The bottom line:
Edly offers income share agreements-style student loans to students within two years of graduation. The maximum funding amount is $20,000. That makes Edly a good option if you are close to graduation and would pay less overall than with a private student loan or if you can’t qualify for a loan.
Pros & Cons
No credit history required.
Available to students without a co-signer.
No payment required if borrower's income is less than $30,000 per year.
Borrowers have to repay 2.5X the borrowed amount if they want to pay off the loan early.
Not available to freshmen and sophomores receiving a four-year degree.
Not available to borrowers in Colorado, Maine, Vermont and West Virginia.
Compare to Other Lenders
Avenify offered its first income share agreements, or ISAs, in 2019. In January 2022, Avenify was acquired by Edly and started offering income share agreement-style student loans under the Edly brand.
With an income share agreement, borrowers agree to pay a percentage of their post graduation salary for a predetermined length of time to satisfy repayment. Edly says its median offered income share is 5.3% but doesn't disclose its full rate range.
You can receive up to $20,000 from Edly but must be within two years of graduation to qualify. Approved programs include STEM, nursing, education, business, public administration, journalism, homeland security, teaching and public policy.
You don't need a co-signer for Edly loans, but you could end up paying way more than you would with a traditional student loan depending on your offer. How much you'll pay depends on the loan's specific terms and your post-graduation income. Compare potential ISA costs with private loan offers to get the best deal possible.
Exhaust federal loans before turning to any alternative funding option, especially if you plan to participate in a loan forgiveness program such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Federal student loans don't require a co-signer, either.
Say you plan to become a registered nurse and earn $83,000, the average salary for RNs in 2021. If you took out a $20,000 Edly student loan with an income share of 5.3%, you would repay $21,995 over five years (assuming annual salary increases of 2%). That would be similar to repaying a loan with a 2% interest rate, which is lower than private lenders offer.
But if your income share were 7.5%, you would repay $31,125 over that same period — the equivalent of a student loan with an interest rate of 11.13%.
No matter your income share percentage, you won't pay more than 2.25 times what you borrowed. So on a $20,000 loan, your repayment can be as high as $45,000.
However, if you earn less than $30,000 a year, you won't have to make payments at all. Any months you aren't required to make payments still count toward the cap repayment period — the maximum period you can be responsible for the loan — of 120 months (10 years). If you are making payments, the term is 60 months.
If you want to repay an Edly loan early, you will have to pay up to the repayment cap, which is 2.25 times the borrowed amount. If your goal is to repay the debt early, consider other private student loans.
Edly Income Share Agreements at a glance
Average income share of 5.3%.
Payments aren't due if you earn less than $30,000.
Total payments are capped at 2.25 times the amount borrowed.
How Edly could improve
Like other five-star lenders, Edly isn't perfect. It could improve by:
Providing funding for students pursuing certificates.
Offer more than one repayment term.
Estimate the cost of an income share agreement
Edly income share agreement details
How to apply for an Edly income share agreement
Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA, to apply. Before taking out an Edly ISA or any other type of private student debt, exhaust your federal student loan options first.
» MORE: NerdWallet's FAFSA Guide
Compare your projected costs under an ISA with private student loan options to ensure you get the best deal possible. In addition to how much you'll repay, look at lenders' repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.
Student loan ratings methodology
Our survey of more than 29 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.
We consider 40 features and data points for each financial institution. Depending on the category, these include the availability of biweekly payments through autopay, minimum credit score and income requirement disclosures, availability to borrowers in all states, extended grace periods and in-house customer service.
The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.