Prodigy Finance Review: Loans and Refinancing for International Post-Grad Students
Prodigy offers student loans and refinancing options to international postgraduate students. They are a good option for borrowers with no U.S. credit history, though you may end up paying more in fees and interest.
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Prodigy Finance was founded in 2007 by three MBA students who noticed that international students often don’t receive the same financing opportunities local students enjoy. To help make education more accessible to all, Prodigy assesses post-grad applicants based on their future earning potential, not just their credit history.
The company lends to students from over 150 countries worldwide, though they still aren’t available in all 50 states in the U.S. However, there are no credit requirements to apply for a Prodigy student loan, and the application process is fairly easy.
This Prodigy Finance review will cover what the lender has to offer and which students will benefit from their student loan options.
In this review:
- Prodigy Finance: Which Students Is it Best For?
- Getting a Loan Through Prodigy Finance
- Prodigy Finance by the Numbers
- Benefits of Prodigy Finance Student Loans
- Downsides of Prodigy Finance Student Loans
Prodigy Finance: Which Students Is it Best For?
Prodigy offers student loans to qualified borrowers who are studying in an eligible university outside of their home country, either abroad or here in the United States. They don’t have any credit requirements, and approval is largely based on an individual’s income, debt-to-income ratio, and future earning potential.
Due to their lack of credit requirements, Prodigy is best for international students who don’t yet have enough information on their U.S. credit report. If you’re a U.S. citizen with a decent credit history, however, you might find better rates elsewhere.
If you want to refinance student loans, Prodigy may also be a good option for international students working in either the United Kingdom or participating U.S. states. But again, more creditworthy borrowers may find better rates elsewhere.
In addition to living and working in a country or qualifying state outside of your home country, you need to prove you’re financially able to keep up with loan repayments and hold or be earning an eligible degree, such as an MBA, from a participating university.
Getting a Loan Through Prodigy Finance
Prodigy offers international student loans to post-grad students in eligible universities. The application process is fairly simple and borrowers don’t need a co-signer or any collateral to qualify.
What You Need to Qualify for a Prodigy Finance Loan
To qualify for a loan from Prodigy, you’ll need to reside in one of the 150 countries they serve. You’ll also need to have been accepted to a qualified school program.
Prodigy serves students pursuing graduate degrees in business, medicine, engineering, public policy, and law. You can find a complete list of the schools they serve on prodigyfinance.com.
And since these loans are designed for students who are studying abroad, the school you’re attending must be outside of your home country. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule:
- You are eligible if you’ve lived in your current country of residence for less than a year upon application.
- U.K. residents may study in the U.K.
- U.S. residents may study in the U.S., so long as they aren’t permanent residents and they haven’t lived in the U.S. for more than seven consecutive years. They also must live in an eligible state.
Prodigy cannot lend to residents of the following U.S. States:
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- Washington state
- West Virginia
How to Apply for Student Loan or Refinancing
You can fill out a loan application online and the entire process takes about 30 minutes to complete. You’ll start by registering and authenticating your email address. Once you’re able to log in, you can complete the application process.
Here is the basic information you’ll need to apply for a loan:
- Personal information: You’ll start by providing your personal details and contact information. You’ll also need the name of the school you’re attending, the academic period, and your current place of residence.
- Cost of attendance: You’ll need to know the total cost of attendance for the program you’re enrolled in. And you’ll need to share all of your funding sources including other student loans and scholarships.
- Income: You’ll share your current income and savings as well as past and current employers. You can also list out your personal property and assets.
- Existing debt: Prodigy will need an account of any credit card debt, personal loans, or any other debt that won’t be used to pay for school. They will also need to see the repayment terms for each loan.
Prodigy Finance only offers student loan refinancing to residents of the following U.S. States:
- Washington D.C.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Prodigy Finance by the Numbers
Prodigy is unique in that they only offer variable interest rates. And since these rates are based on the three-month LIBOR rates, your interest rate could change frequently. Here is a complete breakdown of their rates and fees:
Rates & Fees
- Prodigy offers variable interest rates based on the three-month U.S. LIBOR rates plus a base fee. The base fee changes periodically depending on market fluctuations.
- There are no prepayment fees.
- Prodigy offers repayment terms of 7, 10, 15, or 20 years.
- Depending on the school you attend, you can qualify for a loan that will cover between 80% and 100% of the total cost of the program.
Benefits of Prodigy Finance
International students often have a difficult time securing funding for college. Most lenders in the U.S. won’t accept borrowers that don’t have any credit history, but Prodigy will. Instead of looking solely at a potential borrower’s credit score, Prodigy qualifies borrowers based on their own credit model.
Prodigy looks at applicants’ current income, debt-to-income ratio, and income potential to determine how likely they are to repay their loans. You might have no credit history and little savings now, but if you’re on track to becoming a doctor, lawyer, or engineer in an emerging market, you’ll probably have ample income to pay off your debt in the future.
Prodigy’s student loan program is available in over 600 schools worldwide, and they are constantly looking to expand the list of schools they serve. Plus, they offer career support to all of their borrowers. Prodigy borrowers can attend webinars and events on campus and in major cities throughout the year.
Once students graduate, Prodigy gives them a six-month grace period before their monthly payments begin. This gives borrowers time to settle into a new job or city and their bearings straight before taking on their loans.
Downsides of Prodigy Finance Student Loans
Prodigy is only available to international students, so U.S. citizens or permanent residents can’t apply. However, this may be for the best, since U.S. citizens can probably find better rates elsewhere.
If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can compare our top picks in our guide to the best private student loans.
Also, Prodigy only offers variable interest rates. And since the rates are based on the LIBOR rates and may fluctuate regularly, your interest rate could change as often as every three months.
Finally, Prodigy still isn’t available everywhere. Although they are available in over 600 university programs, there’s always the possibility that yours isn’t one of them. And they are only available in roughly half the states across the U.S., so it’s possible you’re ineligible from the outset.
Bottom Line: Is Prodigy Student Loan Refinancing Right for You?
Prodigy offers student loans and refinancing to international graduate students. They are a good option for borrowers without any U.S. credit history who may have a hard time securing financing otherwise. You may end up paying moderately high interest rates and fees with Prodigy, but the trade-off could be worth it if you don’t qualify for financing from private student loan providers.
Author: Jamie Johnson