Edly Review: Private Student Loans

Edly offers income-based private student loans to students within two years of graduation.

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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Edly offers income-based repayment student loans to students within two years of graduation. The maximum lifetime funding amount is $25,000. That makes Edly a good option if you are close to graduation and would pay less overall than with a standard private student loan or if you can’t qualify for a loan with a co-signer.

Edly Private Student Loan
Edly Private Student Loan
Min. credit score
None

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Borrowers have to repay 2.25X 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

Stride Funding Income Share Agreement
Ascent Independent Student Loan
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score

None

Min. credit score

Varies

Fixed APR

N/A

Fixed APR

10.50-16.75%

Variable APR

N/A

Variable APR

8.33-14.40%

Full Review

Since late 2021, Edly, in partnership with FinWise Bank (member FDIC) has offered income-based repayment, or IBR, student loans. Edly student loans are available to undergraduate juniors and seniors as well as graduate students at more than 1,700 schools.

Edly purchased Avenify in January 2022.

Similar to an income share agreement, or ISA, Edly's IBR loan asks borrowers to agree to pay a percentage of their post-graduation salary or a predetermined length of time to satisfy repayment. Edly's IBR has many protections and disclosures associated with standard private student loan products. They also feature maximum repayment and maximum APR caps, which prevent unpaid balances growing endlessly. Edly says its median offered income-based repayment rate is 5.8% doesn't disclose its full rate range.

You can receive up to $25,000 from Edly but must be within two years of graduation to qualify. Specifically, borrowers can get $15,000 per academic year and $10,000 for summer sessions. 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 the potential costs of an Edly loan with other 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-based repayment rate of 5.8%, you would repay $24,070 over five years (assuming annual salary increases of 2%). That would be similar to repaying a loan with a 4% interest rate, which is lower than many 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-based repayment 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 an Edly loan is not repaid after 120 months, the remaining balance is canceled with no further repayment obligation.

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-based Repayment Loans 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

  • Providing funding for students pursuing certificates.

  • Offer more than one repayment term.

Estimate the cost of an income share agreement

Edly income-based repayment loan details

  • Income-based repayment rates: Median, 5.8%. Full range not disclosed.

  • Soft credit check to qualify: Yes.

  • Repayment term: 5 years, but can extend up to 10 years total via deferment.

  • Amounts: $5,000 to $25,000.

  • Payment cap: 2.25 times amount borrowed.

  • Application or origination fee: No.

  • Prepayment discount: No.

  • Late fees: Yes; $25 or 6% of the past-due balance, whichever is less.

Compare Edly's costs with those for other financing options, like private student loans. To see what terms Edly will offer. Apply on its website.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: No minimum credit score.

  • Minimum income for payments: $30,000.

  • Average post-graduation income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 36%.

  • Can qualify if you've filed for bankruptcy: No.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Location: Not available in Colorado, Maine, Vermont and West Virginia.

  • Must be enrolled half-time or more: Yes.

  • Types of schools served: Approved schools have programs in STEM, nursing, education, business, public administration, journalism, homeland security, teaching, public policy, and more.

  • College level: You must be within two years of graduating.

In-school repayment options:

  • Deferred: No payments are required while in school.

Post-school repayment options:

  • Grace period: Four months.

  • Salary floor: $30,000. Payments aren't required when you earn below this amount. If you're working full time and earning below the salary floor, those months count toward your maximum payment term of 120 months.

  • 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 count toward your full repayment term.

  • In-school deferment: No.

  • Military deferment: No.

  • Forbearance: You cannot pause repayment based on a temporary economic hardship or for reasons other than the ones listed above.

  • Death or disability discharge: Yes.

Repayment preferences

  • Reports payments to credit bureaus: Yes.

  • Servicer: Nelnet.

  • In-house customer service team: Yes.

  • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.

  • Average time from application to approval: Immediately.

  • Career services: No.

How to apply for an Edly income share agreement

Visit Edly's website to apply. Before taking out an Edly ISA or any other type of private student debt, exhaust your federal student loan options first.

Compare your projected costs under Edly's IBR loan with other 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.