MPOWER Reviews: Student Loan Refinancing and Private Student Loans for International Students

MPOWER offers hard-to-find student loans and refinancing for international and DACA students.
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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Student loan ratings

MPOWER Private Student Loan
MPOWER Private Student Loan

4.5

NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

MPOWER Financing is best for international students and students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA status. It offers student loan refinancing and undergraduate student loans for juniors and seniors, as well as graduate students.

MPOWER Private Student Loan review

MPOWER Private Student Loan
MPOWER Private Student Loan

4.0
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score
None
Fixed APR
13.74-15.01%
on MPOWER's website

Pros

  • Offers a hard-to-find option: non-co-signed student loans for international and DACA students.

  • Borrowers are assigned a dedicated student loan advisor.

  • Borrowers can request forbearance of up to 24 months, which is longer than many lenders offer.

Cons

  • Payment required while in school and during the grace period.

  • Offers only one repayment term: 10 years.

Best for international students and students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status.

MPOWER Financing offers student loans for undergraduate and graduate students who are within two years of graduating, or those about to begin a 1- or 2-year program. MPOWER is best used as an option for international students planning to study in the U.S. or Canada and students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status.

Students from the U.S. have access to federal student loans and can get private loans with better terms and more beneficial repayment options from other lenders. If you're a U.S. citizen in search of a lender, you can compare private student loans here.

MPOWER is one of the few lenders to offer loans to international and DACA students who come from as many as 152 countries, with the greatest share coming from India, Nigeria, China, Brazil and Ghana. Ninety-four percent of MPOWER borrowers are in their country of study on a student visa and another 2% have DACA status. Students must attend one of the 400+ MPOWER-approved schools in the U.S. or Canada

Since most international borrowers do not have a U.S. credit history, MPOWER considers borrowers' earning potential as it makes underwriting decisions.

MPOWER at a glance

• Ideal for international and DACA students without a co-signer or U.S. credit history.

• Higher fixed interest rates and fees than other student loans.

• Interest-only payments required while in school and during the six-month grace period.

How MPOWER could improve

MPOWER could improve by offering additional programs such as:

• The option to fully pause payments while in school, rather than making interest payments each month.

• Eliminating its 5% origination fee.

• Offer more than one loan term.

MPOWER private student loan details

    • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes. Borrowers will be told what amount they’d be approved for the rate as long as their documents prove all the data they’ve already given.

    • Loan terms: 10 years.

    • Loan amounts: $2,001 minimum. $100,000 annual maximum limited to $50,000 per academic period.

    • Application or origination fee: Yes; 5% origination fee added to the loan balance.

    • Prepayment penalty: No.

    • Late fees: Yes, 4% of the unpaid amount of the past due payment or $5, whichever is less.

    • Compare MPOWER's range of interest rates with other private student loan lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate MPOWER will offer you, apply on its website.

  • Financial

    MPOWER considers dozens of data points, such as future income potential and GPA, to determine creditworthiness and make a lending decision. The company reviews credit history, but credit scores are not a factor in its decision since most international students do not have U.S. credit scores.

    • Minimum credit score: Credit score not considered.

    • Minimum income: Did not disclose.

    • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Credit not required.

    • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.

    • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

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

    Other

    • Citizenship: International students must be from one of the countries MPOWER works with. DACA students do not need a Social Security number to qualify.

    • Location: Available to international borrowers attending eligible colleges in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Canada.

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

    • Types of schools served: Borrowers must attend one of the 400+ schools that MPOWER works with.

    • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: No co-signer required.

  • In-school

    All MPOWER borrowers are required to make interest-only payments starting 45 days after loan funds have been disbursed.

    Post-school

    All loans have a 10-year repayment term.

    • Grace period: 6 months. Interest-only payments are still required.

    • In-school deferment: Students enrolled at least half-time are eligible for up to 24 months of deferment while continuing to make interest-only payments.

    • Military deferment: Active-duty service members can defer payments for 24 months, in 12-month increments. Interest still accrues, but during the period of active service, interest on loans will be reduced to 6%.

    • Hardship forbearance: Available if you have a late payment or are about to miss a payment. Borrowers have a 24-month limit on forbearance, available in six-month increments. During forbearance, interest will continue to accrue on the loan.

    • Natural disaster forbearance: Available in three-month increments for borrowers affected by natural disasters, as confirmed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Interest still accrues.

    • Co-signer release available: No co-signer required.

    • Death or disability discharge available: Yes.

    • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: No.

    Repayment preferences

    • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

    • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: Yes.

    • Loan servicer: Launch Servicing & Nelnet Servicing.

    • In-house customer service team: Yes.

    • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

    • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Yes.

    • Average time from application to approval: 3-5 business days.

    • Career coaching staff available.

    • Visa process assistance for preapproved borrowers.

    • Prequalify for a Zolve credit card and bank account.

    • Autopay interest discount: 0.25%.

Before applying for a MPOWER student loan

Before taking out an MPOWER student loan or any other private student loan, exhaust your federal student loan options first. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply.

Compare your international student loan options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.

If you aren’t eligible for a MPOWER student loan

If MPOWER denies your student loan application, the lender will let you know why.

You can also consider other lenders that don’t require co-signers or specialize in bad or no credit student loans.

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.

Compare international student loans
Lender
Fixed APR
Min. credit score
Variable APR
MPOWER Private Student Loan
4.0
Check rateon MPOWER's website
on MPOWER's website
13.74- 15.01%
None
N/A
N/A
N/A
11.06- 14.96%
4.50- 15.49%
Mid-600's
6.37- 16.70%
Check rateon Sallie Mae's website
on Sallie Mae's website
4.13- 15.46%
Low-Mid 600s
6.17- 16.11%
4.42- 15.90%
650
5.62- 16.20%
Check rateon Earnest's website
on Earnest's website
View more

MPOWER Student Loan Refinance review

MPOWER Student Loan Refinance

4.5
NerdWallet rating
Min. credit score
None
Fixed APR
11.74-12.95%
on MPOWER's website

Pros

  • DACA and international students can qualify.

  • Can refinance an international student loan.

  • You can refinance your parent's loan in your name.

Cons

  • Borrowers incur a 2% origination fee on the refinanced amount.

  • Only one loan term available.

  • Few options for struggling borrowers.

Best for international borrowers working in the United States.

Full Review

MPOWER Financing started offering student loan refinancing in 2021. MPOWER refinancing is best for international borrowers with education loans from abroad and borrowers with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status who are working in the United States.

U.S. borrowers may have access to more refinancing options and can compare offers from a larger pool of companies. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you can compare student loan refinancing loans here.

MPOWER is an outlier in the student loan refinancing realm because it caters to international students. It may be the only company that allows international students to refinance their student loans in the U.S. The company also says they will refinance student loans that were originated outside of the U.S., loans used for schools outside of the U.S. and loans used for non-traditional education paths, like bootcamps.

To qualify, you will need at least three months of work tenure in the U.S. and have a valid visa. Rather than rely on credit scores, MPOWER considers income and debt obligations when deciding to offer refinancing. MPOWER also doesn’t require (or accept) co-signers.

MPOWER at a glance

  • Ideal for international and DACA borrowers without a co-signer or U.S. credit history.

  • All approved borrowers get the same interest rate.

How MPOWER could improve

  • Offer more than one loan term.

MPOWER student loan refinancing details

    • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: Yes.

    • Loan terms: 10 years.

    • Loan amounts: $2,001 to $100,000.

    • Can transfer a parent loan to the child: Yes.

    • Application or origination fee: No.

    • Prepayment penalty: No.

    • Late fees: Yes, the lesser of $5 or 4% of the late amount.

    Compare MPOWER's range of interest rates with other international student loan refinance lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate MPOWER will offer you, apply on its website.

  • Financial

    • Minimum credit score: None.

    • Minimum income: No minimum. Applicants must be employed in the U.S. with at least three month tenure and valid visa (including H1-B, and F-1 while on OPT) or are a DACA recipient, a U.S. Citizen, refugee or asylum seeker, and at least two more years of work authorization.

    • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: N/A.

    • Typical income of approved borrowers: Not disclosed.

    • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not disclosed.

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

    Other

    • Citizenship: U.S. citizen, DACA recipient, refugee or asylum seeker or have a valid visa.

    • Location: Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Can refinance loans that were originated in 190 countries.

    • Must have graduated: Yes, must have at least a bachelor's degree.

    • Must have attended a school authorized to receive federal aid: No.

    • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: Borrowers cannot apply with a co-signer.

    • Academic deferment: Yes.

    • Military deferment: Yes.

    • Forbearance: Yes, up to 24 months.

    • Co-signer release available: There's no option to add a co-signer, but refinancing removes the original co-signer.

    • Death or disability discharge: Yes.

    • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: No option for a co-signer.

    Repayment Preferences

    • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

    • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: Yes.

    • Loan servicer: Launch Servicing.

    • In-house customer service team: Yes.

    • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

    • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: Yes.

    • Average time from approval to payoff: As fast as four business days.

    • .25% interest rate discount for autopay.

Before refinancing with MPOWER

Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you aren’t eligible to refinance with MPOWER

If MPOWER denies your refinance application, the lender will let you know why.

NerdWallet recommends prequalifying with multiple refinance lenders before you apply. This will let you know which lenders you may be eligible with, without affecting your credit.

STUDENT LOAN REFINANCE 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 the top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

We consider 41 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.

Find the Right Student Loan

Private student loansStudent loan refinancingCalculate monthly paymentsGraduate school loansStudent loan interest rates

Frequently asked questions

  • MPOWER Financing is a lender that provides student loan refinancing and student loans for undergraduate juniors and seniors, as well as graduate students. MPOWER is best used as an option for international students and students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status.

  • MPOWER Financing is a niche private student lender aimed at providing higher education financing for international and DACA students. It officially launched in 2015 and is registered as a public benefit corporation.

  • MPOWER offers student loan refinancing and private student loans to international students and students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status.

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