The bottom line:
Stride Funding offers income share agreements, primarily to health care and STEM students at most schools eligible for Title IV federal aid. Stride is a good option if you’ll pay less overall with an ISA than other education financing options, or if you can’t qualify for a credit-based private student loan.
Pros & Cons
Payments aren’t due if you’re unemployed.
Lending decisions are not based on your credit score.
You receive free career services, including job placement support.
There’s no discount for paying off your agreement early like some lenders offer.
Funding may not be available based on your school or major.
Not available in South Carolina.
Compare to Other Lenders
Stride Funding began offering income share agreements, or ISAs, in 2019 under the name AlmaPact. Like traditional student loans, ISAs offer upfront funding for your education. But ISA payments are based on your income, not an interest rate.
Most ISAs are offered by individual colleges. Stride stands out because you can receive funding at most schools — but primarily for STEM and health care majors. Graduate students are preferred, though you can qualify as a college junior or senior.
Stride caps payments at two times the amount borrowed. For example, if you receive $25,000, you could repay up to $50,000. That limit is lower than some other private ISAs, but you could pay even less: Stride anticipates that fewer than 5% of students will hit their payment cap.
A Stride ISA can make sense if you expect it to be less expensive than PLUS loans, private loans or your college’s own ISA, or if you can’t qualify for those options. Always max out subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans before turning to any of these alternatives.
Stride Funding Income Share Agreements at a Glance
Income shares typically range from 2% to 9.5% of your gross income.
Payments aren’t due if you earn less than $30,000 or $40,000, depending on the ISA.
Payments capped at two times the amount borrowed.
How Stride Funding could improve
Offer a discount for paying off your ISA contract early.
Count qualified periods of unemployment toward your repayment term.
Increase transparency on its website, such as providing a sample contract.
Estimate the cost of an income share agreement
Stride Funding income share agreement details
How to apply for a Stride Funding income share agreement
Before taking out a Stride Funding 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.
» MORE: NerdWallet’s FAFSA Guide
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.