International MBA students who have had trouble securing loans for their education have a new option at 17 top schools, including Harvard Business School, Wharton, and Columbia Business School. Prodigy Finance has launched a new loan program for international students and U.S. residents with non-permanent status who do an MBA in the U.S.
The loans, with interest rates that vary between 6% and 12%, are capped at the cost of tuition, and can only be used for tuition. Prodigy Finance said that borrowers do not have to have guarantors, co-signers, or collateral to qualify for the loans.
Many banks don’t lend to students who are studying internationally. To fill this need, Prodigy Finance is using a “community finance” model, by which alumni help fund loans that are intended for current students. Terms vary by business school, an individual’s profile, and current Libor rates. An administrative fee of 3.5% of the loan amount is also charged.
A SIX-MONTH GRACE PERIOD ON A TEN-YEAR LOAN
Under the program, no loan payments would be required until six months after graduation. There is a ten-year payback period on the loan, with no penalties for early repayment.
Since launching in 2007, Prodigy Finance said it has distributed around $50 million to some 1,300 students. It provides loans to students doing their MBAs at business schools all over the world, including France’s HEC Paris, Singapore’s NUS Business School, and the Britain’s Oxford University Said Business Schools, among others.
In the U.S. pilot program, loans are available for international students doing their MBAs at the following business schools:
Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business
Columbia University — Columbia Business School
Cornell University – Johnson Graduate School of Management
Dartmouth College – Tuck School of Business
Georgetown University – McDonough School of Business
Harvard Business School
MIT – Sloan School of Management
New York University – Stern School of Business
Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management
UCLA – Anderson School of Management
UNC – Chapel Hill – Kenan-Flagler Business School
University of Chicago – Booth School of Business
University of Michigan – Ross School of Business
University of Virginia – Darden School of Business
University of California – Berkeley Haas School of Business
Duke University – Fuqua School of Business
University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School