MBA Student Loans: The Best Lenders to Finance Your MBA

There are several reasons people decide to pursue an MBA. From increased lifetime earning potential to having a leg up for job openings and promotions, having an advanced degree in the field of business can be hugely beneficial. That’s why each year thousands of people (most of them already in the workforce) decide to pursue their MBA. With the advent of online courses and the popularity of executive (accelerated) MBA programs for working professionals, it’s easier than ever to work toward a Masters-level education. However, that still costs money. How are you supposed to fund your degree? That’s where MBA student loans come in.

A business person sitting and looking towards the camera.

The Value of an MBA

Many MBA programs cost $25,000 or $30,000 per year–with some costing $50,000 or more. This can be a hard pill to swallow for someone trying to pay their way while juggling a full-time job and all of life’s other expenses.

While the cost can seem steep, the return on investment for achieving an MBA can be staggering. Some graduates can double their salary immediately upon completion. The degree can pay for itself very quickly with the right program and the right job prospects.

(Note: It bears mentioning that not all students will have a positive outcome after obtaining an MBA. Be sure to do your research and plan carefully before pursuing any kind of degree.)

This is all great, but it still doesn’t answer one critical question: How am I going to pay for this?

Luckily, there are several student loan options. Both federal and private help finance your MBA. You come out with manageable debt that you repay with your higher salary.

Federal Student Loans for MBA Students

Most students pursuing an MBA look at federal student loans to finance their education because these student loans are generally seen as the best or “safest” option. It’s certainly advisable to at least explore federal student loan options first and foremost, though they may not necessarily be the best option for you depending on your unique circumstances.

For MBA students, there are two types of federal student loans available to you:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized (up to $20,500/year)
  2. Federal PLUS Direct

Each loan type offers its own pros and cons, which are outlined in the table below.

Private Student Loans for MBA Students

Another way to finance your MBA is to obtain a loan through a private lender.

In the past, many private loan companies have been seen as predatory and not as financially sound as using federal student loans. And it’s certainly true that not all private lenders have students’ best interests at heart. But, there are an emerging number of private lenders that offer competitive interest rates, borrower protections, and incredible repayment flexibility.

There are also a number of student loan comparison sites that will allow you to quickly obtain loan terms and rate offers from various lenders without performing a credit check. This can be incredibly useful for evaluating your options and choosing the best option for you.

Compare these options with your federal student loan options using the table below.

Comparing Federal and Private Student Loan Options

Loan typeProsCons
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Guaranteed approval of enrolled in Title IV college or university
  • 5.84% interest rate (2016)
  • Qualifies for federal protections (deferment, forbearance, etc)
  • $20,500 per year borrowing limit
  • Nationally set interest rate
  • 1% origination fee
  • Can only be consolidated with federal loans unless refinanced
Federal PLUS Loans
  • Borrowing limit up to full cost of attendance
  • Qualifies for federal protections (deferment, forbearance, etc)
  • Borrowing limit equal to full cost of attendance
  • 6.84% interest (2016)
  • 4% origination fee
  • Requires "no adverse credit history"
  • May require cosigner
  • Can only be consolidated with federal loans unless refinanced
Private Loans
  • Fixed and variable rates
  • Interest starting near 2% from some lenders
  • Flexible repayment terms
  • Some lenders offer borrower protections
  • Generally no origination fee
  • Does not qualify for federal deferment or forbearance
  • Will require a credit check
  • May require a cosigner

Best Student Loan Companies for MBA Student Loans

If you’ve decided that a private student loan may be a good option to finance your MBA, then you should do some comparison shopping for different lenders to determine who is likely to offer you the best rates and terms.

You can do this quickly using either Credible or Lendkey, two websites that allow you to get rate offers from multiple lenders in just a few minutes (and without a credit check).

Compare rate offers from about 8 lenders.
1.04%* + variable APR
3.30%* + fixed APR
5 - 15, 20 yearsLEARN MORE >
lendkey-logo-500px-trans1.13% - 11.23% variable APR
3.50% - 12.60% fixed APR
5, 10, 15 yearsLEARN MORE ›

*APR includes a 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrollment in automatic payments.

Use College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates side by side!

3 thoughts on “MBA Student Loans: The Best Lenders to Finance Your MBA”

  1. Jordan says:

    Per Lendkey, they do a hard credit check when you submit an application so be careful.

  2. Awesome post, just what I was looking for. I will check out lendkey and credible later this weekend. Thanks very much again.

  3. Mapenzi Mweembe says:

    Looking for a Student loan to finance my MBA studies

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