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 , 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.
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.
Compare your projected costs under an ISA to 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.
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 .
on Stride's website