The average dental student’s debt is around $300,000. While this can be overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. You can minimize your debt by making educated loan decisions and choosing the right loans for you. Let’s get into it.
Can I Get Loans for Dental School?
Yes. The two main loans you’ll hear about are federal student loans and private student loans. Both can be a great help in paying for your dental education.
With federal loans, you can get Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. The maximum loan amount you can borrow with Direct Unsubsidized Loans is $20,500 per year with a lifetime limit of $138,500. With Direct PLUS Loans, the maximum amount you can take out is the cost of attendance minus other aid.
Private student loan borrowing limits will vary more. But, you can typically get up to the cost of attendance minus other aid.
Do You Need a Cosigner for Dental School Student Loans?
It depends. For federal student loans, you usually won’t need a cosigner. The only instance where you might need one is with PLUS Loans. To qualify for a PLUS Loan, you need to pass an adverse credit check. If you fail that, you will need a cosigner to go forward.
Private student loans are where you’ll most often see a cosigner requirement. Lenders set certain requirements that if you don’t meet, then you’ll need a cosigner who does. The specifics of the requirements vary from lender to lender. The biggest one is the credit score requirement. Make sure either you or a cosigner have good to excellent credit. This is a score that is at least in the high 600s.
It’s important to note that a cosigner does more than just help you qualify for a loan. Cosigners can also help get you better terms or a lower interest rate. This can lower your monthly payments and make your loan more manageable.
How to Reduce Your Dental School Debt
First, look for scholarships and grants. This is free money that you won’t have to pay back. Plus, the more of these you get, the less you have to take out in loans. Once you get to loans, consider taking out some federal student loans. These are great because they come with lots of federal benefits such as flexible repayment plans, a grace period, and possible loan forgiveness. Finally, you’ll want to look at private student loans. As you search, carefully review the terms of each loan. The terms include interest rates, fees, and periods of deferment among other things. You might even be able to get a lower interest rate than on your federal student loans.
Use Sparrow to help you look for good private student loans. Fill out our online application to match you with what you qualify for at 15+ lenders. Then, save and compare the ones you liked the most before making a final decision.
Our Picks for Dental School Student Loans
Here is a list of lenders that give out great dental school loans:
The Arkansas Student Loan Authority (ASLA) is an Arkansas state entity that provides educational funding for all Arkansas students who wish to attend higher education institutions. ASLA is a great option for Arkansas students.
Ascent is an online lender that offers educational funding for students. They offer three types of student loans: a traditional cosigned loan, a non-cosigned credit-based loan, and a non-cosigned outcomes-based loan. Collectively, the three options provide a great selection for those who do not have a cosigner available, are international or DACA students, or have lower credit scores.
Brazos is a non-profit lender offering educational funding through private student loans available only to Texas Residents. They offer a wide range of loan options, covering undergraduate, graduate, MBA, law, medical, dental, veterinary, and doctoral degree programs. Brazos is a great option if you live in Texas, have strong credit, and want competitive interest rates.
College Ave’s student loan offers educational funding for undergraduate, graduate, professional, and career school students, and parents of students. It’s a great option if you are seeking a more flexible repayment term that allows you to find a loan that matches your budget.
Earnest’s student loans provide funding that’s available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. They’re a great option if you are seeking competitive interest rates, unique borrower perks, and flexible repayment options that allow you to find a loan that matches your budget.
LendKey is an institution that offers educational funding to undergraduate and graduate students. By connecting borrowers with a network of 100+ lesser-known credit unions and community banks, LendKey allows you to work with smaller lenders with low rates and good customer service, rather than traditional lending institutions. It’s best for students with strong credit and who want generous cosigner release and forbearance policies.
MPOWER is an online lender that offers educational funding to international, domestic, and DACA students. They offer non-cosigned undergraduate and graduate student loans. It is best for international students and DACA students who don’t have a credit history and can’t access a qualified cosigner.
Prodigy Finance is an online lender that provides funding to international students. They offer non-cosigned graduate student loans. They’re a good option for international students who don’t have a credit history and can’t access a qualified cosigner.
Sallie Mae is an online lender that provides educational funding to students. They offer cosigned and non-cosigned undergraduate, graduate, and career training student loans. They’re a good option for students seeking competitive interest rates with a creditworthy cosigner.
SoFi offers educational funding to undergraduate, graduate, law, and MBA students, and parents of students. With competitive interest rates, a diverse set of repayment options, and exclusive member benefits, SoFi is a good fit for borrowers with a strong credit score or a creditworthy cosigner.
Final Thoughts from the Nest
School debt can be overwhelming. Getting the right aid and loans, however, can lower it and make it more controllable. So, when you begin your career in the dental field, you can feel at ease knowing your student debt is under control.
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