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Best MBA student loans in May 2022

As of May 24, 2022
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INCOME BASED REPAYMENT

INCOME SHARE AGREEMENT

4.3

Bankrate Score
Fixed APR From

3.75%

with AutoPay
Loan Amount

$1k- $500k

Term: 10-15 yr
Min. Credit

Not disclosed

Apply on partner site

4.6

Bankrate Score
Fixed APR From

3.47- 11.16%

with AutoPay
Loan Amount

$5k- $500k

Term: 5-15 yr
Min. Credit

Not disclosed

Apply on partner site

4.4

Bankrate Score
Fixed APR From

3.49%

with AutoPay
Loan Amount

$1k- $500k

Term: 5-15 yr
Min. Credit

Not disclosed

Apply on partner site

4.6

Bankrate Score
Fixed APR From

3.24%

with AutoPay
Loan Amount

$1k- $350k

Term: 5-20 yr
Min. Credit

650

Apply on partner site

4.5

Bankrate Score
Fixed APR From

3.47%

with AutoPay
Loan Amount

$1k- $350k

Term: 5-15 yr
Min. Credit

Not disclosed

Apply on partner site
Fixed APR From

3.52%

with AutoPay
Loan Amount

$1k- $350k

Term: 5-20 yr
Min. Credit

Not disclosed

Apply on partner site

4.1

Bankrate Score
Fixed APR From

3.20%

Loan Amount

$1k- $500k

Term: 5-15 yr
Min. Credit

Not disclosed

Apply on partner site

4.1

Bankrate Score
Fixed APR From

3.99%

with AutoPay
Loan Amount

$1k- $500k

Term: 5-20 yr
Min. Credit

Not disclosed

Apply on partner site

Income Based Repayment - No Cosigner Required

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Income Share Agreement

Income shares range start as low as 1% of income over a 5 year period.

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The Bankrate guide to choosing the best MBA loan company

Why trust Bankrate?

At Bankrate, our mission is to empower you to make smarter financial decisions. We’ve been comparing and surveying financial institutions for more than 40 years to help you find the right products for your situation. Our award-winning editorial team follows strict guidelines to ensure the content is not influenced by advertisers. Additionally, our content is thoroughly reported and vigorously edited to ensure accuracy.

When shopping for an MBA student loan, compare APRs across multiple lenders to make sure you’re getting a competitive interest rate. Also look for lenders that keep fees to a minimum and offer repayment terms that fit your needs. Loan details presented here are current as of Jan. 25, 2022. Check the lenders’ websites for more current information. The MBA loan companies listed here are selected based on factors such as APR, loan amounts, fees, credit requirements and more. To learn more about how we selected lenders, see our methodology section above.

Compare MBA student loan rates in May 2022

LENDER CURRENT APR RANGE LOAN TERMS LOAN AMOUNT RANGE MINIMUM CREDIT SCORE
Federal grad PLUS student loans 6.28% fixed Standard term is 10 years Up to 100% total cost of attendance None
College Ave Fixed: 4.49% – 11.46% (with autopay); Variable: 1.99% – 10.45% (with autopay) 5 to 15 years $1,000 – $150,000 Not specified
SoFi Fixed: 4.43% – 11.01% (with autopay); Variable: 2.16% to 11.64% (with autopay) 5 to 15 years $5,000 – 100% total cost of attendance Not specified
Sallie Mae Fixed: 4.75% – 12.11% (with autopay); Variable: 2.37% – 11.87% (with autopay) 15 years $1,000 – 100% total cost of attendance Not specified
Citizens Bank Fixed: 4.47% – 9.29% 5 to 15 years $1,000 – $225,000 Not specified
Earnest Fixed: 3.24% – 10.99% (with autopay); Variable: 0.94% – 9.89% (with autopay) Not specified $1,000 – 100% total cost of attendance 650

Best overall

Federal Grad PLUS Loans

Federal Grad PLUS Loans

See offers Arrow Right

Check with studentaid.gov

Min. credit score:
Not disclosed
Fixed APR From:
3.73% –6.28%
Loan amount:
$0–$500,000
Term lengths:
10 to 10 years
Min. annual income:
$0
Overview: Federal grad PLUS loans come with fixed interest rates, and you can borrow up to the amount of your college costs minus other aid you receive. You can also defer payment on these loans until six months after you leave school, graduate or drop below half-time enrollment.
Why federal grad PLUS loans are best overall: Grad students looking for student loans should turn first to federal student loans, since they offer more benefits and borrower protections than private student loans. Grad PLUS loans do not use your credit score to determine your interest rate and have several repayment options.

Best for low rates

Min. credit score:
Not disclosed
Fixed APR From:
3.49%
Loan amount:
$1,000–$500,000
Term lengths:
5 to 15 years
Min. annual income:
$35,000
Overview: College Ave lets you borrow from $1,000 to $150,000 to complete your MBA program, and you can choose to repay your loan over five, eight, 10 or 15 years. You can also choose among diverse repayment options that include full principal and interest payments, interest-only payments while you're in school, a flat payment while you're in school or deferred payments until you graduate.
Why College Ave is best for low rates: Borrowers with good credit can access some of the lowest rates in the business with College Ave's MBA loans. The starting rates are competitive, and borrowers can take another 0.25 percent off of their interest rate by signing up for autopay.

Best for high borrowing limits

Min. credit score:
Not disclosed
Fixed APR From:
3.47% –11.16%
Loan amount:
$5,000–$500,000
Term lengths:
5 to 15 years
Min. annual income:
$0
Overview: SoFi's graduate school loans let you borrow up to the cost of attendance for your MBA program, and you can choose from highly competitive fixed or variable interest rates. You can also choose to defer your payments until six months after you leave school or make interest-only payments while you’re in school. Other options include making partial payments while you finish your MBA or moving forward with full principal and interest payments during your program.
Why SoFi is best for high borrowing limits: Some lenders impose borrowing caps on graduate school loans, but SoFi lets borrowers take out a loan up to the full cost of attendance.

Best for part-time students

Min. credit score:
Not disclosed
Fixed APR From:
3.75%
Loan amount:
$1,000–$500,000
Term lengths:
10 to 15 years
Min. annual income:
$0
Overview: The Sallie Mae MBA loan lets you borrow up to the cost of education, and you won’t have to pay an origination fee. Sallie Mae MBA loans come with a six-month grace period, and these loans are also workable for students attending an MBA program less than half time.
Why Sallie Mae is best for part-time students: Sallie Mae is one of only a few lenders that offers loans to students who are enrolled less than half time. This makes Sallie Mae an ideal lender for students who are working full time and taking only a few classes at a time.

Best for multiyear loans

Min. credit score:
Not disclosed
Fixed APR From:
3.47%
Loan amount:
$1,000–$350,000
Term lengths:
5 to 15 years
Min. annual income:
$12,000
Overview: Citizens Bank lets you borrow up to $225,000 for your MBA. Repayment terms can last for up to 15 years, you can choose to make interest-only payments while you’re still in school or defer payments until after you graduate.
Why Citizens Bank is best for multiyear loans: Borrowers can apply with Citizens Bank and get approved for multiple years of student loan funds. For each subsequent year of school, borrowers will go through only a soft credit check to get their loan funds, which protects their credit score from a hard inquiry.

Best for speedy online applications

Min. credit score:
650
Fixed APR From:
3.24%
Loan amount:
$1,000–$350,000
Term lengths:
5 to 20 years
Min. annual income:
$35,000
Overview: Earnest promises a speedy loan process for its MBA loans, which let you borrow up to the total cost of attendance for school. The fixed and variable interest rates are competitive, and you can qualify for a 0.25 percent rate discount if you sign up for autopay.
Why Earnest is best for a speedy online application: Earnest's initial application takes only a few minutes, and the company claims that most approved borrowers hear back within 72 hours. The entire application can be completed online on a desktop or phone.

What are MBA student loans?

MBA student loans are loans that can help you pay for the cost of your Master of Business Administration (MBA). They typically have low interest rates and flexible repayment terms and can be used for tuition, fees, housing, books, supplies and more.

How do MBA student loans work?

MBA student loans can come from either the federal government or private lenders. While there may be lifetime limits, often you can borrow up to the full cost of your education. Most lenders also give you the option of making payments while you’re still in school, but you may also be able to make interest-only payments or partial payments until you graduate.

Many MBA loans also let you defer payments until six months or longer after you graduate, which can give you time to get on your feet and into a new job before you have to worry about your student loan debt. Most MBA loans are repaid over a term of five to 25 years.

Types of MBA student loans

When looking for a loan for your MBA degree, you have two options: federal or private.

Federal student loans are, as the name implies, managed by the federal government. Interest rates and standard term lengths are the same for all borrowers, regardless of financial profile.

Graduate students can choose between Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct grad PLUS loans. Direct Unsubsidized Loans allow you to borrow up to $20,500 annually and $138,500 total with an interest rate of 5.28 percent, and they don't require a credit check. Grad PLUS loans allow you to borrow up to the cost of attendance with an interest rate of 6.28 percent, but they do check your credit.

Private student loans, on the other hand, are managed by a number of private lenders that set their own interest rates, terms and eligibility requirements. Generally you'll find lower rates and more flexible repayment timelines with private lenders if you have good credit, though you'll miss out on federal protections like forbearance, income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs. Your interest rate will also be determined by your credit score and debt-to-income ratio, among other things.

How much do MBA students borrow?

A study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that the average student loan balance for MBA graduates is around $66,300. Of course, that number could be higher or lower depending on the price of your school and how many scholarships or grants you earn. Many MBA student loan lenders will let you borrow up to the full cost of education, although some impose lifetime limits.

Things to consider before applying for an MBA student loan

While federal loans come with low fixed interest rates and protections like deferment and forbearance, private student loans for an MBA program may also make sense. Whether you opt to max out your federal loan options or go with a private lender, here are the most important factors you should consider:

  • Loan fees: Some lenders charge upfront origination fees and other fees, which you should try to avoid if you can. Ideally, you’ll wind up with an MBA loan with no fees and the lowest interest rate you can qualify for.
  • Interest rate: First, decide if you'd like a fixed or variable interest rate — essentially, whether you'd like to pay the same amount over the life of your loan or take advantage of fluctuating rates. You'll also want to compare APRs from multiple lenders. Look for lenders that let you check your rate without impacting your credit score.
  • Repayment term: Your repayment period determines what your monthly payment might be; choose a repayment period that allows you to pay off your loan as quickly as you can afford.
  • Grace period: If you want the option to defer payments until after you graduate, researching lenders ahead of time is critical. Some offer short grace periods, while others let you defer your payments for a year or longer after you graduate if you meet their requirements.

How has the coronavirus affected MBA loans?

Student loan interest rates are incredibly low right now due to the coronavirus' economic impact. If you're looking to take out a new MBA loan or refinance an existing private loan, now is a good time.

With that said, lenders have also made adjustments to their lending practices given this unprecedented drop in rates. It could be harder to qualify for a loan if you have poor credit, meaning you may have to enlist a co-signer if you're looking for an affordable MBA loan.

How the Biden presidency has impacted student loan borrowing

One of President Biden's first actions as president was to extend the period of administrative forbearance for federal student loan borrowers. Most federal loans are temporarily interest-free, with no payments required, through August 31, 2022.

Biden has also suggested that he is interested in exploring some form of student loan forgiveness. However, if this were to happen, it would likely only affect federal student loans — borrowers' private student loan balances would not be reduced.

FAQs about MBA student loans