5 Student Loan Companies That Help You Pay for Grad School

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

student loan companies

Attending graduate school can increase your earning power, but programs can be expensive. Average costs of tuition and fees for graduate degree programs is typically around $30,000 at public colleges and universities and almost $40,000 at private universities, according to Peterson’s. And this doesn’t even factor in books, supplies, transportation costs, and living expenses while you’re attending school.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Grad PLUS Loans are available from the Department of Education to cover up to the full cost of attending graduate school. However, you are limited in the amount of Stafford Loan funding available, while Grad PLUS Loans work differently from the federal loans you may have taken to fund your undergraduate education. Your credit score matters in determining your approval, there’s a loan origination fee, and interest begins accruing immediately from the time the loan is disbursed, unlike with subsidized undergraduate loans.

Because federal loans aren’t always an option or aren’t always the best deal for every borrower looking to finance a grad school education, it’s important to compare loans offered by the Department of Education with private loans available from student loan companies that provide grad school loans.

Many different companies have targeted loans for grad school students. This list of companies that provide grad school loans will give you a great starting point when shopping for financing.

Student loan companies for grad students

Each of the following student loan companies offers dedicated grad school loans available to eligible students who meet qualifying requirements.

Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank offers fixed-rate loans for grad students with rates between 5.99% and 18.99%. It also offers variable rate loans with rates between 3.94% and 11.91%.

  • Borrow the lesser of $150,000 or the total cost of attendance
  • Three options for in-school repayment: deferment, interest-only payments, and immediate payments of principal and interest
  • Five, 10, and 15-year repayment periods
  • No loan origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Rate discounts of 0.25% for enrolling in autopay
  • Discounts of 0.25% if you have another account with Citizens Bank
  • Cosigners may be released after three years of on-time payments

You can read our review of Citizens Bank to find out more about whether this loan option is right for you.

College Ave

College Ave offers fixed-rate loans for grad students with rates between 3.54% and 12.07% and offers variable rate loans with rates between 3.54% and 10.81%.

  • Borrow between $2,000 and the total cost of attendance
  • Four options for in-school repayment: deferment, $25 monthly payments, interest-only payments, and immediate repayment of principal and interest
  • Eight, 10, 12, and 15-year repayment periods
  • No loan origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Rate discounts of 0.25% for enrolling in autopay
  • Apply online and get a decision is as little as three minutes

You can read our review of College Ave to learn more about this private loan servicer.

CommonBond

CommonBond offers fixed-rate loans with rates between 5.30% and 9.79% and offers variable rate loans with rates between 3.62% and 9.54%.

  • Borrow up to the total cost of attendance
  • Four options for in-school repayment: deferment, $25 monthly payments, interest-only payments, and immediate repayment of principal and interest
  • Five, 10, and 15-year repayment periods
  • A 2% loan origination fee
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Rate discount of 0.25% for enrolling in autopay
  • Cosigner release after two years of on-time payments

You can read our review of CommonBond to find out more.

Discover

Discover offers fixed-rate loans with rates between 5.46% and 12.99% APR and offers variable rate loans with rates between 4.62% and 11.87% APR (as of January 2018).

  • Borrow between $1,000 and the cost of attendance
  • Discover offers two repayment options: Deferred repayment, or $25 fixed monthly payments while in school
  • Twenty year repayment period
  • No loan origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Rate discounts of 0.25% for enrolling in autopay
  • One-time per loan cash reward equal to 1% of the loan balance if you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or equivalent

You can read our review of Discover student loans to get more information about this student loan provider.

Comparing student loan companies for grad students

As you compare the loan companies on this list, you’ll want to consider a few key factors including:

  • Interest rates: Interest is the cost you pay for borrowing. If your rates are lower, your payments will be lower and the total amount you must pay back will be lower.
  • Loan terms: Longer repayment terms allow you to make lower payments, but you pay more in interest over time.
  • Repayment options: Does the lender provide a flexible repayment schedule, such as the opportunity to defer payments?
  • Discounts: Do you get any special discounts on your interest rate for enrolling in autopay?
  • Fees: Do you have to pay an origination fee or a prepayment penalty?

By shopping around carefully, you can find make sure you get the possible terms for the loans you need to afford your degree.

Need a student loan?

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Eligibility 

1 = Citizens Disclaimer.

2 = CollegeAve Autopay Disclaimer: All rates shown include the auto-pay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

* 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.

3 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
3.54%
12.07%
2
Undergraduate, Graduate, and ParentsVisit CollegeAve
3.95% – 12.10%Undergraduate and GraduateVisit Ascent
4.00% – 11.85%*3Undergraduate and GraduateVisit SallieMae
3.94%
12.19%
1
Undergraduate, Graduate, and ParentsVisit Citizens
4.63% – 9.71%Undergraduate and GraduateVisit LendKey
3.62%
9.79%
Undergraduate, Graduate, and ParentsVisit CommonBond
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.