Your Earnest student loans and COVID-19

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Earnest MBA Loans

Up your market value with an MBA loan

It’s our business to give you a low interest rate on your student loan. Check your rate today.

Earnest

Get more from your MBA loan

Pick a variety of flexible payment options, check for a low rate, and enjoy a longer grace period with Earnest.

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Get a better deal. Look for a low interest rate on your MBA student loan.

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Starting at
1.24%
( including 0.25% Auto Pay discount )
variable rates
Are loans that have an interest rate that will fluctuate over time
Starting at
3.49%
( including 0.25% Auto Pay discount )
fixed rates
Are loans that have an interest rate that will not fluctuate over time
Starting at
1.24%
( including 0.25% Auto Pay discount )
variable rates
Are loans that have an interest rate that will fluctuate over time
Starting at
3.49%
( including 0.25% Auto Pay discount )
fixed rates
Are loans that have an interest rate that will not fluctuate over time

Build a loan that fits your budget

1

Simple application

Apply online and upload all documents on your phone

2

Fast decision

Most approved borrowers hear back within 72-hours

3

Customized payments

Choose a payment plan or pay nothing while in school 

Am I a good candidate for private student loans?

Before applying for private student loans with Earnest, use this easy pre-application checklist to make sure you're prepared.

Way to go! Continue to check your eligibility with Earnest in 2 minutes.

Check My Eligibility

Way to go! Continue to check your eligibility with Earnest in 2 minutes.

Check My Eligibility

Get the FAQ's on business school loans

Do MBA programs give financial aid?

Yes, some MBA programs (including prestigious ones) do give merit-based scholarships. MBA students are also eligible to apply for federal financial aid using the FAFSA. Federal student aid is a good option because it can give you access to both subsidized and unsubsidized loans as either a full-time or part-time (half-time) student.

What does an MBA private student loan cover?

The cost of an MBA program often goes far beyond tuition. Boarding, books, and of course travel can all eat up your budget fast. An Earnest private student loan covers up to 100% of your total certified cost of attendance, including these additional expenses.

What federal loan options should I consider before applying for a private student loan?

Before applying for private student loans, it’s best to look at other sources of financial aid first. It’s recommended that you use a 4-step approach to get the funds you need: 

  1. Look for educational funding you don’t have to pay back, like scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities.
  2. Fill out a FAFSA® form to apply for federal student loans. Most federal student loans don’t require a credit check or a cosigner, and offer federal programs if you’re struggling with monthly payments.
  3. Consider asking a parent to look at federal parent loans. The Parent PLUS loan is issued directly to parents or guardians of current students.
  4. Look at a private student loan to cover any differences between your total cost of attendance and the amount not included in steps 1-3.

To learn more about federal student loan programs, visit the U.S. Department of Education. You can also fill out a free application for federal student aid or FAFSA® here.

The best private student loans should give you a low interest rate that will complement your federal financial aid. Keep in mind that you will accumulate interest percentage points on both federal student loans and private student loans over time.  

What is the most I can borrow with student loans?

Federal loans have different limits. They depend on the type of student loan, what year of school the student is applying for, as well as whether the student is considered a dependent (relying on their parents/guardian for financial support) or independent. Once your school receives the loan amount from the government, it will send it to you in a disbursement (essentially a payment to your bank account or check). 

A student is considered independent if he or she meets any one of the criteria below:

  • Is married
  • Is in grad school
  • Will be 24 years old before January 1 of the school year for which they’re applying
  • Has been legally emancipated from parents or guardians
  • Has a child or dependent
  • Is on active duty or a veteran of the U.S. armed forces
  • Was orphaned or in foster care after age 13
  • Was determined to be an unaccompanied/homeless youth

Below are the borrowing limits for different students: 

Dependent undergraduate students

  • First year: $5,500 total / $3,500 subsidized
  • Second year: $6,500 total / $4,500 subsidized
  • Third year and beyond: $7,500 total / $5,500 subsidized
  • Total limit: $31,000 / $23,000 subsidized

Independent undergraduate students

  • First year: $9,500 total / $3,500 subsidized
  • Second year: $10,500 total / $4,500 subsidized
  • Third year and beyond: $12,500 total / $5,500 subsidized
  • Total limit: $57,500 / $23,000 subsidized

Graduate students (unsubsidized loans only)

  • Annual limit: $20,500
  • Total limit: $138,500 (including undergraduate loans)

Direct PLUS loans are another type of federal loan available to graduate students only. The grad plus loans do not have the same restrictions—but they have higher rates than regular federal student loans. When applying for graduate student loans, remember to explore your options with federal loans before applying for private student loans. 

Private student loan limits can vary depending on the cost of attendance of the school. A private student loan may cover up to 100% of the cost of attendance. Before applying for a private student loan, remember to apply for federal aid. You can start the application process for a federal loan on the FAFSA® website or check your rate for a private student loan with Earnest private student loans. 

Who is eligible for Earnest Private Student Loans?

Eligible students must be:

  • Attending, or enrolled to attend, full-time at an eligible 4-year Title IV institutions
  • You live in the District of Columbia or a state that we lend in (all but NV)
  • The age of majority in their state of residence
  • A U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident or have a cosigner who is a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident

View full eligibility details on our Eligibility page.

If you meet all of our eligibility criteria, you may be approved for a loan as a solo applicant—but applying with a cosigner who has good credit may increase your chances of approval. Many students see lower interest rates if they apply with a cosigner. Try to get the lowest rate possible on your student loan. Much like a low annual percentage rate on a credit card, a low loan rate could help you save.  

If you are not a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, you may only apply with a cosigner who is. 

If you apply with a cosigner and later would like to do a cosigner release, we regret to inform you that we do not offer this option at this time. However, you can apply to refinance your student loans in your own name without a cosigner upon graduation. Refinancing is subject to the following eligibility requirements.

Please keep in mind our eligibility criteria for student loan cosigners:

  • A U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • 3+ years of good credit history
  • A minimum credit score of 650
  • No history of bankruptcy
  • Both primary and cosigner must live in the District of Columbia or a state that we lend in (all but NV), but they do not need to both live in the same state. 
What are the advantages of private student loans vs. federal student loans?

Benefits

Federal student loans offer borrowers certain protections that private student loans may not, such as income-based repayment or student loan forgiveness. Private student loans offer different loan terms and may offer a lower interest rate. Income-based repayment or loan forgiveness programs are benefits of federal student loans, but a private lender may also offer you other perks, such as flexible payment terms, a lower interest rate, and deferred repayment options.

Borrowing limits 

Federal student loans have borrowing limits (similar to limits on credit cards). If the cost of attendance exceeds the federal loan amount, that means you will need to cover the leftover cost. Graduate students may apply for no-cap Direct PLUS loans from the government, but undergraduate students do not have this option. 

Cost of attendance

Many students choose to apply for a loan with a private lender to cover their leftover costs. Earnest Private Student Loans, in addition to covering the entire cost of attendance, also have rates that are based on the credit profile of you and/or any cosigner you have. This may mean higher or lower rates than those offered by federal loans, depending on the credit profile. 

Grace periods and origination fees  

A private student loan may offer a longer deferment period or grace period than a federal student loan. Some private lenders, don’t charge an origination fee while some federal student loans do.

Auto Pay benefits 

With a private student loan company like Earnest, you get a 0.25% APR reduction when you agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by automatic electronic payment.    

Before looking for loans with private financial institutions, such as online lenders, credit unions or banks, explore all of your student loan options with the federal government.

Do you offer flexible repayment options?

First, we offer a deferment period that’s 3 months longer than most lenders. That means you don’t have to make student loan payments up to 9 months after you graduate. However, if you choose to make interest or principal balance payments while still in school, you will not be able to defer your loan payment after graduation. To learn more about Earnest Private Student Loan repayment terms, visit the Help Center. 

With Earnest Private Student Loans, you can choose from four repayment plans to pay off your student loan.

To make in-school payments more manageable, we allow students to make $25 automatic payments while they are in school. Other in-school repayment options include paying for the accrued interest, deferring payment for 9 months after graduation, or making the interest and principal payment on your loan. 

Also, we do no have any prepayment penalties, late fees, or origination fees.

What kind of interest rates do Earnest private student loans charge?

There are two types of interest rates – fixed interest and variable interest. A fixed rate will not change and tends to be higher. A variable rate loan tends to offer lower interest rates, but that interest can fluctuate, making your payment less predictable. Before taking out a private student loan, make sure to compare interest rates and read the fine print on all of your loan applications. 

Earnest private student loans come with either a fixed and variable interest rate. If you choose a fixed interest rate for your Earnest loan term, that means the interest will not change. If you have a variable interest rate, it may change over time. 

While we do not offer an interest rate reduction on student loans at this time, after you graduate and begin working, you may want to consider refinancing your loan for lower interest rates. You can learn more about student loan refinancing here and about loan products from our partners.

The Earnest Blog

Get the facts on MBA student loans