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Student Loans

Prodigy Finance Student Loans Review

Prodigy Finance student loans cater to international graduate students studying abroad

  • Assesses borrowers based on future earning potential, not just credit history.
  • No cosigner or collateral required.
  • Loans cover up to 100% of attendance cost.
  • Applicants are “matched” with funds from investors to make their loans.
  • Lends in 20 countries but not all 50 United States.
  • Get a customized quote for multiple schools if you’re still undecided.

About Prodigy Finance

Prodigy Finance was founded in 2007 to create a more inclusive financial sector. It helps international students access higher education by breaking down traditional barriers in student financing. 

Its model leverages a community of investors interested in supporting global education to match students’ loan applications with funds from the community, benefiting students and investors. Students from 20 countries can secure loans to study at top universities in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and other parts of the world. 

The loans are intended for postgraduate students studying abroad in pursuit of master’s degrees in business, engineering, law, public policy, health sciences, and STEM fields. Prodigy assesses eligibility based on future earning potential, not just credit score (although it reviews credit history), so students without a cosigner or collateral to secure a loan.

Our take on Prodigy’s private student loans

Type of student loanEditorial rating
Graduate student loan3.1 out of 5

Our assessment is based on rigorous editorial research into each type of student loan. No two companies earn the same best-for designation. Prodigy Finance earns a rating of 3.1 out of five—a solid score but lower compared to other international student loans—and it doesn’t secure a “best for” label. 

This rating is largely due to Prodigy’s limited availability and niche target market—Prodigy Finance is a great choice for international students without access to a cosigner. If you do have an eligible cosigner, you’re likely to find a more highly rated and cost-effective international student loan option elsewhere.

Rates, terms, and more

Prodigy’s private student loan terms show a mix of benefits and drawbacks. Some terms, such as loan amounts and the absence of cosigner requirements, are favorable compared to the broader industry. Other elements, including a higher APR and administration fee, are less appealing.

One unique feature of Prodigy Finance is that, if you are undecided about which program to attend, you can apply for funding for multiple schools. You can get a customized quote for each to help you compare costs and make a decision.

  • Loan amounts: Prodigy Finance covers up to 100% of your school’s certified cost of attendance.
  • Rates (APR): Starting from 11.18, the APR is higher than many other lenders offer. The rate includes a fixed margin plus a fluctuating benchmark rate that add up to a total variable APR for your loan (see below for an example).
  •  Repayment terms: The loan term ranges from seven to 20 years, which borrowers choose when they apply.
  • In-school repayment options: Repayment is not required while you’re in school and for six months after graduation.
  • Grace period: Enjoy a grace period of six months after graduation before repayment begins.
  • Cosigner release: Not applicable because Prodigy doesn’t require a cosigner.
  • Fees: 5% administration fee.
  • Unique features: 
    • Applicants are “matched” with loan funds from investors.
    • You can get a customized quote for multiple schools if you’re still undecided.
    • Offers several resources on international student life, including navigating visas, admissions, and postgrad careers.

How will your Prodigy Finance interest rate work?

Prodigy Finance uses what is known as the 3-month CME term SOFR as the fluctuating benchmark rate, which it adds to your fixed rate to find the variable interest rate on your loan.

For example, if your fixed rate is 8.48%, and the 3-month CME Term SOFR benchmark rate is 5.30%, your starting variable rate would be 14.88% (8.48% + 5.30%).

Prodigy adjusts the variable interest rate quarterly to track with the 3-Month CME Term SOFR rate. As of July 2023, this rate has been running at around 5%. Prodigy publishes the quarterly rates so you can see the fluctuation.

Who’s eligible for a Prodigy private student loan?

Potential borrowers can search for their school on Prodigy’s website to check eligibility. From there, you will see the eligible school, campus, and courses offered. If you don’t see your school or program listed, you can submit a request to have it added, but Prodigy says it takes time to do this, and it’s not guaranteed.

Because Prodigy is not a bank, its loans are made from funds raised from investors. When you apply and are approved, Prodigy adds you to a waitlist it reviews weekly to match your application with available funds. 

These investors trust Prodigy’s approval model but also set conditions for using the funds they’ve provided, which can make approval less of a sure thing. Prodigy doesn’t publish how the percentage of applications that are matched with funds.

CitizenshipYou must be a resident of one of 20 eligible countries. Some markets are excluded. See the list of excluded markets.
State of residenceResidents of certain states, including Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, and others, are not eligible. Full list of excluded states.
Minimum ageNot disclosed.
Enrolled schoolYou must be enrolled in a master’s degree program and in an eligible course at one of 1,100 eligible schools. Search for your school here.
Minimum credit scoreNot required, but credit history is considered.
Minimum incomeNo minimum income requirement.

How do you repay private student loans from Prodigy?

Prodigy’s repayment timeline is set up to consider the financial stability of students.

When does repayment begin?

Borrowers don’t begin repaying their loans immediately; instead, the repayment period starts six months postgraduation. At that time, you begin paying full principal and interest payments.

The deferred repayment allows students to focus on their studies and find stable employment after graduation.

Repayment requirementDetails
In-school repayment optionsNot required—payment begins 6 months after graduation
Grace period6 months

How long does repayment last?

You’ll choose the repayment term length when you apply. Your choices can range from seven to 20 years. The longer the term, the smaller the monthly payments, but the higher the total interest paid over the life of the loan. 

Prodigy imposes no prepayment penalties, providing the option to pay off the loan early and save on interest.

Here’s a simplified breakdown of how varying repayment terms might affect monthly payments and total interest for a hypothetical $10,000 loan with an APR of 11.18%:

Repayment term (years)Monthly paymentTotal interest paid

Please note that these figures are approximations and actual payment amounts may vary based on the fluctuations of your variable rate. It’s also crucial to remember that making larger or additional payments can reduce the total interest paid and shorten the loan term.

To make your loan payments, you have three options:

  1. Prodigy allows you to set up autodebit if you have a bank account in the United States, United Kingdom, or European Union but doesn’t offer a discount for doing so. 
  2. For those with bank accounts outside of these regions, Prodigy partners with Flywire, a global payment platform, to make payments using a bank transfer, card, or local payment service. 
  3. Prodigy’s app provides other third-party payment options, such as Wise, Revolut, and InstaReM. 

You’ll make all repayments on Prodigy loans in the currency of your loan.

Are there repayment assistance programs?

If you find yourself facing financial difficulties or other personal circumstances that could prevent you from making a loan payment, it’s vital to contact Prodigy’s team at [email protected] before missing a payment or paying a reduced installment. 

Failing to make suitable arrangements with Prodigy prior to these circumstances could harm your loan status and your credit.

Prodigy offers a repayment assistance program—a three-month, zero-installment forbearance arrangement. This program allows you to suspend loan repayments for three months. However, interest continues to accrue during this time.

This forbearance arrangement is especially beneficial for borrowers who can’t make payments due to unforeseen financial challenges. As always, you should reach out to Prodigy’s team for guidance tailored to your situation.

How can Prodigy improve its student loans?

Prodigy could work on certain areas to elevate its offerings.

Complex rates 

Prodigy’s structure of combining fixed and variable rates can confuse borrowers and lead to higher costs. 

For a lender with more straightforward rate structures, consider Ascent. It offers fixed and variable rates, giving you the transparency and choice to select a loan structure that suits your needs. Its graduate loan ranks best for eligibility, but international students must have a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident cosigner.

Limited availability

Prodigy’s student loans are somewhat limited. They only cater to residents from certain countries and those enrolled in master’s degree programs at specific schools. 

If you are excluded from applying for a Prodigy loan, MPOWER may be a better choice. It boasts a broader accessibility, earning our best for international students designation.

Fees and cost management

Prodigy charges a 5% administration fee, which increases the overall cost of the loan. Your best bet for keeping loan costs low is to apply for a student loan with a cosigner. If you don’t have access to one, MPOWER could be another option.

‘Matching’ of funds

Because Prodigy Finance is not a bank—it funds its loans through investors—applicants must go through the matching process to secure loan funds. 

While Prodigy does not disclose how many of its applications are matched with funds, you might consider applying for a student loan through a bank or online lender, such as Sallie Mae or College Ave, to secure funds. You likely will need a cosigner to be eligible, though, as an international student.

How have Prodigy student loans evolved over the years?

Prodigy’s journey has been characterized by growth, innovation, and responsive adaptations. Key evolution points in its timeline include:

  • Origins and initial offering: Prodigy started in 2007 with a unique offering: loans for international MBA students at INSEAD, a global graduate business school. It built an innovative model that crowdsourced funds from alumni, socially aware investors, and financial institutions.
  • Institutional partnership and loan accessibility: In 2014, Prodigy transitioned from a largely crowdfunded model to a more robust financial structure, forging a critical partnership with global investment bank Credit Suisse. This change enhanced its ability to lend to a larger number of students in more institutions across more countries without requiring cosigners, collateral, or U.S. credit scores.
  • A dip into refinancing: Prodigy made a brief foray into loan refinancing services in 2018. However, it has since discontinued this offering.

As of July 2023, Prodigy has funded $1.5 billion in student loans to more than 30,000 students. Its journey illustrates its commitment to exploring new products, services, and approaches to better serve its student borrowers.

Is Prodigy a reputable lender?

Customer reviews provide a glimpse into Prodigy’s reputation and others’ experience with it.

Review sourceCustomer ratingNumber of reviews
Better Business Bureau (BBB)N/AN/A

Reviews collected on July 20, 2023.

The primary source of Prodigy’s customer reviews is Trustpilot, with a rating of 2.3 out of five stars. More than half of the reviewers gave it a one-star rating. The main themes emerging from these reviews revolve around high costs and rates on Prodigy’s loans.

Trustpilot collects customer reviews and has strict rules to ensure authenticity and honesty. It doesn’t allow companies to edit or delete reviews, providing a more transparent view of a company’s reputation. However, customers’ individual experiences can vary, and a larger sample size would provide a more balanced perspective.

At the time of writing, Prodigy does not have reviews on Google or the Better Business Bureau. These platforms are common for customer feedback and could add to the company’s credibility if more borrowers write reviews.

Does Prodigy have a customer service team?

Prodigy has a comprehensive customer service team across multiple continents, with offices in South Africa, the United Kingdom, India, and the United States. This team assists with needs including loan applications and repayment management. 

Prodigy services the loans itself, meaning the team that issued your loan is also responsible for helping you manage repayment.

You can reach out to Prodigy’s customer service team through the following methods:

  • Email
  • Phone: Depending on your location, reach Prodigy at:
    • Global: (+44) 20 3900 3535
    • India: 000 800 9190 242
    • U.K.: 0800 368 8766
    • U.S.: 866-533-3304
    • Brazil: 11 3197 8763
  • Mailing address: Write to its London Headquarters: Hardy House, 16-18 Beak Street, W1F9RD, London, United Kingdom.
  • Live chat: Use the chat box on the Prodigy website for quick answers.
  • Webinars: Join informative webinars every Wednesday and Friday at 12 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time and 5:30 p.m. Indian Standard Time.
  • Contact form: Fill out a form available on the Contact Us page of the Prodigy website.
  • Mobile app: Download the Prodigy app from Google Play or the Apple App Store to manage your loans on the go.

How to apply for a Prodigy private student loan

Compared to other lenders, Prodigy’s application process is streamlined and straightforward. It’s designed to support international students with steps that ensure transparency and ease of use. 

However, keep in mind the process is more comprehensive since Prodigy doesn’t require a cosigner or collateral.

Here are the steps to apply for a Prodigy student loan:

1. Register your interest

Tell Prodigy about your study plans. It will walk you through what you need to apply for funding.

2. Apply for funding

Share additional details about your plans, and receive a customized quote. You can submit applications for multiple schools and compare offers.

3. Upload your documents

After accepting the quote that suits you, upload the necessary documents. Prodigy then finalizes its risk assessment, and you’ll join the waitlist while it confirms available funding. Documents you’ll need include:

  • Proof of identity (your passport) and address
  • Proof of school admission
  • Your credit report
  • Your job offer/proof of income
  • Savings or family contributions
  • A letter confirming your sponsorship or scholarship

4. Finalize your loan

Prodigy matches your application with the funds it has raised from its community of investors. If you’re matched, Prodigy will notify you so you can commit to your loan.

5. Sign your loan 

You’ll sign your loan. Prodigy sends funds to your school, eliminating the need for complex international transfers. Payments don’t start until six months after classes end.

How to apply for additional funding if needed

If you need a second year of funding, you can apply again. If your application says “preapproved,” you’re conditionally approved for your next year’s funding. Submit a new application, and share any updates.

Tips for a successful application

Consider the following to make your application process as quick and easy as possible:

  • Supplying Prodigy with certified English-language copies of your documents will speed up the application process.
  • If your documentation requires currency conversions, Prodigy’s team will complete this for you.
  • Upload your documents in a non-editable, clearly visible format that includes your full name and the date the document was issued.

What if I’m denied a private student loan from Prodigy?

If your loan application with Prodigy is denied, it could be due to factors such as negative marks on your credit report. In such cases, Prodigy should explain the reasons for denial.

You are welcome to reapply for a loan with Prodigy. However, you should review the reasons for denial and take steps to rectify them before doing so. This might involve improving your credit score or reducing your debt.

For alternatives, consider other resources available: 

Each lender has its own criteria, so review carefully to find the one that best fits your situation.

Prodigy FAQ

Does Prodigy offer private or federal student loans?

Prodigy offers private student loans. Its products are designed for international students studying abroad, with a special focus on graduate students. 

Remember, private loans should be a last resort after exhausting all options with federal student loans, which typically have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options.

Does applying with Prodigy hurt my credit?

Applying for a student loan with Prodigy involves a hard credit inquiry, which may lower your credit score by a few points. Prodigy uses this information to assess your creditworthiness and determine your interest rate.

Does Prodigy require a cosigner?

Unlike many private student loan lenders, Prodigy does not require a cosigner for its loans. This is beneficial for international students who may not have a cosigner with a U.S. credit history. However, adding a cosigner could help you secure a lower interest rate depending on their creditworthiness.

What can Prodigy student loans be used for?

You can use Prodigy student loans to cover the total cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, books, transportation, and living expenses. This is determined by your school’s cost of attendance figures.

How long does it take to receive funds from Prodigy?

Once you’re approved for a Prodigy student loan, the lender will typically disburse funds to your school within five to 15 business days of the start of your term. However, it’s important to apply as early as possible to ensure everything is processed in time.

Can Prodigy student loans be forgiven?

Prodigy student loans, like most private student loans, are not eligible for loan forgiveness programs that apply to federal loans, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness or Teacher Loan Forgiveness

How we rated Prodigy 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.

Our most recent evaluation compared Prodigy to several lenders across a number of factors, including rates, repayment terms, customer reviews, and benefits. 

We weighted, scored, and combined these factors 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 rounded all ratings to the nearest tenth decimal place.

Student loanOur rating
Graduate student loan3.1 out of 5View Rates