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Best Nursing School Loans for April 2021

If you’re thinking about student loans for nursing school, you’re probably wondering what your options are. There are federal and private student loans available to help you get through school. We want to simplify the decision for you as we break down these options, as well as their pros and cons.

Federal Loans for Nursing School

Starting with federal student loans is recommended for nursing students. Not only do federal student loans provide benefits like Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), but you may also qualify to participate in an income-driven repayment plan, which could make it easier to pay for your bills and other expenses after finishing nursing school.

Subsidized Student Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are federal loans that undergraduates can borrow at a low, fixed interest rate. The government pays the interest on these loans when you are enrolled in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during periods of authorized deferment. You must demonstrate financial need to qualify. If you do, we recommend exhausting this type of loan first because it is the least expensive federal student loan.

Unsubsidized Student Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are federal student loans that undergraduate, graduate, and professional students can borrow. These loans also come with low, fixed interest rates. Unlike the aforementioned Direct Subsidized Loans, demonstrated financial need is not necessary to qualify. Unlike subsidized student loans, you are responsible for paying off all interest accrued on unsubsidized loans.

Grad PLUS Loans

Another federal student loan, the Grad PLUS Loan is available to graduate and professional students. The Grad PLUS Loan offers a fixed 5.30% interest rate for the 2020-2021 school year, and there are flexible loan limits. To qualify, you must not have an adverse credit history.

The Grad PLUS Loan has a current origination fee 4.228% which is deducted from your loan amount before any funds are sent to your school. The annual borrowing limit is your Cost of Attendance (COA) minus other financial aid received.

HRSA Nursing Student Loan

Health Resources and Services Administration loans, or HRSA loans, are low interest, long-term loans offered to students in need who are pursuing a health professions degree like nursing. There are four loan programs, and one is specifically geared for nursing students.

Nursing Student Loans (NSL)

Nursing Student Loans are for full-time nursing students with financial need who are pursuing an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree in nursing at an eligible school. Your school is eligible as long as it offers a degree in nursing.

To apply for the Nursing Student Loan program, you must fill out the application on the HRSA website. If you have additional questions about the NSL program, you can contact the program through their website.

Best Private Student Loans for Nursing School

Private student loans are available for aspiring nurses that need additional funding to cover the cost of school. If you have good credit, a student loan for nursing could afford you a low, competitive interest rate. We work with some of the best lenders in the industry, and we have made it easy for you to compare your options for nursing school.

 

Best Student Loans for Nursing School

  • Interest Rates
    • Fixed as low as: 4.25% APR1
    • Variable as low as: 1.13% APR1
  • Interest Rates
    • Fixed as low as: 3.34% APR1
    • Variable as low as: 1.04% APR1
  • Benefits
    • Easy online application!
    • No origination fees, late fees, and no insufficient fund fees. Period
    • Flexible repayment options to help you find the right loan for you
    • 0.25% discount when you set up autopay
  • Interest Rates
    • Fixed: 4.24% APR - 12.99% APR2
    • Variable: 1.24% APR - 11.99% APR2
  • Interest Rates
    • Fixed as low as: 3.99% APR1
    • Variable as low as: 4.13% APR1
  • Interest Rates
    • Fixed as low as: 3.43% APR1
    • Variable as low as: 2.14% APR1
  • Interest Rates
    • Fixed as low as: 3.49% APR1
    • Variable as low as: 1.05% APR1
  • Stride Funding ISA Features
    • Payments based on a fixed percentage of future income.
    • Never pay more than you can afford.

Federal vs Private Student Loans for Nursing School

Compare Terms Federal Student Loans HRSA Nursing Student Loan Private Student Loans
Interest Rate Options Fixed interest rates Fixed interest rate Fixed or variable rate options
Interest Rate Criteria Determined by the federal government each award year  5% Depends on your credit
Origination Fees Direct Stafford: 1.057 Direct PLUS: 4.228 (for loans disbursed Oct. 1, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2021 None Low to none depending on your credit
Repayment Terms Variety of federal plans to choose from, including 10-year standard and income-driven repayment plans Up to 10 years Usually 5 to 25 years depending on the terms and conditions offered on your loan
FAFSA Required? Yes Yes No, but it is recommended
Student Loan Forgiveness or Discharge Options  Federal forgiveness and discharge options are available, including Public Service Loan Forgiveness Eligible for death and total and permanent disability discharge Offerings may vary by lender and circumstances
Grace Period 6-month grace period 9-month grace period 6-month grace period may be an option, however, repayment terms are set by the lender
Cosigner Release Options  A Direct PLUS loan may require you to apply with a cosigner, however, no cosigner release options are available under the federal student loan program N/A Cosigner release options vary by lender and borrower credit
Lending Institution Federal government Participating school Lender may be a bank, credit union, financial institution, state agency, college or university

Financial Aid for Nursing School

We strongly recommend filing the FAFSA. Not only is it necessary for determining if you're eligible for federal financial aid, but many colleges, universities, and state governments use it to award institutional and state financial aid as well. It doesn’t matter if you are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate level degree, financial aid options are available for both.

Grants for Nursing School

Getting a grant for nursing school can help minimize your costs. In general, grants are need-based funds provided to pay for school and/or related expenses. Because grants are gift-aid, they do not have to be repaid. Find both educational and nursing research grants below:

Nursing School Scholarships

There are plenty of scholarships for nursing school, and we put together a list of some to get you started. Scholarships are a great way to decrease the amount of money you need to borrow in student loans. Here are some of the more popular scholarships for nurses:

Student Loan Repayment for Nurses

According to U.S. News & World Report, the median salary for an RN in 2019 was $73,300. With the student loan repayment options available for nurses, you don’t have to be bogged down in student loan debt. And armed with information and the right plan of attack, you can be prepared to handle your debt shortly after completing your nursing program. Below are some of the most common repayment options to consider.

Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program

Under the HRSA program, you may be eligible to apply for the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program. If you qualify, the repayment program may cover up to 85% of unpaid nursing education debt if you meet the criteria, including serving in a Critical Shortage Facility or an eligible school or nursing.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) can be an effective way for a nurse to tackle federal student loan debt. After a borrower makes ten years of qualifying payments (120 payments in total) while working full-time in an eligible public service job, under an eligible repayment plan, that individual can have the remaining balance on their student loans forgiven.

Student Loan Consolidation

Federal student loan consolidation can allow you to simplify your monthly student loan payment, renew eligibility for deferments and forbearances, and access alternate payment plans from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), by combining your existing federal student loans into one loan. It’s also a great way to make some ineligible federal student loan loans eligible for PSLF. Non-federal student loans, such as private student loans are not eligible for federal student loan consolidation.

Student Loan Refinance

Private student loan refinance is a great option for combining your private student loans into one new loan. You are also able to combine federal student loans and private student loans together by choosing to refinance. If you include federal student loans in a private student loan refinance, you would forfeit any federal student loan benefits you qualify for, but this could afford you a lower interest rate.

Benefits of Private Student Loan Refinance

  • Potentially lower your interest rate
  • Lower your monthly payment by extending your repayment term
  • Combine all of your student loans into one payment
  • Release cosigners from your student loan

Could student loan refinancing save you money?

Best Private Student Loans for April 2021

Health Professions Student Loans

How to Pay for Medical School

How Does Student Loan Interest Work

Student Loan Cosigner

How to Find Scholarships

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