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Best Student Loans for Pharmacy School

A career as a pharmacist can be lucrative and challenging…but the education to get there can come at a steep price. While many opt for federal student loans to cover what can be upwards of $100,000 in education, not everyone qualifies. That’s where a private online loan can help.

Student Loans for Pharmacy School
Susan Guillory
Freelance Content Marketing Writer

The cost of pharmacy school can range from $100,000 up to $300,000 or more depending on the university you attend. The good news is that pharmacists can earn $92k to $150k a year, so that debt will be put to good use.

The lowest cost option to finance pharmacy school is a federal student loan (as well as receiving scholarships or grants if you qualify). But what if you don’t qualify for one or it doesn’t fully cover your costs? Taking out a pharmacy school loan from a private lender is a good way to cover that gap.

Where do you start looking for a pharmacy school loan? Right here. Our team of financial experts has reviewed and ranked more than 30 online lenders to help you get funded.

Our Top Picks for Best Student Loans for Pharmacy School

 upgrade_logo
  • Funding as soon as the next day
  • Can be approved with fair credit
  • Variety of discounts on rates
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score Not disclosed
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $1K-$50K
Est. APR
Loan Repayment 24 to 84 months
bestegg_logo
  • Wide range of loan amounts available
  • Fast application process
  • Direct payments to creditors as an option
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score Undisclosed
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $2K-$50K
Est. APR
Loan Repayment 36-60 months
 sofi_logo_sl
  • No maximum loan limit
  • Prequalify without a credit check
  • Unemployment protection
  • Flexible repayment terms
Min. Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 650
Loan Amounts
Loan Amount $5K up to the cost of attendance
Fixed APR
Loan Repayment 5-15 years

How to Choose the Best Pharmacy School Loan?

It’s important to consider certain factors when looking for the best student loans for pharmacy school and compare one lender to another, based on what you’re looking for specifically. Our team of experts looked at the following to select the best options for you.

  • Loan Features: We looked at loan terms, loan amounts, and loan use limitations when comparing lenders.
  • Interest rates and fees: Some lenders charge different types of fees, and interest rates can vary wildly. We took this into consideration.
  • Application process: We looked for lenders that had easy applications. We also considered whether the application resulted in a hard-pull or soft-pull credit score impact, the time it took to get the funds, and any distinctively competitive offerings.
  • Qualification process: Each lender has its own criteria to qualify, including minimum credit score, income requirements, co-signer/joint application optionality, or membership requirements.
  • Customer support: We looked for lenders who are easy to reach through a variety of communication channels, including phone, chat, and email.
  • Online user reviews: We also looked at reviews on independent review sites like Trustpilot.
  • Perks and Bonuses: Some lenders offer unique service offerings like payment flexibility, advertising transparency, and advanced technology.

Best Pharmacy School Loans for 2022 - Full Overview

After carefully reviewing dozens of pharmacy school options, here are the lenders we determined to offer the best student loans for pharmacy school.

1. Upgrade - Best for Fast Funding

Don’t have time to wait for your student loan for pharmacy school? Upgrade’s loans can be deposited in your account within a day of you being approved.
Pros
Fast application process
Lighting fast funding
No prepayment fees
Cons
May charge origination and other fees
Limited to $50,000 loan amounts
Interest may be high

In addition to offering personal loans, Upgrade offers a credit card with unlimited cash back rewards and a rewards checking account, in case you want to do all your banking with one provider.

Features

Upgrade provides loans of $1,000 up to $50,000, with a fast application and funding as soon as the next day. You can choose your terms, from 36 to 60 months, so you can plan repaying your loan around finishing pharmacy school and establishing your career. Interest rates range from 5.94% to 35.97%, and there is an origination fee of 2.9% to 8%.

While Upgrade doesn’t list specific credit score criteria to qualify for a pharmacy school loan, expect that number, as well as your credit usage and history, to factor in. You need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, 18 years old or older; some states require you to be 19 or older. You also need a verifiable bank account and an email address to apply.

The Bottom Line

If you want fast funding, no one beats Upgrade. Just be aware that, depending on your qualifications, interest rates may be higher for your pharmacy school loan than with other options.

Try Upgrade

2. Best Egg - Best for Low APR

Not every pharmacy school loan offers low interest rates, but if you qualify, Best Egg may be your best bet. Having a lower rate for your loan means you’ll pay less over time to get that education that propels your career in pharmacy. In addition to offering loans, Best Egg also offers a credit card and tools to monitor and improve your financial health.
Pros
Low interest rates available
Fast application
Fixed monthly payments
Cons
Some may not qualify for low APR
May charge origination fees

Features

Best Egg offers personal loans of $2,000 to $50,000 that you can use for a variety of purposes, including to attend pharmacy school. Interest rates range from 5.99% to 35.99%, and the rate you get will depend on your qualifications. Loan terms are three or five years. You may also pay an origination fee between .99% and 5.99%.

To qualify for the lowest APR, you will need a credit score of 700 or more and an annual income of $100,000. Funds are generally available within one to three business days.

The Bottom Line

If you have good credit and make $100k or more, you can save a lot on the interest you pay for your pharmacy school loan with Best Egg. The money you save can go toward paying off the loan!

Try Best Egg

3. SoFi - Best for Refinancing

SoFi offers both private student loans and student loan refinancing options. If you have a student loan with high interest rates, you may be able to refinance it with SoFi and save significantly on the interest you’re paying.
Pros
Fixed or variable interest
Autopay discount
No fees
Cons
Variable rates may be higher long-term
Not everyone qualifies for low interest

Additionally, SoFi offers a wealth of other financial services and tools, including a credit card, investment services, banking, and credit score and budgeting tools.

Features

SoFi refinancing loans start at $5,000, with a maximum of whatever you owe for your pharmacy school loan. Interest rates can be:

  • Fixed: 3.49%-7.99% with autopay
  • Variable: 1.74%-7.99% with autopay

If you sign up for autopay, there is a .25% discount on the interest rate. Repayment can range from five to 15 years.

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident living in an eligible state. SoFi will look at your credit history and score, income, expenses, and employment to determine eligibility.

The Bottom Line

If you’re burdened by the weight of a high-interest pharmacy school loan, refinancing with SoFi could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Try SoFi

4. Earnest - Best for Cosigned Loan

Sometimes when you take out a student loan on your own, you end up paying more in interest because you may not qualify for the lowest interest rates. That’s where having a cosigner can be helpful: by having a parent, partner, or friend cosign your pharmacy school loan, you can secure a lower interest rate. Earnest offers people like you great options for student loans.
Pros
Cosigning option
Fast application
High likelihood of approval
Cons
Not everyone qualifies for low rates
High credit score requirement

Earnest says that borrowers who have a cosigner are four times more likely to be approved for a loan. Earnest loans offer four different repayment options, so you can choose the one that works best for you.

Features

Earnest offers student loans with a longer grace period than most online student loan providers: you can delay your payments for up to nine months. There are no origination fees, late fees, or disbursement fees.

Variable interest rates start at 0.94%, including a discount for autopay. Fixed rates start at 3.24% with that same autopay discount.

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen with a credit score of at least 650. You must also have an annual income of $35,000 or more. Your cosigner must have the same as well as at least three years of credit history and no bankruptcies or accounts in collections.

The Bottom Line

If adding a cosigner to your pharmacy school loan can help you save money, Earnest is a great lender to work with.

Try Earnest

5. Funding U - Best for Personalized Help

If you prefer having help as you navigate through finding the best student loans for pharmacy school rather than doing it DIY, Funding U could be a good fit. Each client is assigned a Loan Officer who will help them through the application process.
Pros
Personalized customer service
No cosigner required
Fast preapproval
Cons
Loans limited to $20k per school year
Not available to graduate students
Not available for summer school

Help is available by phone, email, and chat, so you’re always sure to be able to reach someone who can help.

Features

Funding U offers loans to undergraduate students of $3,000-$20,000 per school year. These loans do not require a cosigner and have fixed rates and no hidden fees. Interest rates range from 7.49% to 12.99%, and there is a .5% discount if you sign up for autopay.

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or DACA recipient over the age of 18 and be enrolled as full-time undergraduate student in a bachelor’s degree program at an eligible four-year, not-for-profit college. There are minimum GPA and graduation rate thresholds for borrowers and institutions depending on your class year.

The Bottom Line

If you’re overwhelmed with the idea of taking out a student loan for pharmacy school and want a little hand-holding, Funding U could be a good fit.

Try Funding U

6. PenFed - Best for Credit Union Loan

Credit unions are known for offering low rates on loans, high interest rates on savings accounts, and plenty of other perks. PenFed is no exception. With low-interest personal loans that can be used for pharmacy school, you’ll have access to all of PenFed’s other financial services and benefits.
Pros
Low interest rates
Other financial services available
Terms up to 60 months
Cons
Must be a member
No autopay discount

In addition to personal loans, PenFed offers mortgages, auto loans, checking and savings accounts, and credit cards. Members also get discounts on insurance, home services, and retail.

Features

With a PenFed personal loan, you can borrow up to $50,000 that you can use for pharmacy school, with repayment terms up to 60 months. Interest rates start at 5.49%, up to 17.99%, and there are no origination fees or prepayment penalties.

PenFed doesn’t list criteria to qualify for a personal loan, but expect to be required to have good to excellent credit and a low debt to income ratio.

The Bottom Line

Becoming a member of PenFed (which is as easy as opening a checking or savings account) comes with many perks, including access to low-interest loans you can use for pharmacy school. Once you finish school, you could take advantage of the mortgage loans when you buy your first home!

Try PenFed

7. Discover - Best for Cash Reward for Good Grades

Remember when your parents used to give you money when you made good grades? Well that doesn’t have to stop once you’re in pharmacy school! Instead of getting money from your parents, it’s Discover who’s giving borrowers cash rewards.
Pros
Cash rewards for good grades
Autopay discount
No fees
Cons
Interest may be high for some
May require cosigner for some

Borrowers who are undergraduate students maintaining a 3.0 grade point average may receive a 1% cash reward on the balance of their loans.

Features

Discover, best known for its credit cards, offers private student loans that can be used for pharmacy school, from $1,000 to the full amount of your tuition and costs. The repayment period is 15 years after the deferment period (while you’re in school) ends.

Rates are as follows:

  • Variable: 1.79%-11.24%
  • Fixed: 4.49%-13.34%

In addition to the good student cash reward, there is also an auto debit reward of 0.25% off your APR.

To qualify, you must be a US citizen, permanent resident or international student who is enrolled at least half-time in a Bachelor's or Associate's degree program at an eligible school and be seeking a degree. You must also make satisfactory academic progress as defined by your school. Additionally, you need to be at least 16 and be able to pass a credit check.

The Bottom Line

With low interest rates and not one but two options to save on your loan with the good student cash back and auto debit reward, Discover offers a lot to love for pharmacy school students.

Try Discover

8. Splash Financial - Best for Multiple Loan Offers

If you like the idea of having multiple lenders give you offers for a pharmacy school loan without having to apply in multiple places, check out Splash Financial. With one application, you’ll get offers from different lenders and you can choose the one with the lowest interest and best terms for your needs.
Pros
Multiple offers with one application
Flexible repayment options
Cosigner option
Cons
Interest rates vary
Qualification criteria varies

You also have the option to add a cosigner, which may help you qualify for lower rates.

Features

Splash Financial lending partners offer student loans starting at $5,000, with no maximum. Additionally, it offers medical student loan refinancing, so if you’re paying more than the following, it might make sense to refinance an existing loan:

  • Variable: start at 3.95%
  • Fixed: start at 4.05%

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or other eligible status and meet lender underwriting requirements. Depending on your qualifications, you may be required to have a cosigner.

The Bottom Line

Having multiple loan offers from different lenders, after filling out a short application, puts you in charge of your pharmacy school financing. Splash Financing makes it easy to do just that.

Best Pharmacy School Loans - Main Features


Company Name

Est. APR

Min. credit score

Loan Amount

Loan term

Upgrade

5.94-35.97%

unknown

$1k-50k

3-5 years

Best Egg

5.99%-35.99%

700 (for best rate)

$2k-50k

3-5 years

SoFi

  • Fixed: 3.49%-7.99% with autopay
  • Variable: 1.74%-7.99% with autopay

unknown

Starts at $5k

5-15 years

Earnest

  • Variable: start at 0.94% with autopay
  • Fixed: start at 3.24% with autopay

650

$5.5k-$138.5k

unknown

FundingU

7.49-12.99%

n/a

$3k-20k

10 years

PenFed

5.49-17.99%

unknown

Up to $50k

Up to 5 years

Discover

  • Variable: 1.79%-11.24%
  • Fixed: 4.49%-13.34%

unknown

Starts at $1k

15 years

Splash Financial

  • Variable: start at 3.95%
  • Fixed: start at 4.05%

unknown

Starts at $5k

unknown

How Much Does Pharmacy School Cost?

As you think about how you want to pay for pharmacy school, consider the cost of attending school, as well as other expenses.

You can attend pharmacy school for $100,000 or less, or you can spend up to $300,000, depending on where you go. Naturally, the more well-known schools may cost more, but you can get just as good an education at an institution that charges less for tuition.

Beyond tuition, consider other costs, such as:

  • Room and board
  • Books
  • Supplies

And if you aren’t working while you’re in school, you may want a little buffer to your budget to ensure you can pay bills like your car payment, gas, insurance, and health insurance. Don’t forget to leave room for eating out and fun!

How Do Student Loans for Pharmacy School Work?

Let’s look at some commonly asked questions regarding pharmacy school loans.

Do Pharmacy School Loans Only Cover Tuition?

Often, you can borrow more than just the cost for tuition, and can include those other costs like room and board and books. Some lenders work directly with your school to lend you the exact amount you need to cover these costs. Other times, you can request the amount you want to borrow.

What Is the Average Pharmacy School Debt?

So how much can you expect to owe at the end of pharmacy school? The average pharmacy school debt is $173,561.

What Are the Typical Interest Rates on Pharmacy School Student Loans?

Interest rates will vary depending on whether you take out a federal student loan or a private loan. While these numbers are subject to change, right now (June 2022), interest rates fall in these ranges:

  • Federal student loans: 4.99-7.54%
  • Private student loans: 1.74-35.99%

How Long Does It Take To Pay Off Pharmacy School Debt?

Again, this depends on your lender. Federal student loans can have repayment periods up to 30 years, while private loans may be repaid in as little as five, and up to 15 years. You may, of course, pay your loan off sooner if you are able.

Types of Student Loans for Pharmacy School

There are several different types of student loans you should consider to cover your pharmacy school costs.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

These are federal student loans that offer low-interest financing. They are available to undergraduate and graduate students, and are not based on financial need.

Direct Grad PLUS Loans

These federal student loans are available to graduate students, as well as to parents of dependent undergraduate students to cover expenses not covered by other financial aid. They are not based on financial need.

HRSA Loans

These loans, offered by Health Resources and Services Administration, provide financing to students studying a health-related field.

Private Pharmacy School Loans

We’ve covered some options for private pharmacy school loans in this article.

Repaying Student Loans for Pharmacy Schools

It’s important to educate yourself on student loans before applying for them, including understanding what repaying a loan looks like.

When Do You Start Repaying Pharmacy School Loans?

Depending on whether you take out an actual student loan or a personal loan to cover pharmacy school, you may not have to start paying on your debt until you graduate.

How Long Is the Loan Term on Loans for Pharmacy School?

This depends on the terms your lender offers. Federal student loans can have repayment periods up to 30 years, while private loans may be repaid in as little as five, and up to 15 years.

What Repayment Options Do Pharmacy School Loans Offer?

Each lender may have different repayment options. Some may allow you to defer repayment until you have completed pharmacy school. Some may allow you to choose the date and repayment period for your loan.

How Big Will the Monthly Payment Be On My Pharmacy School Loans?

This depends on how much money you borrowed and how long you have to repay the loan. The shorter your repayment period, the larger your monthly payment will be. The longer your repayment period, the less your monthly payment will be.

Is Student Loan Forgiveness Offered on Pharmacy School Loans?

There are programs that may forgive part or all of your your pharmacy school loan if you work for a certain period of time in an underserved community as a pharmacist.

How to Apply for Private Pharmacy School Loans

Ready to apply for a private pharmacy school loan? Here’s what you’ll need to do.

  • Start with federal loans. Federal student loans offer the lowest rates and best repayment terms, so make sure you don’t have them as an option before exploring private loans.
  • Know what your costs are. Check with your school to see what tuition and fees will run per year, after any scholarships or grants.
  • Choose your lender. After reviewing the list of lenders we’ve offered here, choose the one that best fits your needs.
  • Fill out your FAFSA. This is more commonly used for federal student loans, but in the event you need it, have it completed before starting your application.
  • Apply online. You will be asked for your Social Security number, photo ID, details about your school and costs, and personal information.
  • Get a cosigner if you need one. If you won’t qualify for the lowest rates, perhaps because you don’t have a credit history, find someone like a parent who can cosign on your loan.
  • Wait for the funds. If you’re approved, the funds will either be deposited into your bank account or sent directly to your school.

Conclusion

Becoming a pharmacist is a great career choice, though it’s one that costs a pretty penny. Taking out a pharmacy school loan ensures you don’t have to worry about paying for school while you focus on learning.

Explore the options we’ve provided here, as well as federal student loans, and find the one that offers the best rate and terms. If you can find a loan that allows you to defer while you’re in school, you can wait until you’re making those big bucks to start paying off your loan.

FAQs

Are there any companies that will pay for pharmacy school?

There are some pharmacies that may offer tuition reimbursement if you work while attending pharmacy school. Check to see whether your company offers full tuition reimbursement or partial, and what the requirements are.

How can you pay for pharmacy school without taking out loans?

You may qualify for scholarships or grants that can help with some or all of your pharmacy school costs. You may also use savings or ask for your parents’ help to cover tuition.

What scholarships are available for pharmacy school students?

In addition to scholarships that may be offered directly from your pharmacy school, organizations and companies like CVS, Tylenol, Walgreens, and AACP also offer scholarships to pharmacy students.

How Much Do Pharmacists Earn?

Depending on experience and location, pharmacists can earn $92k to $150k a year.

Is Paying for Pharmacy School Worth It?

While pharmacy school can be expensive (costing $100k-300k), pharmacists can earn $92k to $150k a year, which can make repaying a student loan a little easier.

Can I Refinance Pharmacy School Loans?

Yes. There are companies that offer pharmacy school loan refinancing, and they can help you reduce what you pay in interest on your student loans.

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Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory

Intuitive Business Coach and Content Magic Maker

Susan Guillory is an intuitive business coach and content magic maker. She’s written several business books and has been published on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and SoFi.

More about me