Financing FAQ

Financing Your MBA

Frequently Asked Questions

What loan options are available to domestic students?

Below are the loan options available for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents.

Federal Loans

Please complete the FAFSA application.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

  • Limit of $20,500 a year
  • 7.05% fixed interest rate for 2023-24 and 1.057% origination fee (fee changes October 1st)
  • Repayment begins after student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment (4 units)
  • Flexible repayment: income-based, loan forgiveness

Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan

  • May borrow up to cost of education minus other forms of financial aid
  • 8.05% fixed interest rate for 2023-24 with 4.228% origination fee (fee changes October 1st)
  • Requires a credit check
  • Repayment begins after student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment (4 units)
  • Flexible repayment: income-based, loan forgiveness

Private Loans

Many private loans are available to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and international students with a U.S. co-signer.  Please visit our website for a list of private lenders used by Anderson students. For more information about private loans, please refer to the Private Loan Guide. Please also see UCOP's Preferred Lender List and UC Code of Conduct for Preferred Lender Arrangement.

  • Variable interest rates
  • Eligibility depends on the borrower’s credit and income to debt ratio (better to apply when still employed)
  • Having a co-signer with a good credit score can lower the interest rate
  • Repayment typically begins 6 months after student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment (4 units)

Federal Loans versus Private Loans?



  • Fixed rates
  • Flexible repayment: income based, loan forgiveness


  • High interest rates and origination fees



  • Low interest rates
  • No origination fees


  • No flexible repayment options
  • No loan forgiveness option

What loans options are available to international students?

There is one lenders for international students without U.S. co-signers. 


  • May borrow up to mandatory program charges and health insurance
  • No fees
  • No co-signer required
  • 20 or 25 year repayment period
  • Apply once with a unique line of credit

Do I need to pay interest on my (federal and private) loan(s) while in school?

It is not necessary to pay the interest while you are in school or while you have an in-school deferment. However, paying accrued interest, before repayment (6 months after graduation) saves you money in the long run. Any interest that you do not pay during this period will be added to your principal balance (through capitalization). Because capitalization increases your principal, you end up paying more in interest, which leads to more overall costs.


What is the loan application process for Federal Loans?

For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents only:

  • 1. Complete FAFSA form (UCLA’s school code is 001315).
  • 2. Accept Federal Student Loans at the beginning of summer of each year. The UCLA Central Financial Aid Office begins sending out electronic Financial Aid Notifications (e-FANs) which reflect your actual award. On this online form, you are required to accept or decline awards offered.
  • 3. All first-time federal loan borrowers are required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete a Debt Management / Entrance Interview Session.
  • 4. Enroll in Bruin Direct. In order to receive the remainder of your aid once your fees have been paid, we recommend that you sign up for Bruin Direct, a service whereby the university deposits any refund directly into your checking account. You can sign up for Bruin Direct at

Should I check my credit history prior to applying for loans?

We suggest you check your credit report prior to applying for loans to make sure there are no surprises there. In case there are any issues, you will have time to clean it up. Here are suggested resources: http://www.annualcreditreport.com and


Any tips on borrowing?

Use your savings first and borrow as late as possible since interest starts to accrue right away and you can always get additional loans. For example, you can borrow at the end of your first year in May instead of Fall Quarter (in September).

If you borrow too much and want to cancel/reduce Federal Loans, you can get 100% of the fee and interest back if you cancel /reduce within 120 days of the disbursement date. Financial Aid Office must return the loans on your behalf.

With all loans (both federal and private), you can always refinance with SoFi, CommonBond or DRB (if they are still in business 2 years from now) and lock in the loan at a low interest rate.


What about external scholarships?

For outside scholarships, grants and loans, please refer directly to their websites for more information on eligibility and applications for these independent programs. UCLA Anderson has no direct affiliation with these resources, but we like to make the latest information available to our students. Additional financing options are available through the UCLA Graduate Division.


How can I pay for my student charges?

All students are assigned a BruinBill account which records all charges with the university. Fellowships, federal and private loans are paid to UCLA 7-10 days before each quarter electronically.


What do the terms commonly used mean?

Principal = the amount borrowed or the amount still owed on a loan, separate from interest.

APR = annual percentage rate, the numeric representation of your interest rate and origination fee.

Capitalization = the addition of unpaid accrued interest to the principal balance of your loans. This means that your principal balance increases, so you will pay more in interest over the life of the loans.

Compound interest = interest on top of interest.