The Best MBA Student Loans

The Best MBA Student Loans

MBAs are expensive. The average cost of the degree is $61,800, with top MBA programs averaging around $199,544.

For many students, taking out a loan may be the only way to help pay for the cost of business school. But loans can be tricky with varying repayment plans and interest costs to account for. Forbes recently ranked some of the most popular MBA student loans taking into consideration factors such as interest rates, fees, loan terms, hardship options, application process, and eligibility.


The highest-ranked loans, according to Forbes, are federal student loans issued by the U.S. Department of Education. The government offers two federal loan options: Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Graduate PLUS loans—both of which scored 4.5 out of 5 by Forbes.

“Direct unsubsidized loans are a good starting point for MBA loans since they have lower interest rates than other options,” according to Forbes. “However, there are limits to how much you can borrow per year and over your lifetime. As a graduate student, the maximum is $20,500 per year and $138,500 over your lifetime. The lifetime aggregate number includes federal debt you took out for your undergraduate degree.”

On the other hand, Federal Graduate PLUS loans don’t have annual or aggregate borrowing limits, meaning you can borrow up to the total cost of attendance for your MBA program. The only caveat for PLUS loans is that they do typically require credit checks.

“If you have an adverse credit history, you may need an endorser—someone with good credit who guarantees the loan’s repayment—to qualify for a loan,” Forbes states.


Forbes scored 17 total lenders that make the most loans by volume across 22 different categories, including interest rates (20%), fees (15%), loan terms (15%), hardship options (20%), application process (20%), and eligibility (10%).

“Specific characteristics taken into consideration within each category included number of months of forbearance available, economic hardship repayment options available beyond traditional forbearance, perks like cash-back rewards upon graduation, discounts, time to default, disclosure of credit score and income requirements and other factors,” Forbes states.

For additional loan information, click on the Forbes link below.

Sources: Forbes, Education Data Initiative, P&Q

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