A message from our Partner, Juno.
Nikhil Agarwal and Chris Abkarians, co-founders of Juno, recently marked a milestone for the company and its MBA student members: creating a low-price guarantee in the private student lending marketplace.
Juno counts on collective bargaining to secure better MBA student loan rates for MBA candidates. By utilizing competition among banks and analyzing the subsequent deals that become available, Juno is able to get members significantly reduced interest rates and creates the most value for its student members.
“When we first started Juno four years ago, our end goal was to be able to guarantee the lowest rates for MBA students. Today, we achieved that goal thanks to our 100,000+ members!” says Chris.
How Juno Works
MBA applicants, here’s what you need to know about Juno and how it can help you afford your upcoming degree:
- Juno is not a direct lender. They exist to make lenders compete for your business.
- Although Juno partners with lenders, the rates you get through Juno are better than going to the same lenders directly.
- The more people who find out about Juno, the greater your negotiating leverage is. They truly rely on word of mouth and group bargaining power to make this work.
- Juno will never charge you a penny. Their “North Star” is to maximize the size of the group, and keeping it free helps them do that.
- Signing up for Juno does not obligate you to do anything. It simply helps increase negotiating power and get better rates. Juno will keep you updated on the status of your latest negotiations and that’s it. Think of it like an extra option that could help you pay less with no strings attached.
Chris adds, “Anyone considering a private MBA loan option besides Juno is leaving money on the table. Don’t just trust us saying that. Here’s how it works:
+ We designed our program this year so that MBA students would get the guaranteed lowest rates.
+ How? We’ve used the leverage of 100K members to enable the following 2-step process:
- Check your rates on Juno with our primary lending partner. If you use the Juno link to start an application, you will get lower rates than going to their website directly.
- If you find a lower rate anywhere else, we’ll match it and give you 1% of your loan as a signing bonus (e.g., $600 on a $60K loan). It’s really this simple. We used to have a more complicated program. We’ve adjusted it to be easier for everyone.”
The Power of Community
The average MBA student at Juno borrows $62K per year. The rates provided through Juno are on average 1.6% lower than going to their partner lenders directly. Over the past 4 years, Juno has helped their members originate ~$500M of loans at the lowest rates available.
Chris notes, “Juno exists to help you get better rates through a group than you can on your own. If you find a lower rate from any other private lender, we’ll match it and pay you a cash bonus. Our collective bargaining process exemplifies the power of community and shifts lender/borrower dynamics back in your favor. By working together, we’ve proven that consumers can move markets. In other words, MBAs can achieve amazing things together!”
Zero Fees, The Longest Grace Period & More
But wait, there’s more! Read on for why you should join Juno today to lock in a more affordable future. When deciding which student loan to use, there are some key factors that matter. When it comes to interest rate, Juno will match the lowest you find from any private lender. Juno also has zero fees – that means no origination fee or prepayment penalty. The repayment timeline for Juno is flexible. You can choose whether to start making payments in school or you can defer payments until nine months after you graduate, which is called a grace period. Juno’s nine-month grace period is the longest offered. For all graduate student loans, Federal and Private, interest starts accruing when the money is sent to your school.
How does Juno compare to Federal student loans? If you have good credit or a co-signer with good credit, you may find lower rates with Juno than your Federal loan alternatives and you’ll avoid costly origination fees. Federal student loan rates are much higher this year than last year. There are 2 Federal student loan options for Grad Students. Through a Direct Loan, you can borrow up to $20,500 at 6.54% fixed interest rate + a 1% origination fee. Through a Grad Plus Loan, you can borrow up to the cost of attendance at 7.54% fixed + a whopping 4.2% origination fee. The Federal programs are a good option for some people, but they are less commonly used among MBA students who have some work experience and have built up some credit.
Based on the latest news reports about student loan forgiveness, Juno expects $10K to possibly be forgiven, although an income limit might apply. The latest reports suggest that if you make more than $150K, you wouldn’t be granted forgiveness, but it’s still unclear. As a result, many people are doing the following:
- Using the Federal Direct Loan to borrow up to $20.5K. If loans are forgiven, and your income is below the threshold, you might get this.
- If you need more than $20K, compare the lowest private loan rates you qualify for to the cost of the Grad Plus program. If your private rates are better than Grad Plus (don’t forget to think about the 4% origination fee), then it might make sense to use a private loan. And if you fall in this bucket, which many MBA students do, the Juno rate match offer can get you the cheapest outcome!
Sign up to Juno today and get your quote from their lending partner, backed by their lowest rate guarantee.