MPOWER Financing offers private student loans to both U.S. students and to students from 192 countries that attend college in the United States. It is one of the few lenders that offer private funding to international students without requiring a cosigner.

The company not only puts an emphasis on providing school funding for international students but also for first-generation college students. They pay less attention to credit scores and instead care more about employment records, scholarships, and academic performance.

Because MPOWER focuses less on credit scores and more on other factors, students have to first prove they are worthy of the funding. To make this evaluation, MPOWER requires a student to be two years or less from completing his or her degree.

What to Know About MPOWER Financing

To apply for MPOWER financing, a credit score is not required. Since many college students don’t yet have well-paying jobs, the potential income based on the degree program is evaluated. The future debt-to-income ratio of the student is also evaluated. The final requirement is current enrollment in a school with which MPOWER has partnered.

With (or without) all this information, what sort of student loan can you expect? Here are a few more details:

  • Interest rates7.99% to 13.99% (fixed)
  • Loan term: 10 years
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $25,000 per year with a lifetime maximum of $50,000.
  • Repayment options: The payments don’t begin after graduation. Instead, they begin up to 45 days after the loan is awarded. After 24 small payments, full payments must begin.
  • Fees: A 5 percent origination fee is added to the balance. There is no application fee, no prepayment fee, and no other hidden fees. If a payment is made late, there’s a late fee of 4 percent or $5, whichever is greater.

What makes MPOWER loans stand out are the non-traditional qualifications, the opportunity to build a positive credit history, and the availability to students from 192 countries.

A few drawbacks include the limited availability to students already two years into their degree program, payments beginning while still in school, and only one repayment term of 10 years.

Application Process

Certain information is needed in order to apply, including a Social Security number, information about the desired career and its location, personal references, information on outstanding debt, income information, employment history, and competency scores if the school requires it.

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After the necessary information is gathered, eligibility must be checked through the website. The form asks for detailed information about the applicant, the degree program, citizenship status, the loan amount being requested, and the purpose of the loan. The application can be submitted after agreeing to the privacy policy.

If eligible, the application process will continue. Once submitted, it is subject to a review process of up to five days. If approved, a Customer Success Analyst notifies the student of the approval. The funds are disbursed according to the school’s schedule. The status of the loan can be checked on the MPOWER website.

One important thing to know is that the interest rate isn’t revealed until after the application is submitted and reviewed. If the interest rate is unsatisfactory, there is no obligation to take the loan. However, despite MPOWER’s lack of focus on credit score, a hard credit inquiry does occur as a part of the process.

Also, the amount of the loan approval doesn’t exceed the educational expenses required by the university. This means there will be no overage coming from this private loan. In other words, book expenses or other class expenses are out-of-pocket or paid using any other funds that may have been awarded to satisfy such expenses. These, along with the fact that there isn’t a pre-approval that gives a rough estimate of the interest rate, are important factors to consider.

Straightforward Private Student Lending

All in all, MPOWER is fairly straightforward about lending private student loans. A student can’t apply before his or her junior year, can’t borrow more than what is required to pay for school, and has ten years to repay the loan regardless of how much is borrowed. The terms are rather clear, so domestic or international students should understand what they are getting into. This is a loan you have to start repaying before graduation, so it’s important to review everything and compare this MPOWER loan with others to ensure that it’s the right fit.