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Student Loans

MPOWER Student Loans Review

Best for International Students

4.6 /5
LendEDU Rating
Private Student Loans
  • Designed to support international and domestic students
  • No requirement for a cosigner or U.S. credit history
  • Visa support letter and career services
  • On-time payments are reported to major credit bureaus
  • Check your rate without impacting your credit score
  • High starting interest rate
  • Only offers one repayment term
Rates (APR)13.98%17.08%
Loan amounts$2,001 – $100,000
Repayment terms10 years
Refinance Student LoansView Rates
  • Release your cosigner and collateral
  • Quality for employer matching programs
  • Build a credit history with the U.S. credit bureaus
  • You may be able to qualify for a lower rate with a cosigner elsewhere
  • Only offers one repayment term
Rates (APR)12.23%
Loan amounts$2,001 – $100,000
Repayment terms10 years

Established in 2014 by founders who faced challenges financing their education as international students, MPOWER offers student loans and refinancing options without requiring a cosigner, collateral, or U.S. credit history, widening the scope of possibilities for students around the globe.

Students from more than 190 supported countries enrolled in eligible U.S. or Canadian institutions can take out student loans with MPOWER. International students, DACA recipients, U.S. citizens, refugees, and asylum seekers can apply. 

Students must be within two years of graduation or about to embark on a one- or two-year program to be eligible.

In this review:

How does MPOWER work?

According to MPOWER, it offers student loans based on the student’s potential rather than just credit history. Its unique model eases the application process for international students because it doesn’t mandate a minimum credit score or U.S. credit history.

Applicants can borrow between $2,001 and $50,000 per application, with a $100,000 total limit for all MPOWER loans. MPOWER disburses funds to the school, minimizing financial hassles. A single loan typically suffices for an academic year, but students may take out additional loans if needed, subject to school certification of the amount.

MPOWER also consolidates educational loans into a new, potentially more beneficial loan via its refinancing options. It can refinance federal and private student loans, offering a comprehensive debt management solution. Borrowers can consolidate amounts between $2,001 and $100,000.

MPOWER’s student loan

Why it’s the best no-cosigner student loan for international students

Earning a 4.6 out of five-star editorial rating, MPOWER ranks highest among lenders dedicated to international students seeking no-cosigner student loans. It presents a unique approach to lending, evaluating students on their potential rather than credit history.

This approach allows international students who may lack a U.S. cosigner or credit history to secure financing for their studies. This inclusivity sets MPOWER apart as the top lender for international students in need of no-cosigner loans.

Rates, terms, and fees

MPOWER’s student loan offers fixed rates, a clear repayment term, and a host of features to support students. However, for those with an eligible cosigner, other lenders may offer more favorable conditions. For more comparisons, check our guide to student loans for international students.

FeatureDetails
Fixed rates (APR)13.98%17.08%
Variable rates (APR)N/A
Rate discounts0.25% for signing up for autopay
Loan amounts$2,001 – $50,000 per application, $100,000 total in MPOWER loans
In-school repayment plansInterest only
Repayment terms10 years
Grace period6 months
Repayment assistanceForbearance

Contact lender
Cosigner releaseN/A
Fees5% origination fee added to your loan balance

Late payment fee
Unique featuresFree visa support letter

Free access to Path2Success program

Access to scholarships

Prequalify for a Zolve credit card and bank account

Option to save on health insurance

Build U.S. credit history

Eligible for employer match programs

No prepayment penalty

As you evaluate MPOWER loans, it’s worth noting the additional borrower benefits the lender provides that are geared toward international students, such as resources and programs to ensure you have the tools you need to succeed in your studies and beyond. These include:

  • Free visa support letter: MPOWER helps streamline obtaining your I-20 form from your school, an essential document for securing your student visa.
  • Free Path2Success program: This comprehensive career support program prepares borrowers for employment in the U.S. or Canada. It includes one-on-one sessions with a recruiting expert, access to resume and LinkedIn profile reviews, and a video interview simulator.
  • Scholarships: MPOWER offers several scholarships, including for women in STEM, global citizens, MBA students, refugees, and Chinese students.
  • Prequalify for Zolve credit card and bank account: This helps set students studying in the U.S. up for financial independence.
  • Save on health insurance: Students could save $2,000 or more on health insurance when they meet their school’s insurance requirements with health insurance plans from MPOWER’s partners.
  • Build credit history: MPOWER reports on-time loan repayment to the three major credit bureaus to help you establish U.S. credit history.
  • Employer match programs: MPOWER loans are eligible for employer match programs of up to $5,250 in tax-free student loan payments.

What are the eligibility requirements?

When evaluating applicants for its student loans, instead of a heavy focus on credit scores and history, MPOWER emphasizes the academic success and career path of its applicants, viewing these as strong indicators of future potential. 

A unique aspect of MPOWER’s loans is the absence of the need for a cosigner, collateral, or U.S. credit history. This inclusive approach makes MPOWER’s loans accessible for many who may face difficulties securing student loans elsewhere.

Eligibility is restricted to students within two years of graduating. Here is a closer look at the details:

RequirementDetails
CitizenshipAn international student, DACA recipient, U.S. citizen, refugee, or asylum-seeker; citizen of one of more than 190 supported countries
State of residenceYou must reside in either the U.S. or Canada (the country of your school) while in school
Minimum ageNot disclosed
Enrolled schoolAdmitted to or attending one of 400+ approved schools in the U.S. or Canada
Enrollment statusUndergraduate or graduate student within 2 years of graduating or about to begin a 1-year or 2-year program
Minimum credit scoreN/A
Minimum incomeN/A

MPOWER does not require a minimum credit score, and lack of credit history won’t impede your application. The lender does, however, review credit history. 

For U.S. and Canadian students, it uses TransUnion to review credit records, and for international students, it uses Nova Credit. Any delinquencies, collections, late payments, and tax liens in your credit history could hurt your approval chances.

How does repayment work?

MPOWER offers a fixed 10-year repayment term with a single fixed interest rate for undergraduates and one for graduate students. You also have one in-school payment option: interest only. Once you graduate and enter repayment, you’ll begin paying down the principal in addition to the interest. 

This lack of choice may appear restrictive, but it also simplifies the process and allows for clear forecasting of your loan costs over time. Remember: If you have an eligible cosigner, you might explore other student loan companies to obtain a lower interest rate, which can reduce the total cost of your loan.

For example, let’s consider a $20,000 loan for an undergraduate student with an interest rate of 14.75% (MPOWER’s rate with autopay) and a loan with a cosigner through another lender who can secure a 10.5% APR. Here’s how repayment might compare:

MPOWER FinancingAnother lender (with a U.S. cosigner)
Loan amount$20,000$20,000
Interest rate (APR)14.75%10.5%
Repayment term10 years10 years
Monthly payment~$309.40~$269.54
Total repayment amount~$37,128~$32,345
Total interest paid~$17,128~$12,345

You’d pay about $5,000 less in interest with the cosigner, and your monthly payments would be around $40 lower.

If you run into difficulty making payments, MPOWER encourages borrowers to reach out for help. Forbearance is available.

How can MPOWER improve its private student loan?

MPOWER Financing has become a go-to option for many international and DACA students, but it could enhance its offerings in several areas to better serve borrowers. 

Below are areas for potential improvement and a look at other lenders who may address some of MPOWER’s shortcomings. 

Improvement areasCurrent MPOWER statusLenders to explore
Repayment termsMPOWER offers a single repayment term of 10 years. More options could cater to the diverse needs of borrowers. College Ave (our best overall private student loan provider) offers 4 repayment terms, while Earnest offers 5 repayment options.

Ascent’s outcomes-based no-cosigner student loan offers two repayment term options—10 or 15 years. 

Edly’s no-cosigner student loan offers income-based repayment.
In-school repaymentOnly one in-school repayment option is available—interest only. A wider range of options could provide students with more flexibility based on their financial situations.Ascent’s no-cosigner student loan earns our best for deferred payment designation as payments can be fully deferred while you’re in school.
Interest ratesThe overall cost of your loan may be higher with MPOWER because a lack of a cosigner option bumps up interest rates. It also provides just one type of interest rate—fixed. Variable rates can be beneficial if rates are declining, but there is more risk that they can increase during your loan’s term.Several lenders that accept cosigners can offer potentially lower interest rates. We rate Sallie Mae as the best for student loans with cosigners, with rates starting at 4.50%.

College Ave also accepts cosigners, with fixed rates starting at 4.42%. 

FeesMPOWER’s 5% origination fee added to your loan balance increases the overall cost of your loan.Earnest earns our best for no fees designation among private student loan providers.

Ascent also offers no-cosigner loans without fees.
Eligibility criteriaMPOWER restricts its loans to students at specific schools and programs within two years of graduation. Broadening these criteria could open up MPOWER loans to a wider array of students.Funding U is best for undergraduates without cosigners, accepting full-time undergraduate students in a bachelor’s degree program at a Title IV-eligible four-year college.

With these improvements, MPOWER Financing could offer an even more competitive loan product for international and DACA students. However, as it stands, MPOWER’s offering of a loan requiring no cosigner or U.S. credit history makes it a critical option for many students.

It’s crucial to compare the rates and terms from multiple lenders to ensure you’re getting the best possible student loan for your situation. Always remember that every situation is unique and what works best for one student might not be the best option for another.

MPOWER’s refinance student loan

In addition to its primary focus on student loans, MPOWER has extended its support to international students by offering refinancing options since 2021. 

Rates, terms, and fees

MPOWER’s refinance student loan offering does not compete directly with most industry offerings in terms of rate. However, it compensates with several features that benefit international and DACA students. 

In addition, borrowers are able to release their cosigner and collateral when they refinance an existing student loan with MPOWER. 

Here’s a closer look at the details:

FeatureDetails
Fixed rates (APR)12.69% with autopay
Variable rates (APR)N/A
Rate discounts0.25% for autopay
Loan amounts$2,001 – $100,000 (total for all MPOWER loans)
Repayment terms10 years
Repayment assistanceForbearance

Contact lender
Cosigner releaseRelease your cosigner and collateral when you refinance with MPOWER
Fees2% origination fee added to your loan balance

Late payment fee
Unique featuresEligibility for employer match programs of up to $5,250 tax-free student loan payments

No prepayment penalty

Build U.S. credit history

Free visa support letter

Access to Path2Success program

Several available scholarships

Prequalify for a Zolve credit card and bank account

Potential savings on health insurance

These features demonstrate MPOWER’s commitment to providing comprehensive support to its borrowers beyond the traditional aspects of student loan refinancing. Always remember that each student’s situation is unique, and the best loan product will depend on the individual’s needs and circumstances.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Borrowers must meet a distinct set of requirements to refinance student loans with MPOWER. The criteria are designed to include international students and DACA recipients. 

MPOWER does not require cosigners or collateral, and no minimum income is listed, which sets it apart from many other lenders.

Here are the details on MPOWER’s refinancing loan eligibility:

RequirementDetails
CitizenshipValid visa holders (including H1-B, F-1 while on OPT), DACA recipients, U.S. citizens, refugees, asylum seekers, and individuals with at least two years of work authorization
State of residenceAll 50 states
Graduation statusGraduated and must have worked for at least 3 months full-time
Minimum credit scoreNo minimum credit score

Lack of credit history won’t hurt approval chances

Delinquencies, tax liens, collections, and late payments can harm approval chances
Minimum incomeN/A

How does repayment work?

Once you’ve been approved for an MPOWER refinance loan and signed your loan documents, MPOWER disburses your new loan’s funds to your previous lender to pay off your existing loan. You then begin making full principal and interest payments to MPOWER.

MPOWER offers one repayment term for its refinance loans—10 years—with a fixed interest rate. This approach is straightforward, but lacks the choices other lenders may offer. There is no penalty for paying your MPOWER refinance loan off early. 

The cost of an MPOWER refinance loan could also be higher than other lenders due to the addition of a 2% origination fee. As always, it’s crucial to consider not only the monthly payment but the total cost of the loan over time.

MPOWER offers repayment assistance. If borrowers encounter financial hardship, they can contact MPOWER to discuss forbearance options. This feature helps borrowers avoid defaulting on their loans and provides financial breathing room when needed.

How can MPOWER improve its refinance student loans?

MPOWER Financing offers unique benefits to international students. However, its refinance loans carry a key constraint: Borrowers must live and work in the U.S. This requirement can be a major drawback for those whose future plans don’t include staying within U.S. borders. 

Borrowers needing to overcome this constraint will likely want to explore lenders who allow for cosigners who meet these residency requirements. For these cases, check out our top student loan refinance lenders.

How have MPOWER student loans and refinance loans evolved over the years?

In the ever-evolving landscape of student loans, MPOWER Financing has made several significant strides since its inception in 2014 to create a more accessible pathway to education funding, particularly for international and DACA students. 

The following are key milestones in MPOWER’s journey that have expanded its services and benefits:

  • 2016: MPOWER branched out internationally, opening an office in Bengaluru, India, to meet the growing demand for international student loans.
  • June 2017: The lender began collaborating with Nova Credit, a credit reporting agency, enabling international students to build their U.S. credit history.
  • July 2017: MPOWER became available nationwide in all 50 U.S. states, a milestone made possible through a partnership with Bank of Lake Mills.
  • 2021: The maximum loan amount was increased from $50,000 to $100,000, broadening the financial possibilities for students.
  • 2021: Refinancing was introduced.
  • December 2022: Rate discounts were adjusted from 1.50% to 0.25% to align more closely with market trends.

These developments illustrate MPOWER’s commitment to evolving in response to the needs of its borrowers and the shifting dynamics of the student loan market.

Is MPOWER a reputable lender?

Before making any significant financial decisions, such as refinancing student loans, you might want to hear from other people who’ve been in your shoes. Customer reviews provide valuable insights and often touch upon aspects that formal descriptions or ratings might miss. 

Trustpilot, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Google are well-known platforms where consumers share their experiences, both positive and negative, about products and services.

Here’s how MPOWER Financing fares:

SourceCustomer ratingNumber of reviews
Trustpilot4.7/51,690
Better Business BureauA+ (No reviews)0
Google4.2/553

On Trustpilot, reviewers credit MPOWER with making possible their higher education dreams in the U.S. They speak highly of the company’s student-focused approach and extra benefits, leading to an impressive 81% of reviewers awarding the top score of five stars.

On Google, the reception is generally positive, with MPOWER touted as a significant financial solution for international students. Some users, however, expressed concerns about a lengthy approval and disbursement process and unresponsive customer support.

MPOWER has an A+ rating on BBB’s platform, but it is not BBB-accredited and hasn’t attracted reviews there. This could be due to its niche market focus or its customers’ unfamiliarity with the BBB.

Does MPOWER have a customer service team?

MPOWER maintains a comprehensive customer service team to ensure a smooth experience for its borrowers. This team provides support throughout the loan process and offers critical information to borrowers.

 After the first disbursement, loan servicing, including repayment management and communication, transfers to a servicer.

MPOWER collaborates with NorthStar for this purpose. NorthStar is a trusted payment processing partner, enabling auto debit from Canadian bank accounts and one-time payments in different currencies.

After your first disbursement, MPOWER sends an email with your servicer’s details and instructions for setting up an account. Your servicer also contacts you via email with further instructions. For more information about your servicer, log in to your MPOWER Dashboard.

Here are ways you can contact MPOWER:

  • Scan the code on the “Contact Us” page for WeChat customer support
  • Fill out the contact form on the website
  • Call:
    • +1-202-417-3800 (U.S.) during business hours
    • +1-647-503-4607 (Canada) during business hours

How to apply for a MPOWER student or refinance student loan

MPOWER provides a user-friendly and digital application experience for its student loans and refinance loans, allowing applicants to access their loan details from anywhere in the world. Prospective borrowers can apply as early as 12 months before their program begins.

However, the process requires a degree of patience due to the various stages of review. Here are the steps to apply for a student loan from MPOWER:

  1. Check eligibility: Determine whether you qualify for a loan. This step is quick and should only take about 60 seconds.
MPOWER student loan application

Source: MPOWER

  1. Application submission: Fill out the application form, and submit it along with a valid photo ID. The application should take about 20 minutes to complete.
MPOWER student loan application

Source: MPOWER

  1. Initial review: MPOWER reviews your application within about 10 business days and sends you an email outlining the next steps.
  2. Document upload: You must upload the requested documents to your MPOWER dashboard, watch an introductory video, and complete a short assessment. This step should take about 30 minutes if you have all necessary documents ready. These include items such as a school invoice, evidence of supporting funds llike scholarships and income, and existing debt. You’ll also need your admissions letter and transcripts.
  3. Final review: MPOWER examines all uploaded documents. If it approves your loan, MPOWER also provides a visa support document when necessary. This step takes about 10 business days.
  4. School certification and disbursement: For U.S. schools, MPOWER verifies your loan with your institution. For Canadian schools, MPOWER checks your immigration documents before scheduling loan disbursement. The timeline varies.

If you’re applying for an MPOWER loan and need additional funding, you don’t have to complete the full application again. You just need to update your documents and request the extra funds. This process takes about 40 minutes, followed by a final review that lasts around 10 business days.

To apply for loan refinancing, you’ll follow similar steps to those involved in applying for a student loan. The entire process takes about 30 minutes:

  1. Check your eligibility. 
MPOWER student loan application

Source: MPOWER

  1. Fill out the application. This includes providing your personal information, information about your original loan, and other financial details. You’ll need to submit your application with a valid photo ID, such as a passport.
  2. Prequalification. MPOWER reviews your application and sends an email within two to three business days with information on next steps.
  3. Documents submitted and credit history check. If you prequalify for a refinance loan, MPOWER will review your credit history in your home country and in the U.S. or Canada, depending on your residency status. You’ll submit additional documents, such as proof of address, cost of living documents, and employment documents. You will also watch an introductory video and complete a short assessment.
  4. Final review. With everything submitted, MPOWER’s credit team makes a final decision within five to seven business days.
  5. Certification and disbursement. If you are approved and you accept an MPOWER refinance loan, you enter a four-day rescission period, during which you can cancel your loan for any reason by contacting MPOWER. After that, MPOWER works with you to contact your lender to pay off your loan, typically within three to five business days.
  6. Servicing: Once your loan is made and funds are disbursed to your original lender, MPOWER becomes your servicer and you begin making payments to it for the duration of your repayment term.

What if I’m denied a student loan from MPOWER?

Being denied a student loan from MPOWER may come as a disappointment, but it’s important to understand that it may not be the end of the road. 

MPOWER lays out the reasons behind a loan rejection, allowing you to reassess and make necessary improvements for future applications. Here are potential reasons an application may be declined:

  • Eligibility criteria: You might not meet the required criteria. If an error was on your application or MPOWER doesn’t support your school or program, it may decline the application. If you switch to a different school or program, you might become eligible.
  • Academic performance: MPOWER takes your academic achievements into account. If your performance doesn’t meet its standards, it might reject your application. Improving your grades may make you eligible for future semesters.
  • Credit history: Delinquencies in your past or current credit history can pose a significant risk. Even if you update your accounts, past delinquencies might affect the decision.
  • Financial situation: If MPOWER’s credit team determines your current and future financial situation poses a risk—e.g., an inability to sustain monthly loan payments or fund your educational program—it may deny your application.

MPOWER might not be able to approve the full amount you apply for, but a lesser amount could be approved. If MPOWER didn’t offer any amount of funding when it denied your application, MPOWER can’t approve a loan for you in any amount.

If MPOWER denied you due to credit history issues, the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to know the information contained in your credit file at the credit bureau. If you spot any mistakes, contact the credit bureau to dispute them. MPOWER can reconsider your application once the credit bureau updates your report.

You can reapply 90 days after your application was declined. If there’s been a significant change in your circumstances—such as improving your academic performance or financial situation—your chances of approval might increase. However, if your situation hasn’t changed, the decision will likely remain the same.

MPOWER FAQ

Does MPOWER offer private or federal student loans?

MPOWER offers private student loans. Unlike federal loans, which are funded by the U.S. Department of Education, private loans are provided by private organizations like MPOWER. It’s important to consider the MPOWER financing review when deciding if this is the best loan option for you.

Does applying with MPOWER hurt my credit?

When you apply for a student loan with MPOWER, a hard credit inquiry is performed which can have a minor impact on your credit score. This effect is usually temporary, but multiple applications with various lenders can cause more significant damage.

Does MPOWER require a cosigner?

MPOWER does not require a cosigner for their student loans. This feature distinguishes MPOWER from many other private lenders and can be especially helpful for international students who may not have a U.S.-based cosigner.

What can MPOWER student loans be used for?

MPOWER student loans can be used for a range of educational expenses, including:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Housing and meals
  • Books and supplies
  • Transportation
  • Health insurance

This flexibility helps students cover the many costs associated with higher education.

How long does it take to receive funds from MPOWER?

After your MPOWER loan is approved, it can take between one to three weeks for the funds to be disbursed to your school. This timeline is dependent on your school’s financial aid office and their process of handling disbursed funds.

Is MPOWER responsible for paying off my current student loans?

If you’re considering refinancing with MPOWER, it’s crucial to understand that you’re essentially replacing your old loans with a new one from MPOWER. The new loan pays off the previous ones, and you then repay MPOWER under the terms of the new agreement.

Can MPOWER student loans be forgiven?

MPOWER student loans are private loans, and currently, there are no established programs for private student loan forgiveness. It’s important to consider this before borrowing as MPOWER loans, like other private student loans, typically cannot be discharged even in bankruptcy.

How we rated MPOWER student loans

We designed LendEDU’s editorial rating system to help consumers identify companies that offer the best financial products. Our experts spend hours researching these companies each year to ensure our ratings are fresh and accurate.

In our most recent evaluation, we compared MPOWER to several lenders across a number of factors, including rates, repayment terms, customer reviews, and benefits. 

We weighted, scored, and combined each factor to produce a final editorial rating. This rating is expressed on a scale from one to five, with five being the highest possible score. We round all ratings to the nearest tenth decimal place.

Student loanBest forOur rating
Private loanBest for international students4.6/5View rates
Refinance loanNo designationNot ratedView rates