Blair Income Share Agreement Review

Blair offers income share agreements for every college major; applications for funding may be closed.
Cecilia Clark
By
Last updated on January 5, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Karen Gaudette Brewer
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

The Nerdy headline:

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.

Jump to:Full Review
Blair Income Share Agreement
Blair Income Share Agreement

Min. credit score
None

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.

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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.

» MORE: Who should use an income share agreement?

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.

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