Prodigy Finance provides flexible loans for international students. Read this guide to find out more about our company, how our loans work, and what you can expect from our application process.
- What is an international student loan & Why Prodigy Finance
- Who can get a loan with Prodigy Finance
- Schools we support
- How it works
- How is interest rate calculated
- When to apply
- What documents are required
- Understanding your offer
1. What is an international student loan
Studying abroad can be an expensive endeavor and many aspiring students choose to supplement their savings or family funds with other means to cover the costs. In addition to scholarships, assistantships, and grants, international students can also choose to take funding from loan providers.
When you take a loan, the lender provides the funds for your studies. They might send funds to you directly or send them to your school, on your behalf. In exchange, you agree to pay the money back at a later date. You are usually charged interest on these funds, as well as sometimes other fees or associated costs. The lender may also ask you to guarantee the loan by providing collateral (often in the form of property) or having a family member co-sign the loan with you (meaning they accept responsibility if you can’t pay).
Prodigy Finance is different to traditional lenders. We specialize in providing loans to international students based on their future earning potential. We never require you to have collateral or a co-signer to take a loan with us. Our unique lending model puts you in charge of your studies. You don’t need your parents to take the loan with you, and you and your family won’t have to provide any property or financial deposit to take a loan.
2. Who can get a loan with Prodigy Finance
Understanding whether you may be eligible for a loan can be daunting, here are some quick facts to help you before submitting an application:
What are our basic requirements:
We have two basic requirements to help us determine if you're eligible for a Prodigy Finance loan (subject to affordability check) :
- You plan to attend a school and course we support. Click here to explore our schools. Don’t forget that you can apply for a quote before you have admitted to your course - we'll only ask for proof of admission when we finalize your loan.
- You plan to study abroad
- You are from one of the 150 countries we support. You can find a list of countries we can't currently support here.
Are there any exceptions?
There are some exceptions, depending on where you are living at the time when you apply and where you plan to study:
If you're a UK resident:
You will be eligible for a loan for studies in the UK or abroad as long as you plan to attend a school and course we can support.
If you're a US resident:
You will be eligible for a loan for studies in the US or abroad as long as you're living in an eligible state (see the ineligible states in this article).
If you are currently living in the country you want to study in:
If you've lived in your study country for less than 1 year when you apply for a loan, you may still be eligible.
3.Schools we support
We currently support over 900 schools globally across Business, Engineering, Law, Public Policy and Medical and are expanding all the time.
Check out our list of schools below:
- Public Policy
- Health Sciences (dental, nursing and public health programme)
Can’t find the school you’d like to attend? Let us know where you plan to study by filling out this form and we’ll be in touch as soon as we have more information.
4. How it works
Step 1: Register and get your quote.
Provide your name and email to create an account with Prodigy Finance. This gives you access to a secure personal dashboard where you can keep track of your applications, documents, and get help via live chat with our customer support team.
- To find out more about the amount and conditions you are eligible for simply submit an application.
- If we’re able to offer you funding for the course you’ve chosen, we’ll provide you with a personalized quote, sometimes called a Provisional Offer. The quote will cover all the details, including: the total amount you can borrow for your course, the interest rate and any applicable fees, and the repayment terms available to you.
- Getting a quote is free and doesn’t require you to make any kind of commitment or submit any paperwork.
Check out our guide to completing an application here.
Step 2: Upload your documents.
When you’re ready to finalize your loan, you can accept your offer and move forward to verify the information you provided in your application. You can upload all of the required documents online via your dashboard.
Once you’ve shared the required documentation, we’ll send you a Loan Confirmation Letter. This document is often useful for proving you have sufficient funding when applying for your visa and when confirming your commitment to the school you’ve chosen to attend.
Step 3: Sign your loan agreement.
Once you arrive on campus, we’ll send you a copy of your final Loan Agreement to sign electronically. You can read more about this step here. While you get settled in your new home, we’ll prepare the funds to be sent to your school.
Step 4: Get your money.
We send the funds directly to your school, which means you don’t have to worry about transferring cash or paying forex charges. If you’re going to be using part of your loan to cover your living expenses, the school will pass additional funds to your new bank account in the country where you’re studying. You can read more about getting your funds in this article.
That’s a wrap! Now you can focus on your studies. If you’re studying full time, you’re not required to begin repaying your loan until 6-months after your course ends. If you want to begin making payments towards your loan before that time you can do so anytime, without any penalties or fees.
5.How is the interest rate calculated
Prodigy Finance assesses your future earning potential based on the information provided in your application, data provided by the schools we support, and data from our past customers.
The result is a unique credit model that allows us to offer you competitive rates without requiring a guarantee in the form of collateral or a co-signer.
- What is the interest calculation?
- Using APR as a comparative tool for your loan
- An example of a Prodigy Finance loan
What is the interest calculation?
We use simple interest rates, meaning that interest does not compound throughout the life of the loan. The interest rate is variable, and is made up of two components:
- a fixed margin, determined by Prodigy Finance
- a variable base rate, we use 3-month LIBOR as the base rate.
In addition to the interest rate, there is an admin fee for each loan we issue. The maximum admin fee is 4% of the total loan amount. This fee is added to your loan amount when the loan is issued and spread across your monthly payments- you're never required to pay this fee upfront.
For example, if you take a loan for USD 40,000, the maximum admin fee will be USD 1600. A total of USD 41,600 will be sent to your school. This is considered your opening balance. Interest will be calculated on this opening balance each month, during study and through your grace period. The grace period, in most cases, lasts for 6-months from the end of your course- you are only required to begin monthly payments after your grace period ends. Once your repayment period begins, the interest accumulated during grace is added to your balance, and any new interest is then calculated on this new opening balance.
Using APR as a comparative tool for your loan
The total cost of borrowing can be expressed as APR (Annual Percentage Rate). We recommend using APR when comparing loan offers and costs from different lenders. APR reflects interest plus all fees and the effects of any compounding.
Watch this video for more information about how APR can help you compare offers.
6.When to apply
You can apply at any time. Our application process helps you determine your eligibility for funding. If your application is successful, we’ll provide you with a customized quote.
Most prospective international students find it useful to gauge how much funding is available to them before proceeding to apply to be admitted to a course.
Read on for more details about the process of getting a quote:
- When can you get a quote or provisional offer?
- What happens once you have been admitted to your course?
When can you get a quote or a provisional offer?
You don't need to be admitted to apply and you can submit multiple applications to explore your funding options for different schools or courses. Remember, a quote is just a provisional offer for funding and does not bind you to any kind of agreement with Prodigy Finance. It's a great way to find out how we can support you without making a full commitment.
If you submit an application for funding while you’re still exploring your study options, you can always come back later and reapply once you know which course you’d like to attend. Previous applications won’t have any impact on our assessment of your application and will never jeopardize your likelihood of receiving an offer from Prodigy Finance.
What happens once you have been admitted to your course?
Once you've been admitted to a course, you can move forward by accepting your offer. At this stage in the process, you will need to provide documents confirming the information in your application - including proof of admission to the course you've selected.
Here are a few next steps to get started:
- Register to create an account so you can get a customized quote
- See which schools we support
- Learn more about the Prodigy Finance process
Don't forget that we are here to support you so if you have any questions or concerns, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
7.What documents are required
If you accept the offer in your quote, we’ll ask you to upload these documents to confirm the information you gave us in your application. Here's what you'll need:
Some tips when uploading your documents:
- Language translation and currency conversion
In some cases, our expert team can translate and convert the currency on your documents. Documents that most commonly require translation are proof of address and credit bureau reports. You may be able to speed up your process if you provide official, certified English translation of these documents.
- Uploading multiple files
You can upload multiple files by attaching them in the pop-up on your dashboard and submitting them together. If something doesn’t work the way it should, you can contact our expert team via chat Monday-Friday or email us at: email@example.com.
We set deadlines for each task to help keep you on track and make sure your funds are ready well in advance of when you need them. If you’re delayed in uploading a specific document reach out to our team so we can extend the deadline on your behalf. If you miss a deadline and we haven’t heard from you, we may have to withdraw your offer.
More information about the required documents:
- Proof of Identity
You can supply us with a copy of your passport or driver's license in a clearly legible format. A colour scan of the identification page is enough - you don't need to send through copies of every page. If you have more than one passport, please provide us with copies of all of them.
- Proof of Address
The document you upload needs to show your name and residential address, matching the information you provided in your application. The proof of address needs to be dated within the last three months. Please see this article on which documents we accept as proof of address.
- Credit Report
You can supply us with a copy of your credit report that summarises your individual credit history, prepared by a credit bureau from your country. Please see this article to learn more. The process for getting a report varies by country, some examples include:
- Applying from China? You can download a credit report from the People’s Bank of China website.
- Applying from India, the US or the UK? Click the button on your dashboard and we’ll get your report for you.
- Proof of Income (if applicable)
Please give us three months’ salary slips (dated within the last six months) and one corresponding bank statement. These should be on your employer’s official letterhead, with the logo and the appropriate signatures or stamps - we can’t accept screenshots or unofficial statements.
- Proof of Admission
We'll need a letter or email from your school showing your full name, school, course and an indication that you've been accepted. A screenshot or scan is great if it is provided in one of the following formats: JPG, JPEG, PNG, and PDF. Please see this article to learn more.
- Proof of Savings (if applicable)
If you’ve stated that you’ll be using savings to help pay for your studies and living costs while abroad we'll need an official savings or investment account statement. The statement needs to show available funds for the same amount listed in your application, but you won’t need to freeze any accounts.
Is someone else contributing to your funding in the form of additional savings? Just have them complete a form and then you can upload it to your dashboard, together with their statements.
Already made payments to your school? Great! We can use that as part of your proof of savings. Please upload transfer receipts or a paid invoice from the school with the accompanying bank statement showing the outgoing payment from your account.
- Proof of Scholarship / Company Sponsorship (if applicable)
If you’ve stated that you’ll be using a scholarship or company sponsorship to help cover the cost of your studies and living costs while abroad, we’ll need:
- A letter on official letterhead from the source of the scholarship/sponsorship
- The letter should show the same amount you included in your application
8. Understanding your offer
Need some help understanding the details of your offer? See below for a breakdown of each of the following terms or sections that you’ll find on a Prodigy Finance quote:
This is the amount you’re able to borrow for the upcoming period of your studies.
If you’ve requested more funding for a future study period (for example, next year’s tuition) and you’ve qualified for those, you’ll see that reflected as a conditional pre-approval. In most cases, even if you didn’t ask for those funds in this application, you can apply for more funding before the start of your next academic period. Keep reading for more details about your pre-approved amount below.
Variable Interest Rate
Our interest rates are composed of two parts:
We use simple interest rates, meaning that interest does not compound throughout the life of the loan. The interest rate is variable, and is made up of two components:
- A fixed margin, determined by Prodigy Finance. This is the fixed component of your rate, which means it will stay the same throughout the life of your loan.
- A variable base rate, we use 3-month LIBOR as the base rate. This is the variable component of your rate, which means we can't predict the exact rate that interest will accrue on your loan (though the LIBOR rate tends to be quite stable). Read more about LIBOR here.
APR, or Annual Percentage Rate (APR), is a way to express the total cost of taking a loan. It is often used as a tool to compare loan offers from different providers. This shouldn’t be confused with your estimated interest rate. It helps you compare apples to apples by taking into account all of the costs of funding that you’ll need to cover.
Those costs include the interest rate, the effects of any compounding interest, and any administrative or origination fees. For more details about APR, click here.
Loan Repayment Term
This is the equivalent of saying “how long will you be making regular payments?”. If you paid your loan installments exactly on schedule, you would make repayments over the course of either 7 years, 10 years, or 15 years.
You will only be required to start repaying your loan 6-months after the end of your course*. Interest will accrue while you are studying and during this period, which is called the grace period, but no payment is required.
If you want to start paying before the grace period ends or want to pay off your loan ahead of schedule, you’ll save money. We’ll never charge you a fee for starting payment early or paying your loan ahead of schedule.
*Applies to full-time courses
Estimated Monthly Repayments
This is the amount you can expect to pay each month. It’s an estimate because your monthly payment will change slightly according to the LIBOR rate, as explained previously. You can read more about monthly payments on our blog.
Remember that you will be making payments in the same currency as your loan. If you are earning a salary in a different currency, you’ll need to convert your funds before sending through a payment.
This refers to the amount we’ve conditionally pre-approved for you to use for the next part of your studies. It’s important to note that we’ll hold these funds for you, but you need to complete another application in advance of the next academic period to confirm that you’d like us to send these funds to your school. We recommend applying at least a month before the start of your new academic period – the earlier the better!
Why another application? As a responsible lender, Prodigy Finance will always assess your credit standing, liabilities and access to additional savings before the start of any new period.
We’re looking out for you, and want to make sure you can effectively fund your entire course without the risk of over-indebtedness after you graduate. It’s also an opportunity for you to share important changes to your financial situation and to make any adjustments.
What can you do to make sure your pre-approved funds stay secure?
Keep your credit profile in good order – make sure you’re paying off any debts on time. Be careful about taking on additional debt that wasn’t stated on your original loan application - we’ll need to adjust our offer accordingly if you do to make sure you don’t end up over-indebted.
Your financial position should remain the same – no changes in your post-study salary if you have one, unless you get an even better offer and Prodigy Finance can potentially improve the conditions of your loan!
If you’re a part-time student, you need to stay employed and be remunerated at the same level or better.
We’ll ask for documentation showing any savings, scholarship or sponsorship you indicated you’d be using for the next academic period. If you’ve set aside funds for the next part of your course, make sure they’re still available when you need them.
If you still have any questions, please email us on info@prodigyfinance,com, or contact us through Live Chat (you can find it on the right bottom of your application dashboard).