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MBA student loan refinancing options
Compare our top 6 picks for getting a better deal after you graduate B-school.
6 best MBA student loan refinancing options
- First Republic: Best for low fixed rates
- SoFi: Best for networking
- Splash Financial: Best for competitive rates with good credit
- Earnest: Best for refinancing before you graduate
- Prodigy Finance: Best for international MBA students
- Purefy: Best for consolidating with your spouse
How we picked these providers
After reviewing nearly 30 student loan refinancing companies, we considered factors like rates, terms and eligibility requirements when coming up with this list — keeping in mind the average salary and debt load for an MBA graduate. We also considered different types of priorities, from saving on interest to consolidating with your spouse.
First Republic: Best for low fixed rates
- APRs: 3.49% to 7.02%
- Terms: 5 to 15 years
- Eligibility requirements: Have between $40,000 and $300,000 in student loans, 750+ credit score, 24+ months working in current industry, US citizen or permanent resident, First Republic checking account and access to a First Republic Bank branch.
This lender offers some of the lowest fixed rates out there — its maximum APR ends below the starting rate for some providers. Most MBA students graduate with enough debt to meet its relatively high debt requirements.
You need near-excellent credit and at least two years of work experience in your industry to qualify, however. And you have to apply in person, in one of the handful of states where First Republic has a branch.
SoFi: Best for networking
- APRs: to 6.09%
- Terms: 5 to 20 years
- Eligibility requirements: Must be an employed US citizen not living in Vermont with a minimum loan balance of at least $5,000.
SoFi offers some of the lowest variable rates out there — though its maximum APR is still not quite as competitive as First Republic. Aside from competitive rates, the real draw is the perks that come with being a SoFi member. This includes access to career coaches, wealth advisers and networking opportunities. Though you don’t technically need to be employed to qualify, you do need to have a job offer that starts in 90 days.
It also has an online application and is available in every state but Vermont. But you’ll need strong personal credit to qualify.
Splash Financial: Best for competitive rates with good credit
- APRs: 1.89% to
- Terms: 5 to 25 years
- Eligibility requirements:
Splash Financial is a connection service that works with a network of banks and credit unions that can get you rates as low as [NB CODE FOR MINIMUM APR]. It has lower credit and income requirements than First Republic and SoFi. And its providers have even more relaxed criteria if you can bring on a cosigner with strong credit.
Earnest: Best for refinancing before you graduate
- APRs: 1.99% to 5.64%
- Terms: 5 to 20 years
- Eligibility requirements: 650+ credit score, $5,000+ in student debt from a Title IV school, meet income and credit history requirements, live in an eligible state, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Earnest is one of the few lenders that allows you to refinance before you finish your degree — and could offer a particularly good deal if you have a Grad PLUS Loan. It also considers factors like your level of education and career when you apply for the loan, so your MBA might earn you a better rate. The downside is that it has tough credit requirements that you have to meet on your own — it doesn’t accept cosigners. It’s also not available in all states.
Prodigy Finance: Best for international MBA students
- APRs: 4% to
- Terms: 7 to 20 years
- Eligibility requirements: Noncitizen working in an eligible US state or UK, graduate of an eligible university, existing private student loan.
Prodigy Finance is one of the only student loan providers that offers student loan refinancing specifically for international students — you can’t be a US citizen or permanent resident to qualify. Its rates are higher than what you might find elsewhere, but they still might offer you a better deal if you took out a student loan without a cosigner.
Purefy: Best for consolidating with your spouse
- APRs: 2.27% to 7.49%
- Terms: 5 to 20 years
- Eligibility requirements: Must have been employed for 2+ years, make at least $24,000 and be 18+ years old.
Purefy is an online provider that streamlines applications to PenFed Credit Union and Citizens Bank. It offers an option for married couples to consolidate their debt into one loan, which could be useful if you’re supporting your spouse financially. Through this option, you’ll take your spouse’s debt into your name — and the rate you get is based on the highest of your two credit scores.
Compare more student loan refinancing offers
When should I refinance my MBA loans?
There are a few situations where you might want to refinance your MBA loans:
- When you start a new job. You’ll have the most options if you wait until after the start date of your new job.
- When you want lower repayments. Refinancing for a longer term can lower you monthly loan cost if you have private loans.
- After you get a raise. Look into your refinancing offers any time you get a big pay bump — you might be eligible for a more competitive rate.
- When you need more flexibility. Thinking of starting your own company? Look for a lender with more flexible deferment and forbearance options so you can put your loans on hold if you hit a financial rough patch.
- When you want to change servicers. Refinancing is the only way to switch servicers with private loans — and one of a few ways to switch servicers with federal loans.
Why might I want to hold off?
Refinancing might not always be the answer. Here are some situations where you might want to hold off:
- You just graduated without a job lined up. Even lenders that let you apply before you begin working typically require a start date.
- You’re new to the industry. Without experience, you might not get as high of a salary as some of your fellow MBA graduates. You might want to wait for your first raise before you apply.
- You want to take advantage of federal benefits. Refinancing your federal loans means you’ll lose benefits like flexible repayment plans and deferment options. If you plan on going into the nonprofit world, government sector or want to start a business, consider what you’ll lose.
- You already have the best deal. There’s no point in refinancing if you have the lowest rate most lenders offer and are otherwise happy with the terms of your loan.
Having an MBA can open you up to some of the best deals out there when it comes to student loan refinancing. But consider your career plans before you sign up with a new lender — especially if you have federal loans. You might lose access to benefits like deferment, forbearance and even some forgiveness programs.
Read more about how it all works by checking out our guide to student loan refinancing.
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