost of attendance (after other student aid is applied)
● Fully deferred, interest-only, fixed or immediate repayment options
Forbearance for economic hardship
● No fees whatsoever
● Option to skip a payment annually
● 9-month grace period beats the industry standard six months
● Ability to apply for an MBA loan alone or with a cosigner
What to keep in mind ● International students need a permanent resident cosigner

4. Sallie Mae MBA loans

Interest rates ● Variable rates that start as low as 2.25% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Fixed rates that start at 4.75% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● 0.25% rate discount for enrolling in autopay
What to like ● Sallie Mae MBA loan amounts are limited to 100% of your business school’s cost of attendance
● Students enrolled less than half time are eligible to borrow
● No origination fee or prepayment penalty on MBA loans
● Fully deferred, interest-only, or $25-per-month repayment options
● Optional interest-only graduated repayment for 12 months immediately after graduation
● Option to add a cosigner to secure loan approval or a lower interest rate with Sallie Mae
What to keep in mind ● Limited repayment term choice, as Sallie Mae MBA loans are repaid on a 15-year schedule

5. SoFi

Interest rates ● Variable rates that start as low as 1.78% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Fixed rates that start at 4.11% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Interest rate discount of up to 0.25% (reflected in quoted interest rates)
What to like SoFi MBA loan terms of five, 10 and 15 years
● MBA loan limit up to the cost of attendance (after other student aid is applied)
● Fully deferred, interest-only, fixed or immediate repayment options
● Unemployment protection pauses your repayment if you lose your job involuntarily
● No fees whatsoever
● Option to apply for an MBA loan alone or with a cosigner
● Career services among member-exclusive benefits
What to keep in mind ● International students can apply with a permanent resident cosigner

6. Ascent

Interest rates ● Variable rates that start as low as 3.93% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Fixed rates that start at 4.92% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Interest rate discount of up to 0.25% (reflected in quoted interest rates)
What to like ● MBA loan limit up to the cost of attendance (after other student aid is applied) or $200,000 total, whichever is lower
● Fully deferred, interest-only, fixed or immediate repayment options
● 9-month grace period beats the industry standard six months
● Forbearance for economic hardship, among repayment postponement options
● No prepayment penalty
● Option to apply for an MBA loan alone or with a cosigner
● One-off 1% cash back reward for graduating
What to keep in mind ● International students can apply with a permanent resident cosigner
● Limited repayment term choice: Ascent MBA loan terms are 10 and 15 years (for variable rates) and 10 years (for fixed rates)

7. College Ave Student Loans

Interest rates ● Variable rates that start as low as 1.39% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Fixed rates that start at 4.14% APR (current as of Aug. 17, 2020)
● Interest rate discount of up to 0.25% (reflected in quoted interest rates)
What to like College Ave MBA loan terms of five, eight, 10 and 15 years
● Students enrolled less than half time are eligible to borrow
● MBA loan limit up to the cost of attendance
● Fully deferred, interest-only, fixed or immediate repayment options
● Forbearance for economic hardship
● No prepayment penalty or origination fees
● Option to apply for an MBA loan alone or with a cosigner
What to keep in mind ● International students must have a valid U.S. Social Security number and a local cosigner to apply for loans

Private MBA student loans vs. federal loans

As you weigh your borrowing options, don’t forget to compare private MBA loans to federal student loans. Private loans can be a smart option for MBA students who want to avoid origination fees and don’t see themselves needing government-exclusive safeguards in repayment.

Since an MBA often leads to higher pay and solid employment prospects, many lenders offer some of their best terms on these types of student loans. Private MBA student loans often have …

  • Low or no fees
  • Low interest rates for creditworthy borrowers
  • Flexible repayment terms
  • Deferment and forbearance options

The alternatives to private MBA loans are two federal options:

  • Graduate direct loans: 1.062% loan fee and 4.30% interest rate for the 2020-2021 school year
  • Grad PLUS loans: 4.236% loan fee and 5.30% interest rate for the 2020-2021 school year

Many MBA students are better off relying on federal student loans. If your credit is less than perfect, for example, you might not qualify for the lower rates that can make private MBA loans a smart choice.

Federal student loans also come with important borrower protections, including:

To determine the best borrowing option for your own situation, you’ll want to get a few rate quotes on MBA loans and compare them with federal student loan rates. Make sure you include the origination fee in your calculations, as it can be a significant cost.

As a business school student, you’re probably skilled at making cost-benefit comparisons. Our student loan term comparison calculator, however, can do the heavy lifting. Enter your details below to evaluate loans of different terms and interest rates, private or federal.

Student Loan Comparison Calculator

Balance

Rate

Monthly

Interest

Total

5 year10 year15 year20 year25 year
Balance
Rate
Monthly
Interest
Total

*Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

†The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.

Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.

Need a student loan?

Check out our top picks below or learn more about other ways to pay for college.
Variable APRDegrees That QualifyMore Info
0.99% – 11.98%1 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit College Ave

1.13% – 11.23%2 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit SallieMae

0.99% – 11.44%3 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.50% – 11.33%4 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Ascent

1.12% – 11.23%5 Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.15% – 11.01%6 Undergraduate
Graduate

VISIT CITIZENS