Financing your MBA is one of the biggest hurdles to pursuing an MBA. With top US business schools charging over $100,000 a year in tuition, it can be a huge challenge to get the money together to pursue your dream program. In the case of Mexican student Diego Aragón, he was forced to look for alternatives after his initial application for state funding was turned down.
“I had some money saved myself but it was not enough obviously – these programs are quite expensive!” he laughs. “The first resource I looked at was federal aid from the Mexican government. But last year wasn’t a good year because of COVID and different factors, so I couldn’t get any funds from that.” (00:48)
Fortunately, Diego was able to fund the first year of his MBA from his own savings. After talking with his colleagues at the Chicago Booth School of Business that he discovered a new way of funding his second year.
“It wasn’t until my second year – which I’m about to start – that I needed a private loan. I started looking for options but a few friends here at Booth told me to look at Juno, which I did. Long story short, I ended up getting my loan through Juno,” he says. (01:13)
How Diego saved thousands of dollars through Juno
Juno is a company that connects loan providers with US students and international students in the USA. By making lenders compete against each other, they say they can get lower interest rates than you could get on your own. They even guarantee that you won’t get a better rate anywhere else. Diego says that if you do find a lower rate elsewhere, Juno will match it.
“They have this part of their website in which if you get a lower rate from another lender (with the same characteristics), they will give you the difference in cash upfront. So that’s how they are guaranteeing the best rate,” he explains. (05:24)
When it comes to taking out a loan of this size, even 0.1% interest can make a huge difference. Diego says he will save thousands of dollars in the long run thanks to Juno.
“[The interest rate] was 3.9% with my original lender, and when I went through Juno it went down (with the exact same characteristics) to 3.62%. That’s almost three basis points I saved myself. It’s a 12-year loan, so that’s a substantial saving,” he says. (02:27)
What is a cosigner?
When you take out a loan in the USA, many banks require a “cosigner” as part of your application.
“A cosigner is anyone that has a valid US credit score and an income here,” Diego tells us. “Basically what lenders are looking for is anyone that can take on the risk [of a loan] that is a US citizen or someone living in the US.” (07:10)
Because Diego has relatives in the country, he was able to find a cosigner for his loan application and therefore benefit from Juno’s guaranteed best rate offer. If you don’t have a cosigner, you’re not able to benefit from the same offer. However, he does say that it’s not impossible to get a private loan without a cosigner. You just might have to pay a higher interest rate.
“If you’re an international student without a cosigner, there are a couple of lenders out there that will lend you money too, I think,” he says. “It’s just not guaranteed to be the best deal possible. But you could still get good rates from Juno’s platform if you’re an international student.” (08:05)
Why take out a student loan with Juno?
There are lots of loan providers out there, and lots of potential funding opportunities for students. So what sets Juno apart from the competition? Diego says that the ease of Juno’s application process is a big advantage.
“It’s a seamless process, it’s pretty easy to apply and to go through the whole process,” he says. “There are a few other lenders where you could get decent rates, but it’s just not that user-friendly.” (04:46)
“I have a friend of mine that did the whole process with a co-signer. He did it in just 10 minutes, so I think it’s pretty straightforward [to apply],” he adds. (04:01)
However, Diego admits that it was ultimately the financial aspect that made Juno the most appealing option. MBAs are expensive, and the savings that Juno offers can really make the difference when it comes to financing your studies.
“The most important thing here is just the [interest] rate, honestly. It’s pure money that you’re talking about,” Diego says. “You’re saving money and as a student, you’ll need it!” (09:00)
It’s important to explore as many avenues as possible to finance your MBA, so you shouldn’t rule out a private loan. For Diego, it enabled him to do an MBA at one of the leading business schools in the USA. If you want to do the same, check out Juno to learn how you can get the funding you need.