Blair Income Share Agreement: 2020 Review

Blair offers income share agreements for every college major; applications for funding are closed until 2021.

Ryan LaneNovember 18, 2020
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

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

Blair Income Share Agreement

Min. Credit Score

None

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Every college major is eligible.

  • Lending decisions are not based on your credit score.

  • You receive free career coaching services.

Cons

  • 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

Stride Funding Income Share Agreement
Ascent Private Student Loan
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Fixed APR

N/A

Fixed APR

3.58 - 14.50%

Variable APR

N/A

Variable APR

2.69 - 12.98%

Ascent Student Loans are funded by Richland State Bank (RSB), Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: www.AscentStudentLoans.com/Ts&Cs. Rates are effective as of 11/01/2020 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 2.00% (for undergraduate future income-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: AscentStudentLoans.com/Rates . 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Click here for details. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student borrowers must have a minimum credit score. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner.

Min. Credit Score

None

Min. Credit Score

680

Full Review

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

  • Income share rates: Varies by contract. Contact lender for details.

  • Soft credit check to qualify: Credit not needed to qualify.

  • Repayment term: Typically three to eight years.

  • Amounts: $1,000 to $20,000 (lifetime maximum).

  • Payment cap: 2.5 times amount borrowed.

  • Application or origination fee: ISAs typically do not charge these fees, but contact lender for details.

  • Prepayment discount: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Late fees: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

Compare Blair’s costs with those for other financing options, like private student loans. To see what ISA terms Blair will offer you, apply on its website.

FINANCIAL

  • Minimum credit score: Non-credit based.

  • Minimum projected post-graduation income: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Average post-graduation income of approved borrowers: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

OTHER

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, but international students may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

  • Location: Contact lender for information about states in which funding is available.

  • Must be enrolled half time or more: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Types of schools served: Contact lender for details about which types of postsecondary schools qualify. Every major is eligible for funding.

  • College level: A year in school is not specified, but you must be at least 18 years old to qualify.

IN-SCHOOL REPAYMENT OPTIONS:

  • Deferred: No payments required while you’re in school.

POST-SCHOOL REPAYMENT OPTIONS

  • Grace period: One to six months, depending on the contract.

  • Salary floor: $25,000. Payments aren’t required when you earn below this amount. If you’re working full time and earning below the salary floor, those months do not count toward your payment term.

  • Unemployment deferment: Payments aren’t required during periods of unemployment. If you’re seeking full-time employment — and provide proof of your efforts — these months do count toward your repayment term.

  • In-school deferment: Yes. Periods in school do not count toward your repayment term.

  • Military deferment: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Forbearance: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Death or disability discharge: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

REPAYMENT PREFERENCES

  • Reports payments to credit bureaus: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Servicer: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • In-house customer service team: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Process for escalating concerns: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Average time from application to approval: Information unavailable. Contact lender for details.

  • Career services: Blair says it offers mentorship services and help with resumes, cover letters and interviews.

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.

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.