Prodigy Finance Student Loan Review
With many private student loan lenders, eligibility is limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents; international students are usually not eligible unless they have a qualifying cosigner. Prodigy Finance student loans were launched to address this problem.
Prodigy offers private student loans for international students pursuing master’s degrees, and it doesn’t require cosigners or collateral. Instead, its model looks at students’ career potential to determine their loan eligibility.
Prodigy student loans review
Since Prodigy Finance’s launch, it has issued over $1 billion in student loans and served over 20,000 students.
Prodigy Finance allows you to borrow up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance, and you have up to 20 years to repay your loan. The loans are specifically designed for international graduate school students who are studying abroad.
Prodigy Finance student loans are a good fit for international students pursuing a master’s degree in another country.
Prodigy Finance student loans reviews: The basics
If you’re an international student and have struggled to find financing because you don’t have a cosigner, Prodigy Finance could be a useful resource. You can borrow the money you need to complete your master’s degree without a cosigner.
What to like about Prodigy Finance student loans
If you’re planning on completing a master’s degree program and need financing, Prodigy Finance has several advantages over other lenders:
Available to international students
Most private student loan lenders require borrowers to be U.S citizens or permanent residents. If they do offer loans to international students, the borrower will usually need to have a cosigner who’s a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Prodigy Finance works differently: It doesn’t require U.S. citizenship, so you can qualify for a loan even if you’re a citizen of another country.
Six-month grace period
With private student loans, there isn’t always a grace period. Many lenders require you to make payments while you’re in school, or repayment may begin immediately after graduation.
With a loan from Prodigy Finance, you won’t have to make payments until six months after graduation or leaving school. That benefit gives you time to relocate, find a job and get your finances in order before you’ll have to start paying.
Terms as long as 20 years
With many private loans geared toward international students, your repayment options are limited. Many lenders only offer loan terms of 10 years.
Prodigy Finance has more options: You can choose a repayment term between seven and 20 years, giving you more flexibility. For example, you can choose a longer loan term if you want a lower monthly payment.
Doesn’t require collateral or cosigners
Private student loans are typically credit-based, so you’ll need to have an established credit history or a cosigner with good credit. Those requirements can make it difficult for international students to qualify for loans.
In contrast, Prodigy Finance used its own algorithm to determine your eligibility for a loan. Besides credit and income, it also looks at your career path and earning potential, eliminating the need for collateral or cosigners.
Borrow up to 100% of the cost of attendance
Lenders that cater to international students typically have strict loan limits. But with Prodigy Finance, you can borrow up to the total cost of attendance for your selected program.
What to keep in mind about Prodigy Finance student loans
While Prodigy Finance could be a useful option for some students, there are still some drawbacks to keep in mind.
Administration fee applies
Prodigy Finance charges a 5% administration fee that can add to your overall loan cost. The fee is calculated based on the entire loan amount and added to your loan balance. It’s incorporated into your monthly payments, so you won’t have to pay it upfront.
For example, if you borrow $30,000, the administration fee would be $1,500. The fee would be added to the loan amount, so interest and payments would be based on a loan balance of $31,500.
Only offers variable-rate loans
With most lenders, you can choose either a fixed-rate loan or a variable-rate loan. Fixed-rate loans can be appealing because their rates never change; you’ll have the same interest rate and monthly payment for the duration of your loan term.
Unfortunately, Prodigy Finance doesn’t have a fixed-rate option; it only offers variable-rate loans so your interest rate — and your monthly payments — can fluctuate over time.
Not all students are eligible for loans
Although Prodigy Finance offers loans for international students, it has some restrictions:
Doesn’t offer undergraduate student loans
Prodigy Finance’s loans are only for students in graduate school. If you’re an international student pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to work with a different lender that offers undergraduate student loans.
Doesn’t discharge loans in cases of death
With most student loans, there are provisions for cases of borrower death or disability. Most lenders will discharge the loan if the student borrower dies, so the borrower’s family won’t have to worry about repaying the loan.
Unfortunately, Prodigy Finance doesn’t offer that provision — if a borrower dies, Prodigy Finance can pursue repayment of the unpaid balance from the borrower’s estate, placing a significant burden on your loved ones.
How Prodigy Finance student loans compare
We always recommend shopping around and comparing multiple student loan options. So how does Prodigy Finance stack up to other leading lenders?
You’ll very likely be better off if you shop around beyond a few lenders. Make sure you learn all about the best options for your specific needs.
Are Prodigy Finance student loans right for you?
If you’re an international student that needs financing assistance to pursue a master’s degree in another country, Prodigy Finance may be able to help you. It allows you to borrow up to the school-certified cost of attendance, and you can qualify for a loan without a cosigner. If you’ve struggled to find a lender willing to work with you because of your lack of a credit history or cosigner, Prodigy Finance could be a good choice.
However, Prodigy Finance isn’t available to all borrowers, and it doesn’t issue loans for undergraduate study. To research other options, check out other leading private student loan lenders.
How to apply with Prodigy Finance
According to Prodigy Finance, the application usually takes about 30 minutes to complete. The application may require more information than other lenders — because Prodigy Finance works with international students, it requires additional documentation, including:
Prodigy Finance has a checklist of loan documents and step-by-step instructions on its site.
The company does recommend starting the application process early, as it can take two months or more to receive your loan funds.
How to contact Prodigy Finance
Prodigy Finance is available by phone or email. It also hosts webinars where you can get answers to common questions.
Frequently asked questions about Prodigy Finance student loans
If you didn’t find your question answered in our Prodigy Finance reviews, see the following FAQs:
Does Prodigy Finance offer student loan refinancing?
In 2018, Prodigy Finance launched its student loan refinancing program. However, it no longer has information about refinancing on its site, and links to previous posts about refinancing pages have returned error messages.
We reached out to Prodigy Finance’s customer service team, and they confirmed that Prodigy Finance doesn’t offer student loan refinancing.
Is Prodigy Finance a bank?
Prodigy Finance is not a bank. When you apply for a loan, it reviews your application and decides whether to approve you for a loan. Then, Prodigy Finance attempts to match your application with funds from its community of investors. Its investors are professional investors, meaning they are either a financial institution, a business entity or a high-net-worth individual who’s serving as an elective professional client.
Does Prodigy Finance have a minimum GRE score?
Prodigy Finance doesn’t have a minimum GRE score. However, it does require you to have been accepted by an eligible institution (and include documentation in your application), which may have its own minimum score requirements.
Methodology for ratings
To come up with our star rating for student loan refinancing lenders and companies and private student loan lenders and companies, Student Loan Hero asks hard questions — 20 of them, in fact. These questions span three categories: Accessibility, Rates & Terms and Repayment Experience. That’s because we want to judge financial institutions on their products and services from start to finish — when our users are shopping around, filing applications and paying down their debt. A top-rated lender, for instance, has inclusive eligibility criteria, allows you to prequalify and check rates without harming your credit score and is supportive as you face monthly payments.
The answers that we get to our 20 questions — either from the lenders themselves or by combing through their fine print — determine their overall rating. We score answers consistently, sometimes awarding partial points, to ensure that you can make equal comparisons between all lenders that we put under the microscope.
Student Loan Hero isn’t paid for conducting these reviews, and lenders don’t have a say in their content. The goal with our reviews and ratings, along with everything else we do, is to give our users the most comprehensive and up-to-date information available to make the best decisions according to their borrowing needs.
Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to [lender] student loans, which is current as of May 11, 2022, unless otherwise noted. None of the financial institutions named has either provided or reviewed the information shared in this article.