Graduate student loans

Graduate students aren't all the same; graduate student loans shouldn't be, either.

If you’ve applied for graduate school scholarships (yes, they’re a thing!), you used your savings, and you applied for federal financial aid through the FAFSA–then you might consider a private graduate student loan to cover any remaining grad school expenses.


Browse graduate student loans by category

Choose the right loan to cover your graduate degree or post-graduate studies


Pay for your expenses as you pursue your master's or doctoral degree in a discipline that's not listed below


Business administration

MBA loan icon dark blue briefcase

Pay for your expenses as you pursue your Masters of Business Administration degree


Medical & healthcare

icon dark blue first aid kit with red cross

Pay for your medical degree expenses in allopathic, general, osteopathic, podiatric, radiology, sports, and veterinary medicine

Icon dark blue first aid kit

Pay for your expenses associated with taking board examinations, traveling for interviews, and moving for your medical residency

Icon dark blue heart with red pulse

Pay for your health professions degree expenses in allied health, nursing, pharmacy, and other graduate-level health programs

Dark blue icon red tooth x-ray

Pay for your dental degree expenses in general dentistry, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics

Icon dark blue tooth x-ray and coral map pin

Pay for your expenses associated with taking board examinantions, traveling for interviews, and moving for your dental residency



Icon dark blue law scale

Pay for your school and associated expenses as you study for your law degree

Icon dark blue law gavel

Pay for your expenses associated with fees and living cost as you study for the bar exam

Choose the right graduate student loan

If you're considering a graduate loan to help cover the cost of your next degree, it's important to understand what types of loans to consider, how to apply, and how much aid you can qualify for.

Which student loans are available for graduate students

There are two types of graduate student loans: federal and private. Federal loans are funded by the federal government, and you apply for Federal Direct Loans and Direct Graduate PLUS Loans by filling out a FAFSA. Private student loans are offered by banks and credit unions, and you apply directly from the lender. We offer loans for graduate school..

Depending on the professional field that you're planning to enter, you may have different needs from a graduate student loan. For instance, medical and dental degrees often require residencies, so it can be helpful to have a deferment period. That is why we offer graduate student loans designed with features for specific degree types: medical school, dental school, law school, MBA, and health professions graduate school. We also have a Graduate School Loan, which is designed for humanities, sciences, and other degrees.

Learn more about the differences between federal and private student loans for graduate students.footnote 1

How to apply for a private graduate student loan

It's easy to apply for a graduate student loan. Use the “Apply for a loan” button on this page, and you'll be asked a few questions to determine which graduate loan is appropriate for you. Then, you'll fill out some basic information. It only takes about 15 minutes to apply for your graduate student loan and get a credit result.

How much can you borrow as a graduate student

The amount that you can borrow for graduate school generally depends on the loan; most of our graduate student loans let you borrow from $1,000 up to 100% of the school-certified Cost of Attendance (COA).footnote 2

The COA, generally listed in your financial aid award letter, is an estimate of what you'll pay for the following costs: tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and personal expenses.

Graduate student loan credit information

Private graduate student loans are credit-based. The lender wants to know how creditworthy, or how responsible you are with credit, before approving your student loan application. That means they'll view your history of borrowing money and paying it back on time. If you believe your credit history isn't strong, consider adding a cosigner. Their good credit may help you get approved for your loan.

Benefits and rewards of applying for a graduate student loan

The greatest benefit to taking out a graduate student loan is the ability to pay for the graduate education that's important to you. Most grad students see the expense of getting a degree as an investment in their future. Many believe that it can help them enter or advance in their chosen career field, and potentially reward them with higher earnings.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

footnote 1. Explore federal loans and compare to make sure you understand the terms and features. Private student loans that have variable rates can go up over the life of the loan. Federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options, including, but not limited to, income-based repayment and income-contingent repayment plans, and loan forgiveness and deferment benefits, which other student loans are not required to provide. Federal loans generally have origination fees, but are available to students regardless of income.

footnote 2. For applications submitted directly to Sallie Mae, loan amount cannot exceed the cost of attendance less financial aid received, as certified by the school. Applications submitted to Sallie Mae through a partner website may be subjected to a lower maximum loan request amount. Miscellaneous personal expenses (such as a laptop) may be included in the cost of attendance for students enrolled at least half-time.