Dental School Loans

Dental school is an investment for future, you may have to borrow money to help pay for dental school, but also smart budgeting. Learn more on several ways and avenues to get student loan for dental school, that will definitely help to getting the best loan and much more.

Updated by Priya shah on 30th January 2020

Student loans are a type of loan designed to help students pay for secondary education and the associated fees, such as tuition, books and supplies and living expenses. Student loans may differ from other types of loans, in fact, the interest rate may be substantially lower and the repayment schedule may be deferred while the student is still in school. 

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If you are willing to pursue your degree in dental school, you’re probably destined for the student debt that comes with it. If you have to borrow money to get your dental degree, there are several ways and avenues to get student loans for dental school. 

There are four types of student loans every dental student should consider, they are federal direct unsubsidized loans, federal grad plus loans, health resources and service administration(HSRA) loans. Let’s learn about those dental student loans in detail.

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Federal direct unsubsidized loans

Federal direct unsubsidized loans have a 6% interest rate with the annual loan limit is $20,500. The additional loan fee is 1.066%. Dental school students can file a free application for federal student AID to access to federal student loans for dental school. These loans are offered to both graduates and undergraduates students working towards a graduate or professional degree. However, it will differ for dental students and undergraduates. The maximum rate on this loan is 9.5%.

  • All students pay the same fee. Both undergraduate and graduate students pay a 1.066% loan fee on Direct Unsubsidized loans.
  • Dental students face higher interest rates. The rate for graduate and professional students is 6.00%, which is higher than the 4.45% rate for undergrads.
  • Dental students can borrow more. While undergrads can borrow only up to $12,500 per year, dental students can borrow up to $20,500 per year to pay for their advanced degrees.

When it comes to affordable student loans for dental school, it is very difficult to beat direct unsubsidized loans from the federal government. Always keep this federal direct unsubsidized loan as one of your first-choice as ways to pay for dental school.

Its always to be well aware of all Student loan repayment options so that you can take control of your repayment phase. 

Federal grad plus loans

Grad plus loans are offered by the federal government only to graduate students, have a higher cost than direct unsubsidized loans, which are available to undergraduates also. You may borrow up to your  COA (Cost of Attendance) each year with direct PLUS, less other aid (including direct unsubsidized), thereby negating the need for private loans during school. These loans are based, in part, on the borrower being “credit ready,” meaning no adverse history of payments on other obligations, such as 30 or 60-day delinquencies. 

  • Grad PLUS Loans have fees. Grad PLUS Loans have a loan fee of 4.264%, four times higher than the 1.066% fee on Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
  • Grad PLUS Loans charge higher interest. The interest rate is 7.00%  a whole percentage point more than the 6.00% rate on Direct Unsubsidized Loans.
  • Dental students can borrow more. Dental students can borrow up to their school’s full cost of attendance with Grad PLUS Loans, but they face a limit under Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Grad plus loans are more expensive, so it is advisable for dental students to compare student loans before applying, which may lead you to pay lower costs with private student loans.

Health resources and service administration loans

Health resources and service administration loans is a federal agency under the U.S department of health and human services. The loans are based on exceptional financial need (contact your health professions school or dental school FAO regarding availability and application). This program aims to help dental students pursue their degrees. This includes student loans which are overseen and administrated by dental schools:

  • The Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS) Program offers low-interest loans to dental students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It might be an option if your dental school participates in the LDS Program. 
  • Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL) are extended to students with a financial need. They are granted to eligible students through dental schools that participate in the HPSL Program.

This loan option can be an affordable loan option for student loans, with an interest rate of 5.00% and no origination fees. They have various eligibility criteria where not all students will qualify for the loan. You can contact the financial aid office at your dental school to find out participants in the LDS program or HPSL program and the process to apply for such loans. HPSL are not eligible for repayment with income-driven repayment options plans and are not eligible for forgiveness. 

Private student loans for dental student

Borrowing from the private lender could be a smart way to find affordable student loans for dental school. The rate and fees of private student loans sometimes can be lower than federal student loans, which is making cost-effective to borrow. None of the students would like to pay more amount of monthly payments, getting a good deal on private dental school loans requires few things that must meet the eligibility requirements and find the right lender.

  • You will need to have a good and excellent credit score in order to qualify.
  • In case you have less credit score you can apply for the cosigner who has a better credit score.
  •  Rates may be variable or fixed, depending on the lender, with lower rates usually reserved for borrowers who secure a creditworthy cosigner.

Always shop around and compare the interest rate, fee structures, and repayment plans from different lenders to see which one offers the best deal. 


Your school financial aid office is a good source of knowledge about grants, aid and student loans for dental school. Becoming a Dentist is a prestigious profession. The burden of debt should not hinder you from becoming a dentist, you can tackle this burden by exploring different repayment programs and check your eligibility for repayment. It is advisable to know all your options before making an informed decision. Reach out to your financial advisor to get personalized help while paying for the college costs. By borrowing wisely to avail the best offer without facing a big setback in your financial future.

Looking to refinance your student loans? Choose from our list of best companies to refinance your student loans.