Prodigy Finance Student Loans Review

Funding for international grad students, but expensive with limited availability

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Prodigy Finance

Prodigy Finance

Investopedia’s Rating
3.3

Our Take

Prodigy Finance removes a lot of the traditional funding barriers for international students and can make your grad school dreams a reality. If you're able to get funding from another source, however, you'll probably get better repayment terms on your student loan.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Wide choice of repayment term lengths

  • No co-signer, credit, or collateral needed

  • Can get a quote before you're admitted to a certain program

  • Lots of assistance with funding and international college student life

Cons
  • Only available for international graduate students

  • Only offers relatively high variable-rate options

  • Funding dependent on whether you're "matched" with a funder

  • Funding limited to certain countries, schools, and degree programs

Key Takeaways
  • Prodigy Finance is a U.K.-based lender that funds graduate degrees for people studying at one of 850 schools in 18 countries. 
  • Prodigy Finance was founded in 2007 by three former MBA students.
  • Most of Prodigy Finance's borrowers choose to study in the United States and are the first person in their families to attend grad school.
  • Prodigy Finance uses a different funding model in which it raises money on an annual basis to offer loans, meaning that you may need to wait to be matched with available funding.
Company Overview

Pulling together enough funding to get a graduate degree abroad is already a monumental task for most students, and that's even before you start classes. Prodigy Finance specializes in just these types of loans, however. It was founded in 2007 by three former MBA students studying at INSEAD, the Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires.

Prodigy Finance differentiates itself by serving international students who may not come from families with deep pockets. It's available for students studying abroad in 18 countries and most U.S. states and territories. Funding is limited to grad students in certain programs with an expected high economic return at over 850 universities.

  • Year Founded 2007
  • Official Website www.prodigyfinance.com
  • Loans Offered International graduate student loans
  • Costumer Service By phone: Global: (+44) 20-3900-3535 US: (866) 533-3304 UK: 0800-368-8766 India: 000-800-9190-242 Brazil: 11-3197-8763 By mail: London Headquarters Hardy House 16-18 Beak Street W1F9RD London United Kingdom By webinar: Thursdays at 5:30 PM (GMT +3.5; India Standard Time) By email: info@prodigyfinance.com By web form: https://support.prodigyfinance.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Prodigy Finance Student Loans: Quick Look

Loan Type Variable APR   Fixed APR
Graduate loan Minimum of 10.50%; average of 14.20% N/A

Prodigy Finance is an excellent choice if you don't have access to more affordable international student loans. However, it's far from your cheapest option. 

Pros Explained

  • Wide choice of repayment term lengths: You can choose repayment term lengths ranging from 7 to 20 years. Keep in mind that opting for a longer term lowers your monthly payment but boosts how much interest you pay—unless you pay off the loan early.
  • No co-signer, credit, or collateral needed: Most international student loans require you to have a co-signer, which is a problem if your family isn't able to do that. Prodigy Finance offers loans based on your future earning ability—not just you and your family's current financial state.
  • Can get a quote before you're admitted to a certain program: A big difference with Prodigy Finance is that you can get multiple loan quotes for different schools if you're currently undecided. Together with your financial aid package, you can use that info to select the best-priced school choice for you. You will need a letter of admission to finalize your loan offer, however. 
  • Lots of assistance with funding and international college student life: Navigating funding, visas, admissions, and living in another country is difficult, and Prodigy Finance steps up beyond other lenders to assist you with these areas too. 

Cons Explained

  • Only offers relatively high variable-rate options: For all that Prodigy Finance offers, it does come at a steep price. Prodigy Finance charges more for its private student loans than other lenders with similar options (but stricter requirements). Additionally, since the rates are variable, you're signing up for an unknown future payment amount.
  • Only available for international graduate students: International students are Prodigy Finance's bread and butter—meaning that if you need a student loan to study in your home country or for your undergrad studies, you won't qualify with Prodigy Finance.
  • Funding dependent on whether you're "matched" with a funder: Prodigy Finance relies on a wide range of funding sources to provide its loans. When you apply for a loan, you'll be added to a waitlist that's reviewed on a weekly basis, and you'll only receive a loan if you're matched with a funding source.
  • Funding limited to certain countries, schools, and degree programs: In lieu of collateral, a co-signer, or a strong credit profile, Prodigy Finance takes a different tack. It decides whether to approve or deny you for a loan based on what you're studying and where, with the idea that you'll only be approved if you have a high future earning potential.

Student Loan Types

Graduate Loans for International Students

Prodigy Finance only offers one type of loan: graduate student private loans, and only for people who are studying abroad. While some lenders offer separate loan programs for people studying in different programs, such as business school or medical school, Prodigy Finance rolls all post-graduate education degrees together into one funding program.

Terms for Graduate Student Loans
Variable APR Minimum 10.50%; average of 14.20%
Fixed APR  N/A 
Loan Amounts  Not disclosed 
Loan Terms  7–20 years 

Loan Eligibility and Approval

In order to be eligible for a Prodigy Finance loan, you'll need to meet these requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be from an eligible country and be studying in a different eligible country
  • Be accepted into an eligible graduate degree program and college (you can get a loan quote before you're formally accepted, you'll just need it for final loan approval)

Are Co-Signers Required?

No, Prodigy Finance does not use co-signers in its loan decisions.

Is Loan Pre-Qualification Available?

Yes, Prodigy Finance does allow you to pre-qualify by filling out an application to get a provisional loan offer that's valid for two weeks. This is just an estimate; you won't finalize it unless you're ready and willing to accept the loan. 

If you're not sure which school and/or program you'll be attending yet, you can submit multiple applications for each program to get quotes and complete the final application later when you have proof of acceptance.

Length of Time for Loan Approval and Disbursement

After you're pre-qualified and accept a loan offer, you'll need to provide a few more documents and details for final loan approval. While this is happening you'll be added to a funding waitlist, which is different from other lenders—normally, funds are disbursed once you're approved. 

The waitlist is reviewed on a weekly basis and if you're matched with funding, you'll be notified so you can formally accept the loan. After that, Prodigy Finance will send the funds to your school when it requires payment.

If you're borrowing for living expenses, your school will send you any leftover funds after paying your bill. You may be able to get funding sooner if your school and Prodigy Finance agree to your request, such as if you need to make a deposit on an apartment. Keep in mind that it takes three to five days for the actual money transfer to happen.

Loan Fees and Repayment Options

The downside of Prodigy Finance loans is that they're more expensive than other options. Here's how it breaks down.

Loan Fees

The only fee you'll usually pay for a private student loan from Prodigy Finance (aside from interest fees) is an administration fee of up to 5% of your loan amount. Prodigy Finance will add this to your loan balance. For example, for every $10,000 you borrow for school, you'll start with a loan balance of up to $10,500.

The only other fee that Prodigy Finance charges is a default fee of $96 if you miss two consecutive payments in a row. Prodigy Finance doesn't charge any other loan fees, including late fees for earlier missed payments, returned payment fees, early payment penalties, forbearance and deferment fees, etc.

Loan Discounts

Unfortunately, unlike most other student loan lenders, Prodigy Finance does not offer any discounts—not even if you sign up for autopay.

Repayment Options

You'll choose a repayment term length between 7 and 20 years when you apply for your loan. Once it's disbursed, Prodigy Finance will place it in one of the following buckets:

  • Deferment: This period lasts while you're in school, and for a six-month period after you graduate (known as the "grace period"). During this time you don't have to make payments, but you can if you’d like. Interest will continue to add up on your loan. 
  • Full repayment: After the six-month grace period has passed, you'll start making payments on the 28th of each month. Since the loans are variable-rate, your monthly payment amount can change as markets fluctuate.

Rewards

Prodigy Finance doesn't offer any type of rewards, such as a friend referral fee or good grade rewards. 

Loan Forbearance and Discharge Options

If you run into temporary problems paying your loan, such as a job layoff or accident, you can contact Prodigy Finance to ask for forbearance. Prodigy Finance will pause your payments for up to three three-month stints at a time (nine months total). There isn't any fee for this option. 

The only downsides of forbearance are that interest still accrues during this time so your loan balance will grow, and it lengthens your loan by however many months you spend in forbearance. 

It's important to reach out to your lender as soon as you know you'll have trouble making a payment, not after you've already missed it. This will limit the negative impact on your credit because there's no credit penalty for being in forbearance, but there is if you miss a payment. 

Prodigy Finance does not disclose whether its private student loans are discharged (i.e., wiped clean, with a $0 balance) if you become permanently disabled or die. Some private student loan lenders offer this, and it's a good thing to look for in the fine print. If the loans are not discharged, then you (or your estate) will still need to repay the loans.

Is Student Loan Refinancing Available?

No. Prodigy Finance does not refinance any student loans

Customer Service

Prodigy is unique in that it offers live weekly webinars every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. India Standard Time (GMT +3.5) where you can see how the loan process works and ask questions. If you have questions you can call them up at one of the following country-specific hotlines:

  • Global: (+44) 20-3900-3535
  • U.S.: (866) 533-3304
  • U.K.: 0800-368-8766
  • India: 000-800-9190-242
  • Brazil: 11-3197-8763

You can also reach the company by email at info@prodigyfinance.com or submit a question through the online Contact Us form. If you already have a loan, you can message the support team by logging in to your account. Prodigy Finance also has an app that you can use to manage your loan and contact the support team.

Prodigy Finance has a reasonably good reputation, with a 3.8 rating out of 5 on Trustpilot, but based on only 17 reviews. 

It also has a very low complaint rate with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with only three complaints on file—one in 2021, and two in 2022. The borrower for the 2021 complaint cited how hard it was to make their payments after they expanded their family, and how difficult it was to refinance the loans with another lender for a more affordable rate since they were an international student—two very good things to keep in mind. 

Applying for a Prodigy Finance Student Loan

Applications for Prodigy Finance student loans are a bit more exhaustive than some other lenders, so it's a good idea to get all your documents gathered before you start. Here's the information you'll need to provide:

  • Full name
  • Your addresses for the past three years
  • Proof of current address, such as a bill
  • Copy of your passport or other official identification
  • Name of the school you're planning to attend
  • Projected completion year
  • Letter or confirmation of any scholarships you received
  • Letter of admittance from your school (before you finalize the loan; you don't need it to get a quote)
  • Your estimated cost of attendance, and where your other funds will be coming from
  • Your current income, savings, and any other debts
  • Projected budget for your loan
  • Current bank statements
  • Past three pay stubs (if you have a job)
  • Copy or screenshot of your credit report

After you complete the application and receive a loan offer, you can choose which quote (if any) to accept. This isn't a final acceptance because Prodigy Finance will then put you on a waitlist for funding, which is reviewed weekly (as mentioned above). Prodigy Finance will notify you as soon as you're matched and if you still need the funds at that point, you can sign a final loan agreement to get the loan.

Alternative Choices

  Prodigy Finance Sallie Mae  MEFA 
Loan Types Offered International graduate student loans Undergraduate, graduate, medical, technical, bootcamp Undergraduate, graduate 
Graduate Loan Fixed APR  N/A  5.25%–14.48%  5.74%–6.94%
Graduate Loan Variable APR  10.50% (no maximum disclosed) 5.47%–15.10%  N/A 
Origination/Administrative Fee  0%–5%  None  None 
Repayment Options  Deferment, full payment  Deferment, fixed, interest-only, full payment  Deferment, fixed. interest-only, full payment 
Refinancing Available  No  No  Yes

Final Verdict

If you're an international grad student, it's important to know that there are more affordable options out there. The downside is that not everyone will qualify for these loans, especially if you don't come from a wealthy family. Prodigy Finance bridges that gap and offers funding based on your future earning potential. If you're going into a high-earning field, chances are better that you'll qualify for these pricier loans, and Prodigy Finance can be the ticket to your education dreams. 

Looking for a more traditional lender? Browse our picks for the best student loans on the market today to see our favorites.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of student loan lenders. We collected thousands of data points across 30 lenders—including loan types, interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that we help readers make the right borrowing decision for their education needs.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
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