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Student Loans

Refinance MBA Student Loans

If you have a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), you know it can be a valuable key to unlocking high-paying doors. 

But that key comes with a high price tag: Over half of MBA grads are still paying off student loan debt, to the average tune of $82,439 (including undergraduate debt).

Paying off this kind of debt can challenge you, your cosigner, and your family. Opting for an MBA student loan refinance can solve many of these problems, but some lenders are better than others. 

Top lenders to refinance MBA student loans

When refinancing MBA student loans, finding lenders that can refinance large loan amounts and offer a lower interest rate to see significant savings is essential. We’ve reviewed the lenders below to ensure they offer refinancing solutions that meet these requirements.

Click the lender’s name in the table to read more about its MBA refinance loan.

LenderBest forRates (APR)
CredibleMarketplace4.75%14.52%
SoFiOnline lender4.74% – 9.19%
EarnestSkip-a-payment benefit5.19% – 9.74%
RISLAHardship protections5.79%8.74%

Credible – Best marketplace

LendEDU rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • A marketplace for comparing prequalified rates
  • Quick online application
  • No fees or impact on your credit score

Credible stands out for its online marketplace that allows borrowers to compare multiple offers from popular lenders in one place. Its platform allows for easy comparisons of rates and terms, ensuring you can find the best terms. Given the size of MBA loans, Credible’s wide range of options and user-friendly interface make it a popular choice.


SoFi – Best online lender

LendEDU rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • Competitive rates for those with good credit
  • Additional member benefits, such as career services
  • Flexible repayment options

SoFi, an online bank, is a terrific choice for borrowers with good to excellent credit due to its competitive rates. Beyond refinancing, SoFi provides valuable services, including career counseling and financial advice, which can benefit professionals in career development. SoFi charges no origination, prepayment, or late payment fees.


Earnest – Best skip-a-payment benefit

LendEDU rating: 4.8 out of 5

  • Customizable loan terms
  • Skip one payment per year without penalty
  • No fees

Earnest offers a high degree of customization during the application process, which can be a significant advantage for MBA graduates. Its repayment flexibility, including the ability to skip a payment once per year without penalty, provides a cushion for unexpected life events. Earnest’s commitment to no fees further enhances its appeal.


RISLA – Best hardship protections

Powered by Credible

LendEDU rating: 4.4

  • Nonprofit lender
  • Competitive interest rates and terms
  • Income-based repayment available

RISLA (Rhode Island Student Loan Authority) is a unique option as a nonprofit lender specializing in education loans. It offers several borrower protections, including income-based repayment during a temporary financial setback, military benefits, payment forbearance, and forgiveness upon permanent disability or death.


How much could you save by refinancing your MBA student loan?

The two ways of looking at MBA student loan refinance costs are:

  • How much does it cost right now?
  • How much does it cost in the long run? 

Your monthly payment may be lower if you choose a longer term length, which makes it attractive if you’re on a budget. However, many lenders charge higher interest rates for longer-term loans. And because you pay the higher rate for a longer time, your loan costs can skyrocket. 

You can see that in this hypothetical table for a recent MBA grad considering their options:

Orig. MBA loanRefi (short term)Refi
(long term)
Loan amount$82,500$82,500$82,500
Repayment period (yrs.)10720
APR10.00%9.34%9.59%
Monthly payment$1,090$1,341$773
Total interest paid$48,329$30,197$103,227

If this grad chose to refinance for a shorter period—seven years rather than 10—they could be debt-free three years sooner and save over $18,000. But it would cost an extra $250 per month. You can run the numbers for yourself using our student loan refinance calculator

Refinancing your MBA loans can help you achieve many goals, but not all at the same time. For example, you can get help lowering your monthly payments, but that could boost how much you pay over the long run. 

There are other crucial considerations; whether they’re a net positive for you depends on your situation. We’ll look at the most critical factors to consider next.

Refinance if…Don’t refinance if… 
You need to lower your monthly paymentsYou have federal student loans
You’re looking to release a cosignerYou have poor credit
You want to save money over the long runYou have a low or inconsistent income

When you should consider refinancing your MBA student loans

The most significant factor for many borrowers is what type of loans they have: private or federal. You might have a mix of the two. In general, experts recommend refinancing for private student loans only because refinancing federal loans means losing the consumer protections they offer. 

If you’re refinancing private student loans, the next point is to consider your goals. Do you need help lowering your monthly payments? Check whether your current lender offers any options; if not, it may be time to look at switching to a new lender by refinancing your MBA loans. 

If you’re like many students, you may have a cosigner on your loans. As long as they’re a cosigner, they’re legally liable to repay your loans if you can’t, which can be a significant burden. Many people refinance their student loans to remove a cosigner once they have better credit and a higher income.

Consider your long-term costs, especially if you’re refinancing for a different term length. Many MBA grads can afford a larger monthly payment in exchange for paying off their loan sooner and saving money on interest, and that’s a perfect use case for an MBA student loan refinance.

Our expert’s advice for borrowers in unique financial situations 

Erin Kinkade

CFP®

If you’re an MBA graduate in a volatile industry—or perhaps an entrepreneur, and your income is less predictable—I recommend refinancing into a fixed-rate loan if any of your current loans have variable rates. I also recommend always making the minimum payment due each month and having a designated savings account so you can contribute during higher-income periods. This way, you can cover the payments during lower-income periods. 

When you should not refinance your MBA student loans

If you have federal student loans, think long and hard before you refinance. You may qualify for lower interest rates in some cases, but you’ll give up life-changing support programs that could help you later—for instance, in the case of a worldwide pandemic.

Unless you have someone who can cosign for your loans, you’ll also need good credit and income to qualify for lower rates. That’s easy for many MBA graduates; your knowledge of the finance world can help you more in these areas than grads of other programs.  

How refinancing can affect your credit score and long-term financial goals

Erin Kinkade

CFP®

Your credit score will take a minor hit after the initial refinance, but it will recover as long as you make on-time payments. Be careful not to incur additional unnecessary debt to keep your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) low. This can make it easier to purchase a home, be approved to rent, or be approved for a loan to finance a vehicle if needed. You can save for retirement while repaying a loan if you limit unnecessary expenses but allow discretionary funds for leisure and fun. As your income increases, you should increase your retirement savings by at least 1%. If your budget is too tight to make retirement contributions, once you pay off the loan, you can redirect the funds you were using to pay off the loan. Your employer may also be able to contribute to an eligible retirement plan based on your qualified student loan payments—even if you can’t contribute to the plan.

How to refinance your MBA loans

An MBA student loan refinance isn’t different from refinancing other graduate degrees, despite what flashy marketing webpages might say. The basic tenets are the same for refinancing your MBA student loans as if you’d studied underwater basket weaving. 

Here’s a step-by-step rundown of how it works:

  1. Gather your loan information. Contact your current lender(s) for a loan payoff statement listing the total amount you’ll need to refinance. You may have multiple lenders; check your loan documents or credit report to be sure. 
  2. Gather your personal information. Most student loan lenders require the same documents, so round them up in advance. You’ll need copies of your photo ID and your financial details, including recent pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns. 
  3. Gather your credit details. Having good credit is the ticket to getting the best rate. Check your annual credit report for any errors you may need to dispute, and check your credit score to determine whether you’ll likely qualify with different lenders. 
  4. Get prequalified. Check your loan options with as many lenders as you can. Ensure they do a soft credit check so you don’t harm your credit score until you’re ready to apply.
  5. Submit an MBA loan refinance application. Choose the best lender. That’s often the one offering the lowest rates, but consult reviews, too. Look for helpful features, such as repayment assistance options or cosigner release policies.
  6. Switch to your new lender. If approved, the transfer to the new lender won’t be immediate. Keep paying your old MBA loans until you receive confirmation from your old lender. Be sure to set up autopay on your new loans.