The bottom line: Blair offers income share agreements to college students over the age of 18 in any major. Its lifetime funding total is $20,000. NerdWallet doesn't have enough information from Blair to rate it or compare it with other lenders.
Blair Income Share Agreement
Min. Credit Score
Pros & Cons
Every college major is eligible.
Lending decisions are not based on your credit score.
You receive free career coaching services.
Payments aren’t due if you earn less than $25,000, but this extends your contract’s term.
Payment cap of 2.5x of the amount received may be higher than other ISAs.
Grace period may be as short as 1 month, depending on the agreement.
Compare to Other Lenders
Blair is a startup launched in 2019 that offers money to college students via contracts known as income share agreements, or ISAs.
You can use funds from an ISA to help pay for education costs like tuition and living expenses, similar to a student loan. But ISAs and student loans aren't the same. The biggest difference is that you repay an ISA as a percentage of your future income; traditional loan payments are based on the amount you borrow, an interest rate and a repayment term.
ISAs also have repayment terms, as well as payment caps, to manage how much you pay overall. Blair ISAs typically last three to eight years, with a cap of 2.5 times the amount received.
Here’s what that could look like: Say you received $20,000 from Blair, its funding maximum, with an eight-year repayment term. Depending on your post-graduate income, you could eventually pay up to $50,000 for those funds. But if you paid less than that amount after eight years — or even less than the $20,000 you received — your contract would still end.
Most ISAs come from colleges themselves, but funding from Blair can be used at multiple schools. Money is also available for every major, which sets Blair apart from other direct-to-consumer ISA providers, such as Stride Funding and Avenify. But typically, ISAs offer more favorable terms to students with higher earning potential, such as those in health care fields.
Blair doesn’t disclose its exact ISA terms, and it declined to answer NerdWallet’s questions about its agreements. Personalized quotes are available on Blair’s website, but applications are closed through at least the end of 2020. ISAs are unregulated, so make sure you understand all the details of an agreement before signing with Blair or a different provider.
Blair Income Share Agreements at a Glance
Payments capped at 2.5 times the amount borrowed.
Typical payment terms are three to eight years.
Payments aren’t due if you earn less than $25,000.
How Blair Could Improve
Increase transparency on its website, such as providing income share ranges by major and a sample contract.
Count months in which you didn't earn enough to owe payments toward your repayment term.
Estimate the cost of an income share agreement
Blair income share agreement details
How to apply for a Blair income share agreement
Before taking out a Blair ISA, or any other type of private student debt, exhaust your federal student loan options first. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply.
» MORE: NerdWallet’s FAFSA Guide
Compare your projected costs under an ISA to private student loan options to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. In addition to how much you’ll repay, look at a lender's repayment alternatives and the flexibility it offers to borrowers who struggle to make payments.
STUDENT LOANS RATINGS METHODOLOGY
An income share agreement is not a student loan, but borrowers may choose between the two. NerdWallet believes the best education lending product is one that costs you the least. That’s why NerdWallet’s ratings reward lenders that offer favorable loan terms, limit 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 best deal you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.