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Best business school loans

Compare 4 private lenders that can help finance your MBA.

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The average student pays around $60,000 a year for b-school — though costs can get as high as $100,000 annually for top-tier programs. Fortunately, you have your choice of both federal and private student loans to help cover the cost of your MBA.

How we picked these loans

Because business school is so expensive, we searched for lenders that offered high borrowing limits, low interest rates and borrower perks like multiyear approval and flexible repayment plans.

The 4 best private student loans for business school

Before you compare lenders, looking at your personal finances and nailing down your priorities can help you find a loan that best meets your needs.

Citizens One MBA Student Loans: Best for multiyear approval

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance
  • Fixed APRs: 4.45% to 10.59% with discounts
  • Variable APRs: 3.08% to 9.81% with discounts
  • Terms: 5, 10 or 15 years
  • Eligibility requirements:
    • US citizen, permanent resident or international student with a qualified cosigner
    • Enrolled at least half time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution
    • Good credit or have a qualified cosigner
    • Age of majority in your stateor have a cosigner who is
    • No prior student loan defaults

Multiyear approval and no origination fees put Citizens One’s MBA Student Loan at the top of our list. It also offers a high aggregate loan limit of $225,000, which allows students to borrow enough to fund their whole MBA program.

College Ave MBA Loan: Best for a variety of loan terms

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance
  • Fixed APRs: 5.97% to 11.68% with autopay discount
  • Variable APRs: 5.22% to 10.92% with autopay discount
  • Terms: 5, 8, 10 or 15 years
  • Eligibility requirements:
    • US citizen or international student with qualified cosigner
    • Enrolled at least half time in a relevant degree program
    • Good credit or have a qualified cosigner
    • Maintain satisfactory academic progress with your institution

College Ave’s MBA Loan is ideal for students who want options. The lender offers multiple repayment plans as well as four different loan terms. It touts that its online application only takes three minutes to complete, and there are no origination fees.

Commonbond Master Business School Loan: Best for low interest rates

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance
  • Fixed APRs: 5.37% to 7.2% with autopay discount
  • Variable APRs: 5% to 6.71% with autopay discount
  • Terms: 10 or 15 years
  • Eligibility requirements:
    • US citizen or permanent resident
    • Enrolled at least half time at a school in its network
    • Meet credit criteria or have a qualified cosigner

If low rates are your main priority, then Commonbond might be for you. Its rates top out at 7.2% — much lower than other MBA loan providers out there. It also offers 12 months of forbearance should you have a financial hardship that makes you unable to make repayments.

Sallie Mae MBA Loan: Best for flexible repayment options

  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to 100% of your school-certified cost of attendance
  • Fixed APRs: 5.5% to 10.23% with autopay discount
  • Variable APRs: 4.12% to 9.75% with autopay discount
  • Terms: 15 years
  • Eligibility requirements:
    • Graduate student enrolled in an MBA program at a participating degree-granting school
    • US citizen, permanent resident or have a creditworthy cosigner who is
    • Meet credit and other eligibility criteria or have a qualified cosigner who does

Sallie Mae’s MBA Loan stands out thanks to its flexible repayment options. Want to get settled in your career before making full repayments? You have the option of making interest-only repayments for up to a year once your six-month grace period is up. Entering an internship after graduation? You can defer repayments for up to four years.

Compare other private student loans for business school

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
Ascent private student loans
540
$200,000
2.71% to 12.99%
EDvestinU Private Student Loans
675
$200,000
4.07% to 9%
Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
LendKey Private Student Loans
Varies by lender
4.99% to 11.06%
This connection service partners with Sallie Mae and WSFS Bank to offer competitive rates.
 Advantage Education Loan Refinance Loan
670
Starting at 3.74%
Refinance to a more flexible repayment plan with this nonprofit lender.
Alliant Credit Union Traditional Student Loan
680
$60,000
Starting at 4.56%
All-purpose personal loans from @pl_product_min_loan_amount@ to @pl_product_max_loan_amount@ with rates that stop at @pl_product_var_rate@.
ChangEd student loan payment app
Securely connect all of your student loans and bank accounts to one place for a painless repayment experience.
Chicago student loans
None
Cost of attendance, up to $50,000
7.53% to 8.85%
No cosigner needed for this fixed-rate financing option.
Citizens Bank Private Student Loans
700
$295,000
1.25% to 10.57%
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Compare up to 4 providers

Federal loan options for business school

You also have two federal loan options to help you cover the cost of b-school. While these come with more flexible repayment plans than most private MBA school loans, they don’t have the most competitive interest rates. You might want to compare these options to private lenders to make sure you’re getting the best deal available to you.

Annual limitLifetime limitInterest rateFeesTerms
Direct Unsubsidized Loans$20,500$138,5004.3% 1.059%
  • Deferred repayments during school and six months after you graduate.
  • Standard repayment term of 10 years, with options for income-based and extended repayment plans up to 25 years
Direct PLUS LoansUp to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendanceNone7.08%4.236%
  • Deferred repayments during school and six months after you graduate.
  • Standard repayment term of 10 years, with options for income-based and extended repayment plans up to 25 years

To apply for both of these loans, you’ll need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). And to qualify for PLUS Loans, you’ll need to pass a credit check or apply with a creditworthy cosigner. You can learn more about how federal student loans for graduate students work with our guide.

Alternative ways to pay for business school

Trying to avoid taking on debt? Check out these alternatives to student loans:

  • Private scholarships. Available through private organizations as well as your school, scholarships are ideal since they don’t have to be repaid. Look for scholarships specific to students in the business field.
  • Corporate sponsorship. Ask your employer if they have a corporate sponsorship program. These programs might include full or partial college funding, reimbursement for tuition or access to company resources to help cover the cost of b-school.
  • University assistantship programs. Some universities offer tuition assistance for students who take on an assistantship position at the college. Depending on your previous experience, you could assist with teaching lower level courses, conducting research or helping out with administrative duties.

Bottom line

You can choose from both federal and private student loans to help fund your graduate-level business degree. While federal loans come with more flexible repayment plans, you might get a lower interest rate with a private lender — especially if you have excellent credit or a cosigner who does.

You can learn more about how to pay for business school with our guide.

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