As a global lender, MPOWER offers student loans to 180 countries. The loans are available to people who are attending college in the United States. Unlike most other lenders that offer loans to international students, MPOWER does not require a cosigner.
MPOWER was founded by nontraditional borrowers who saw a need in the market. CEO and co-founder Manu Smadja was an international student, and CIO and co-founder Mike Davis was a first-generation domestic student. Both faced unique issues as nontraditional students and formed MPOWER to help others like them.
MPOWER offers private student loans to qualifying students. Let’s look at the MPOWER loan offerings to find out if they are a good option.
Who Qualifies for MPOWER Student Loans?
The MPOWER student loan is one of the most unique options on the market. This nontraditional lender does look at the applicant’s credit report, but credit scores are not required for approval. Instead, it looks at employment and academic histories, and the student’s scholarships.
It also considers the person’s future earning potential as well as their future debt-to-income ratio. This helps the lender determine if the borrower will be able to repay the loan.
These loans are not available to new students. Instead, students must be two years away from completing their degree programs to qualify. They also must attend one of MPOWER’s partner schools to receive funds.
These fixed-rate loans have an interest rate that currently ranges from 8.85 percent to 14.87 percent, and the loan terms are ten years.
Students can get a minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $50,000 for the lifetime of the loan. Students cannot borrow more than $25,000 per year.
Money can be used for tuition, university housing, health insurance, meal plans, and other bills related to school.
Repayments are not as flexible with MPOWER student loans as they are with some other lenders. Borrowers cannot defer payments. Instead, they must make payments within 30 to 45 days after the loan is disbursed. Payments are due every month.
Initially, borrowers make small payments, but they must begin making full payments after 24 months. The loan must be paid off within ten years of borrowing the funds. There is also a 12-month forbearance available.
MPOWER charges a 5 percent loan origination fee that is added to the balance of the loan. Borrowers also pay a late fee of $5 or 4 percent of the loan amount.
MPOWER does not charge an application or pre-payment fee, and borrowers are eligible for discounts for setting up autopay and for paying on time for 24 consecutive months. In both cases, borrowers receive a 0.25 percent discount off their interest rates.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of MPOWER Loans
MPOWER loans make it easier for nontraditional students to go to school, regardless of their credit histories. International students and first-generation students who normally wouldn’t be able to receive funding without a cosigner might be eligible with MPOWER.
These loans help the students build credit histories they can use when buying a home or renting an apartment. The credit history can even help them get jobs once they complete school.
At the same time, this loan doesn’t have the flexibility of other products on the market. There is only one loan term available, and students have to begin repaying the loan when they are still in school.
Also, they cannot apply for the loan until they are two years away from graduation. That means they have to find other funding sources prior to receiving this loan. That can be difficult for some nontraditional students.
Applying with MPOWER
Students can quickly check their eligibility to find out if they qualify for a loan with MPOWER. The site allows students to check their eligibility online. Those who are eligible are invited to apply for a private student loan.
Students need their social security numbers, information about their desired careers, and employment and financial histories. A personal reference is also required.
In addition, competency test scores might be required, depending on the school. Students should check with their schools to find out if the score is required on their applications.
The Bottom Line
Obtaining funding as a nontraditional student isn’t always easy. MPOWER takes some of the hard work out of the process by making funding available to more students.
While the lack of flexibility with repayment can be difficult for some students, those who plan accordingly can benefit from an MPOWER loan. Then they can get the funding they need to make it through school and begin a profitable career.