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Engineering degrees open doors to many career options, including work in math, social sciences, biotechnology, computers, environmental engineering, and aeronautics. Engineering might be an excellent option for you if you love lifelong learning, as engineers need to stay up to date on emerging technologies and new data.
But engineering degrees are expensive to earn. Among the top three schools ranked as the best for engineering degrees by U.S. News, annual tuition ranges from $26,544 to $57,861.
The companies in the table below are Credible’s approved partner lenders. Whether you’re the borrower or cosigner, Credible makes it easy to compare rates from multiple private student loan providers without affecting your credit score.
|Lender||Fixed Rates From (APR)||Variable Rates From (APR)||Loan terms (years)||Loan amounts|
|4.63%+||1.62%+||5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20 (depending on loan type)||$2,001 to $200,000|
|3.47%+1||N/A||5, 10, 15||$1,000 to $350,000
(depending on degree)
||1.19%+2,3||5, 8, 10, 15||$1,000 up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance|
|3.2%+||1.27%+||7, 10, 15||$1,000 to $99,999 annually
($180,000 aggregate limit)
|3.52%+7||3.06%+7||7, 10, 15||$1,000 to $200,000|
|3.33%+8||1.7%+8||5, 10, 15||$1,001 up to 100% of school certified cost of attendance|
|3.75%+||N/A||10, 15||$1,500 or $2,000 up to school’s certified cost of attendance
(depending on school type and minus other aid received)
|3.75% - 12.85% APR9||1.62% - 11.73% APR9||10, 15||Up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance|
your credit score. 100% free!
Lowest APRs reflect autopay, loyalty, and interest-only repayment discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2,3College Ave Disclosures | 7EDvestinU Disclosures | 8INvestEd Disclosures | 9Sallie Mae Disclosures
8 student loans for an engineering degree
If you’re hoping to earn a degree in engineering, you have many options available for financing your education, including grants and scholarships explicitly geared toward students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. If you need additional funding, student loans may be able to help cover education expenses.
If you take out private student loans for engineering school, comparing rates and terms from multiple lenders can help you find the best loan for your needs. These eight Credible partner lenders offer private student loans for engineering degrees:
Ascent offers loan terms ranging from five to 20 years. It offers a discount of 0.25% to 1% for borrowers who set up automatic payments, and a 1% cash back reward after graduation. Ascent allows cosigner release after just 24 months of on-time principal and interest payments. The lender doesn’t charge application and origination fees or prepayment penalties.
Citizens Bank doesn’t offer graduation rewards like Ascent, but it does offer an autopay discount of 0.25% and a 0.25% loyalty discount for its bank customers. Citizens doesn’t charge application, origination, disbursement, or prepayment penalty fees. The lender permits cosigner release after you’ve made 36 consecutive on-time payments. Citizens offer repayment terms of five, 10, and 15 years.
Keep reading: Citizens Bank Student Loans Review
College Ave offers repayment terms on private student loans of five to20 years. It offers a $150 cash back reward upon graduation (for its Career Loan with Success Rewards) and a 0.25% discount for borrowers who sign up for automatic payments. College Ave doesn’t charge application, origination, or loan disbursement fees. After more than half your scheduled repayment period has passed, you can apply for cosigner release.
Check out: College Ave Student Loans Review
Custom Choice offers a 2% principal reduction if you graduate from college with at least a bachelor’s degree. A 0.25% discount is available for borrowers who set up automatic payments. The lender doesn’t charge application,origination, or late fees, and has no prepayment penalties. After you’ve made 36 consecutive on-time payments, you can request cosigner release . Repayment terms range from seven to 15 years.
Learn more: Custom Choice Student Loans: Reviewed
EDvestinU offers a 0.5% autopay discount. The lender doesn’t charge application fees or origination fees, but it does apply late fees. You also won’t face a penalty for paying the loan off early. After you’ve made 36 consecutive, on-time payments you can request cosigner release, but you’ll have to meet minimum credit score, income, and other requirements. Repayment terms range from seven to 15 years.
Repayment terms for student loans from INvestEd are five,10, or 15 years. INvestEd offers a 0.25% discount for borrowers who sign up for automatic payments. INvestEd doesn’t charge application or loan origination fees, and there’s no prepayment penalty. But the lender does charge $10 for returned payments. You can apply for cosigner release after 48 consecutive on-time payments.
The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority offers student loans with repayment terms of 10 or 15 years. It doesn’t provide graduation rewards or automatic payment discounts. But its interest rates can be lower than other student loan lenders, and it doesn’t charge application or loan origination fees. Cosigner release is available after 48 months of consecutive, on-time payments.
Sallie Mae offers a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you set up automatic payments. The lender doesn’t charge application or loan origination fees, and you can choose repayment terms of 10 or 15 years. Cosigners can be released after 12 consecutive on-time principal and interest payments if the borrower meets minimum credit and income requirements.
How to pay for engineering school
Paying for higher education can be a bit overwhelming. Most degrees cost tens of thousands of dollars, especially if you plan to pursue a four-year degree or higher. While private loans are a helpful way to cover education expenses, you should always exhaust your free aid (like grants and scholarships) and federal loan options first.. Here are some steps for ensuring your college education is funded.
1. Fill out the FAFSA
The Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a priority if you want to take advantage of federal loans, Pell Grants, and other benefits like federal student loan forgiveness. You’ll need to renew your FAFSA application each year. Schools use this form to help determine what type of federal aid you could receive.
2. Apply for scholarships and grants
Many grants and scholarships are available for students studying engineering or any other STEM program. You should contact your school’s financial aid office as a primary resource. They should have a list of grants, scholarships, and fellowships available for engineering students. You may also find scholarships through your employer, church group, community group, or local businesses. Scholarships and grants are money you don’t have to pay back, so these should always be your first priority if you want to save money on your engineering education.
3. Explore employer tuition assistance
Some employers offer to pay for some or all of their employees’ higher education expenses. If your employer offers this, you could save thousands of dollars on the cost of your schooling. Employers can reimburse you for education expenses or provide scholarships. Employers who provide this benefit often have specific requirements, like working with them for a set amount of time after graduation.
4. Take out federal student loans
If you need to take out loans to help fund your education, federal student loans provide unique benefits that aren’t available if you have private student loans. Some of the benefits of a federal student loan include flexible repayment plans, grace periods, forbearance options, income-driven repayment plans, student loan forgiveness programs, and deferment.
Congress sets the interest rate on federal student loans each year, and loans have a fixed rate for your entire loan term. Most federal loans don’t require a credit check, so you may still qualify for a loan even if your credit history is nonexistent.
5. Use private student loans to fill the gaps
Sometimes federal student loans, grants, and scholarships won’t cover all your educational expenses. If that’s the case, you can use private student loans to cover additional costs. Private student loans don’t offer the same benefits as federal student loans, but you may qualify for a lower interest rate with private lenders if you have an excellent credit score.
You should review rates and terms from multiple lenders to decide which one fits your needs best. Private student loans require a credit check, so you’ll need a healthy credit history or a cosigner if you want to qualify.
Student loan forgiveness for engineers
Student loan forgiveness reduces the amount you owe for your student loan.. Here are a few student loan forgiveness options for engineers:
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) — Any student with federal loans can qualify for PSLFif they work full-time for a qualifying employer. You’ll need to make 120 qualifying payments under an income-driven repayment plan and renew your application each year. If you plan to take advantage ofPSLF, make sure the company you work with qualifies, and you’ll need to update your information if you switch jobs.
- Higher Education Opportunity Act — Under the HEO Act, engineering students can earn up to $2,000 in student loan forgiveness for every five years they work in engineering or a related field. Engineers can have up to $10,000 forgiven through the American Council of Engineering Companies.
- Harold Alfond Foundation — The Harold Alfond Foundation helps STEM workers reduce up to $60,000 of their student loan debt. To qualify, borrowers must live in Maine for at least six years. The first payment is made after three years of employment in Maine, and the second installment is made after six years.
- Specialty Equipment Market Association — Engineering students interested in automotive fields could qualify for student loan forgiveness if they work with a SEMA-member business. To qualify, you should have at least $2,000 in outstanding student loans.
- State-based forgiveness programs — Many states offer student loan forgiveness for different industries. Check with your state department of education to see what programs might be available.
Student loan repayment for engineers
If you have federal student loans, you have many repayment options available, including:
- Standard Repayment Plan — With the Standard Repayment Plan, you’ll typically make monthly payments on your loan balance for 10 years. You may be able to extend the repayment period to 20 years in some cases.
- Graduated Repayment Plan — The Graduated Repayment Plan follows the same loan terms as the standard plan (10, 15, or 20 years), but your monthly payments start smaller and get larger the closer you come to the maturation date on your loan. The idea is that you’ll likely be able to afford higher monthly payments later, once you’re more established in your career.
- Income-driven repayment plans — The Department of Education offers four income-driven repayment (IDR) plans that base your monthly payments on a percentage of your discretionary income and family size. Some borrowers could even have a monthly payment of $0. Depending on which IDRplan you use, your monthly payments could be 10% to 15% of your discretionary income.
Our student loan repayment calculator can help you understand the costs of repaying your student loans.
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Is it worth going to engineering school?
Ultimately, only you can decide whether attending school for an engineering degree is worth the cost. However, here are some things to consider that might make your decision easier:
- Demand in the engineering industry is expected to grow over the next five years, particularly in the private sector, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Engineering contributes to 3% of all U.S. jobs and is responsible for 2% of the U.S. GDP, according to the BLS.
- The median income for engineers was $91,010 as of 2016, according to the BLS.
- Engineering provides access to many different types of jobs.
Like all industries, engineering has pros and cons. But the median wage for people in engineering fields is more than twice the median wage for all workers, the BLS reports.