Prodigy Finance offers loans to international grad students. It’s a niche loan that’s best for students from one of the 150 countries whose citizens Prodigy lends to.
The company was launched in 2007 by three MBA graduates who had faced their own challenges financing international degrees.
Unlike many other international and private loan options, Prodigy requires no co-signer or collateral. Interest rates are determined by a borrower’s future earnings potential as well as credit history.
However, Prodigy Finance should be used only for its primary purpose: fulfilling lending needs for international students. U.S. students can find private loans with better terms and more beneficial repayment options from other lenders.
» COMPARE: Private student loans
Is a Prodigy Finance private loan right for you?
A Prodigy Finance loan may be right for you if you:
- Are an international student who needs to borrow money to pay for graduate school in the United States
- Do not have a co-signer or collateral
Before taking a private student loan from Prodigy Finance or any lender, contact your college to find out what financial aid you might be eligible for. International students may not be eligible to get federal aid, but your school may have other aid options available. The U.S. Department of Education has more information on federal aid available to non-U.S. citizens.
If you are eligible for federal financial aid, submit the FAFSA to apply for federal grants, work-study and federal student loans. Borrow the maximum in federal student loans before considering private ones. Federal loans have more borrower protections and also don’t require a co-signer.
» MORE: NerdWallet’s 2018-19 FAFSA Guide
Can you qualify?
You may qualify for a Prodigy Finance student loan if you:
- Attend an eligible school
- Meet residency or international requirements: Your chosen school must be located outside your home country when you apply, unless you have lived in your study country for less than a year when you apply for a loan; you are a U.K. resident studying in the U.K.; or you’re a U.S. resident studying in the U.S. but are not a citizen or permanent resident when you apply. U.S. residents may not borrow if living in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington or Wyoming.
- Demonstrate you have additional funds available for education. Prodigy Finance can fulfill anywhere between 80% and 100% of the cost of a degree, depending on the program and school.
- Can receive a student visa
Student borrowers receive, on average, $40,000 in loans. Credit qualifications vary by a borrower’s home country. Prodigy Finance did not provide specific income requirements or other typical borrower information.
How to apply for a Prodigy Finance student loan
Before you take out a private student loan, compare your options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer for borrowers who face difficulty making payments.
If you need funds for multiple academic periods, you’ll need a new application for each of those periods. Prodigy Finance says the application takes 30 minutes to complete.
1. Create an application. Check that you’re attending an eligible school, then register for an account and complete your application online. You’ll need to provide information about:
- The school and the academic period you need funding for
- Personal and contact information
- Residential information
- Budget, including how you plan to fund your study period
- Liabilities, including any existing debt that will not be used to support your studies
- Assets, including property and assets for which you are the sole owner or co-signatory
- Any additional information you think should be considered
2. Wait to receive a provisional offer. You’ll receive a response with a provisional offer within five days. This is a nonbinding loan agreement that allows Prodigy Finance to reserve funds for you. You have two weeks to accept the offer.
3. Verify information by providing documentation. Once you accept a provisional offer, you will need to upload documents that provide proof of your:
- Identity (passport or driver’s license)
- Eligible college admission (letter or email from your school)
- Credit report from your country
- Address (utility bill, bank statement, official government document)
- Income (three months’ salary slips and one corresponding bank statement)
- Savings, if applicable (official savings or investment account statements of the person making the contribution or gift, as well as a receipt of any prepayments to the school)
- Scholarship or company sponsorship, if applicable (a letter on official letterhead from the source)
- Financial aid form, if applicable (contact your school to obtain and complete)
4. Wait for loan approval. After your information is verified, you’ll receive a Loan Agreement letter, which can be used as proof of funds in your visa application.
5. Sign your loan agreement. When you arrive in your country of study, you’ll be contacted by Prodigy Finance to e-sign your agreement.
6. Wait for your school to receive funds. Money will be disbursed directly to your school.
Prodigy Finance student loan details
- Grace period: Six months from the class end date for full-time students, or, for part-time students, three months from final disbursement date
- Loan servicer: Prodigy Finance
- Application fee: None
- Origination fee: 2.5% administrative fee included in APR
- Late fees: Yes, a $25 fee
- Prepayment penalty: None
General repayment options
Full-time student borrowers have six months from the end of the academic period they borrowed money for to begin making monthly payments. Part-time students have three months from disbursement.
The amount due per month will vary as the underlying Libor rate changes. Borrowers should also allow for currency fluctuations between their billing statement and payment amount.
Repayment options for struggling borrowers
During the life of your loan, you may run into situations that make on-time payments difficult. Prodigy Finance advises borrowers to contact email@example.com if you’re having difficulty making payments to try to find a solution. Prodigy offers short-term forbearance or “grace periods” for various circumstances including:
• Economic hardship
• War or military conflicts
• Natural disasters
Prodigy Finance extras
- Referral bonus: You may receive a $300 bonus for referring other borrowers
- Scholarship opportunities: As a borrower, you can apply for a scholarship worth $10,000
- Phone discounts: Up to 35% off your monthly mobile phone rates when traveling to the U.S., including discounts on mobile phones and U.S. data plans and a $500 deposit fee waived
- Moving assistance: Prodigy offers help with finding a place to live; help securing a student visa; and a comprehensive travelers guide
- Member perks and networking: Access to their City Lookbook; networking events; and access to the Prodigy Finance Community group on LinkedIn
- Career services: Online workshops and discounts to individual career-coaching sessions and a free career course
Contact Prodigy Finance
Go to prodigyfinance.com and click “Contact Us” in the lower right corner of any page. Live chat is available. Its global number is (+44) 20 3900 3535, or in the U.S. you can call toll-free 866-533-3304.
Prodigy Finance student loan FAQs
- Can I apply with a co-signer? No.
- Can I qualify if I’ve filed for bankruptcy in the past? Decided on a case-by-case basis.
- Can I qualify if I don’t go to a Title IV-accredited school? Not considered. Schools vary by country.
STUDENT LOANS RATINGS METHODOLOGY
NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s private student loans ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
— Among the very best for consumer-friendly features
— Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features
— Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features
— Good; may not offer something important to you
— Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features
— Poor; proceed with great caution