For international students who want to study in North America, finding student loan lenders willing to work with them can be challenging, especially if they don’t have a relative who is a permanent resident or citizen who can act as a cosigner. MPOWER Financing aims to be a funding solution for students all over the globe. It offers loans to borrowers studying in the U.S. or Canada, and it doesn’t require students to have a cosigner or undergo a credit check. 

However, not all students are eligible for a loan from MPOWER Financing, and it has strict loan limits. Before applying for a loan, make sure you understand how these loans work and what fees are involved. 

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Pros
  • No credit check required

  • Available to international students without a cosigner

  • Interest rate discounts

Cons
  • Low loan maximums

  • High interest rates

  • Origination fees apply

  • Only one repayment option

Pros Explained

  • No credit check required With most private student loans, lenders will perform credit checks on applicants and require borrowers to have a good to excellent credit check to qualify for a loan. However, MPOWER Financing does not insist on credit checks, so you can get a loan even if you don’t have any credit. 
  • Available to international students without a cosigner While there are multiple private lenders that will lend to international students, most require them to have a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. With MPOWER Financing, you don’t need a cosigner; you can qualify for a loan entirely on your own. 
  • Interest rate discount available MPOWER Financing has multiple interest rate discounts, including automatic payment discounts, on-time payment discounts, and graduation and employment discounts. In total, you can reduce your interest rate by 1.5%.

Cons Explained

  • Low loan maximums The lender has relatively low loan maximums. The most students can borrow is $25,000 per year, with a $50,000 lifetime limit. If you need more than that to pay for your education, you’ll need to find other sources of financing. 
  • High interest rates MPOWER Financing has higher interest rates than you typically see with private student loans. As of May 13, 2020, the APR on international undergraduate loans was 13.63%, and the rate on international graduate loans was 12.94%. Both rates include 1.50% in rate discounts. Considering that some lenders offer rates as low as 4.301% for international students, MPOWER Financing’s rates are significantly higher.
  • Origination fees apply If MPOWER Financing approves your loan application and you proceed with the loan, the lender will charge you a 5% origination fee and add it to your loan balance. You will pay the fee over the loan’s repayment term.
  • Only one repayment option While other lenders have multiple repayment plans and loan terms, MPOWER Financing has just one.

Student Loans Offered by MPOWER Financing

MPOWER Financing has student loans for international students, U.S. citizens, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. They require interest-only payments while you’re in school and for six months after graduation, after which you’ll have a 10-year loan term with full interest and principal payments. Interest rates vary by loan type. 

U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident, and DACA Undergraduate Student Loans

U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and DACA students pursuing a bachelor’s degree can qualify for undergraduate student loans. These loans are eligible for multiple loan discounts, and there is no prepayment penalty.

Loan Terms for Domestic Undergraduate Loans
Fixed Rates 9.99% (10.91% APR)
Loan Amounts $2,001 to $25,000
Loan Terms 10 years

U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident, and DACA Graduate Student Loans

If you’re a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or DACA student and are going to graduate school, you may be eligible for MPOWER Financing’s graduate school loans, which have the lowest interest rates of all of its loans.

Loan Terms for Domestic Graduate Loans
Fixed Rates 7.99% (8.89% APR)
Loan Amounts $2,001 to $25,000
Loan Terms 10 years

International Student Undergraduate Loans

If you’re an international student within two years of graduating, you may be eligible for an undergraduate student loan. To qualify, you must be admitted to or already attending one of MPOWER Financing’s partner schools in the United States or Canada. It has more than 350 of them.

Loan Terms for International Undergraduate Students
Fixed Rates 13.99% (14.98% APR)
Loan Amounts $2,001 to $25,000
Loan Terms 10 years

International Graduate School Loans

As a graduate student enrolled in a one- or two-year program or within two years of graduation, you can qualify for MPOWER international graduate school loans. Like its other loans, the international graduate school loans are eligible for multiple interest rate discounts, and there is no prepayment penalty if you choose to pay off the loan early.

Loan Terms for International Graduate Students
Fixed Rates 11.99% (12.94% APR)
Loan Amounts $2,001 to $25,000
Loan Terms 10 years

Loan Eligibility

To qualify for a loan from MPOWER Financing, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • You are currently admitted to or enrolled in a school in the U.S. or Canada that MPOWER Financing supports.
  • You are within two years of graduating from your program.
  • You must reside in the U.S. or Canada while you are in school.
  • You are not a citizen of a restricted country or subject to individual sanctions.

Is Loan Prequalification Available? 

While MPOWER Financing doesn’t offer loan prequalification, it does have an eligibility check tool. By entering basic information about yourself and your program, you can see if you meet MPOWER Financing’s basic eligibility requirements. If so, you can move forward with the loan application process. If you are ineligible for a loan from MPOWER Financing, you may be able to take out a loan from one of its partners, such as Sallie Mae.

Student Loan Fees

MPOWER Financing charges origination fees and late fees. 

Origination Fees

Unlike many other private student loan lenders, MPOWER Financing does charge an origination fee to cover the cost of processing and disbursing the loan. If you’re approved for the loan and decide to move forward with it, the lender will charge you a 5% origination fee and add it to your loan balance. You do not pay the fee upfront; instead, you’ll repay it over the length of your loan term. 

For example, if you took out a $10,000 loan, your origination fee would be $500. That fee would be added to your loan balance, so you would have to repay—with interest—$10,500.

Late Fees

If you miss a payment, MPOWER Financing will charge you 4% of the unpaid amount of the past due payment or $5, whichever is less.

Student Loan Discounts 

MPOWER Financing borrowers can qualify for loan discounts for: 

  • Automatic Payment – Reduces your interest rate by 0.50% when you sign up for automatic payments
  • On-Time Payment Reduces your interest rate by 0.50% when you make six monthly payments on time with automatic payments
  • Graduation and Employment: Reduces your interest rate by 0.50% when you report proof of graduation and employment

If you take advantage of all three discounts, you could reduce your interest rate by 1.5%.

Repayment Options

MPOWER Financing only has one repayment option for its student loans. While you’re in school and during the first six months after graduation—your grace period—you’re required to make interest-only payments on your loans. Once the grace period expires, your 10-year repayment term begins, and you will start repaying the interest and principal.

Rewards

MPOWER Financing has a referral program. If you refer friends, and they apply for a loan and are approved—and mention your name on their loan application—you can qualify for cash bonuses, airline tickets, cruises, and merchandise.

Are Cosigners Required? 

MPOWER Financing does not require cosigners, nor are they even considered on your loan application. Instead, the lender looks at your future potential and any existing credit history you may have in your home country.

Forbearance and Loan Discharge Options

While MPOWER Financing doesn’t include details about its forbearance program on its website, it does say that borrowers experiencing financial hardships should call customer service to discuss their options.

Length of Time for Loan Approval and Disbursement

The application process doesn’t take long to complete. However, MPOWER Financing must submit your information to your college for certification, which can take a long time. According to the lender, certification can take between two to six weeks, so it’s a good idea to apply for a loan well in advance.

Is Student Loan Refinancing Available? 

MPOWER Financing does not offer student loan refinancing. If you’d like to refinance your education debt, check out our picks for the best refinancing lenders.

Customer Service

Depending on your credit approval, loans are issued by either MPOWER Financing or Bank of Lake Mills. MPOWER Financing is a newer company, founded in 2014. As such, it isn’t included in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s student loan ombudsman report, and reviews of the company don’t exist yet on TrustPilot or with the Better Business Bureau

Customer service is available via message through the lender’s website or by calling the following numbers: 

  • United States: 202-417-3800 
  • Canada: 647-503-4607 
  • India: 91-974-099-3115

Students from China can ask questions via the app WeChat.

Apply for an MPOWER Financing Student Loan

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and exhaust all federal, state, and institutional aid before turning to private student loans. If you’re an international student or DACA student and ineligible for federal aid, then you can move forward with your loan application. 

According to MPOWER Financing, the application takes about 30 minutes to complete. To do so, you’ll need the following information: 

  • List of school expenses (such as tuition, housing, and textbooks)
  • Résumé or CV (for graduate students)
  • Standardized test scores (for graduate students)
  • English proficiency exam scores 
  • College admissions letter
  • Past transcripts or diploma
  • Passport
  • Secondary photo ID (from your home country)
  • Supporting evidence of funds (such as bank statements or pay stubs)
  • References (such as family or friends)

Once all of your information is submitted, MPOWER Financing will review your application. If approved, the lender will work with your school to certify the loan. It can take up to six weeks before the loan is disbursed. 

Verdict

If you’re an international student, getting financing to study in the United States or Canada can be difficult. If you don’t have a cosigner, few lenders will be willing to work with you. MPOWER Financing is one of the few that doesn’t require a cosigner or a strong credit history. For international students without a supportive network, MPOWER Financing can be a useful option. 

However, its loans have high interest rates and fees, and it has limited repayment options. If possible, it’s worth shopping around for another lender—and asking friends and relatives to act as a cosigner—to find a loan with more-competitive rates and terms, so you can save money.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of student loan lenders. We collected over 45 data points across more than 15 lenders—including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their education needs.