MPOWER Financing Review: Student Loans for International, DACA Students

 February 27, 2020
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Private Student Loan rates starting at 0.99% APR

0.99% to 11.98% 1

Visit Lender

1.13% to 11.23% 2

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0.99% to 11.44% 3

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  • Variable APR

MPOWER Financing works with international and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) borrowers without requiring a cosigner. Eligible students can borrow up to $50,000, but not everyone will qualify for a loan.

International and DACA students often struggle to find financing to go to college in the U.S. since they’re usually ineligible for federal student loans. Private student loans may be their only option.

MPOWER Financing review: Loans for international students
How to apply for MPOWER Financing student loans
How to make MPOWER Financing student loans payments
Pros and cons of MPOWER Financing student loans
What types of student loans does MPOWER Financing offer?
How to refinance your MPOWER Financing student loans
MPOWER Financing student loans FAQ

MPOWER Financing review: Loans for international students

MPOWER Financing Student Loans
APR range International undergraduates: 13.63% to 14.98% APR
International graduate students: 11.59% to 12.94% APR
DACA undergraduates: 9.56% to 10.91% APR
DACA graduate student: 7.52% to 8.89% APR
Note: The lower rates include the maximum interest rate deductions
Loan amount $2,001 to $50,000
Loan terms 10-year fixed-rate loans
Fees 5% origination fee
Grace period Interest-only payments until six months after graduation
Minimum credit score Credit score not required

Rates are accurate as of Feb. 27, 2020

Eligibility requirements

International and DACA students can qualify for a student loan from MPOWER Financing if they meet the following criteria:

  • You must be admitted to or enrolled in an eligible school in the U.S. or Canada
  • You must be within two years of graduating from your program
  • Your program must start within 12 months
  • You must live in either the U.S. or Canada while you’re in school
  • Your program must be degree granting

MPOWER Financing doesn’t look at your credit score or require you to have a cosigner. Instead, it looks at a number of factors, such as your future earning potential, to determine whether to approve you for a loan. No collateral is needed, either.

The lender offers loans to international students from more than 190 countries. However, your college needs to be one of the 350-plus schools that MPOWER Financing works with to be eligible for financing. You can check your eligibility online in as little as 60 seconds.

In-school repayment options

MPOWER Financing offers just one repayment option to borrowers. You’re required to make interest-only payments while you’re in school and for six months after graduation. Once that period ends, your repayment term is 10 years. You’ll make fixed payments until the loan is paid off.

However, you can make extra payments and pay off your loan early. MPOWER Financing doesn’t charge prepayment penalties, so paying off your debt ahead of schedule can help you save money.

Interest rate discounts

MPOWER offers several interest rate discounts. DACA students qualify for lower interest rates than international students, but both groups can qualify for the following discounts and reduce their interest rate by up to 1.5 percentage points:

  • 0.50 percentage point discount for setting up automatic payments
  • 0.50 percentage point discount for making six consecutive monthly payments on time while signed up for autopay
  • 0.50 percentage point discount if you can show proof that you graduated and are employed

Scholarship opportunities

International and DACA students can reduce how much they need to take out in student loans by applying for gift aid, including scholarships and grants. Unlike student loans, gift aid doesn’t need to be repaid.

MPOWER Financing offers three scholarships:

  • Global Citizen Scholarship: One grand prize winner will get a $5,000 scholarship, while four regional winners will get $3,000 each. To be eligible, you must be an international student studying at an eligible school in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Women in STEM Scholarship: Female international and DACA students who are enrolled in or accepted to an eligible full-time STEM degree program can receive $5,000, $3,000 or $2,000.
  • Central America Scholarship Program: Students from Central America accepted at an eligible full-time program in the U.S. or Canada can receive $3,000 or $1,000.

How to apply for MPOWER Financing student loans

According to MPOWER, the application process takes about 30 minutes to complete. MPOWER recommends that you check your loan eligibility before starting an application.

If you find out that you meet MPOWER’s eligibility criteria, you can move forward with completing the application. You’ll be asked to enter basic information, such as your citizenship country and passport name. You’ll also need to note what school you’re attending, when you expect to graduate and how much you’d like to borrow.

How MPOWER Financing’s loan process works

Once you submit your application, it enters into the initial review phase, which can take one to three business days. At that point, MPOWER may decide to make you a conditional offer, which tells you how much you can borrow, but you must submit the requested documents for verification before you can be approved.

MPOWER Financing may request the following information:

  • Resume or CV
  • Proof of home country address, such as a utility bill or lease
  • Proof of DACA status (for DACA students)
  • Standardized test scores
  • English proficiency exam scores
  • Admission letter
  • Past transcripts
  • Estimate of your program’s cost, such as a screenshot from the university’s website
  • Passport
  • Secondary photo ID from your home country
  • Bank statements or scholarships
  • MPOWER video and quiz
  • References
  • Letter of financial support from parent or relative who will help pay for your living expenses
  • Pay stubs

Once you submit the necessary documentation, MPOWER Financing will review the documents and decide whether to approve you for a loan. If approved, it’ll send you a final loan offer and visa support letter, if needed.

MPOWER will send the loan application to your school for verification once you’re approved. Depending on how quickly the school responds, your loan could be disbursed in two to 10 weeks.

How to make MPOWER Financing student loans payments

There are three payment options:

  • If your loan servicer is Launch: You can make payments online, through your bank’s bill-pay service or by calling 877-354-2629.
  • If your loan servicer is Firstmark: Make payments online with your checking account, savings account or debit card. You can also use your bank’s bill-pay service or call 202-417-3800.
  • If you’re abroad: If you’re outside the U.S. or Canada, you can make payments online with Flywire.

How to contact MPOWER customer service about your student loans

If you have questions or issues, you can contact MPOWER through secure messaging. Or, you can call:

  • U.S.: 202-417-3800
  • Canada: 1-647-503-4607
  • India: 91-974-099-3115

Pros and cons of MPOWER Financing student loans

Pros Cons
● No cosigner required
● No credit check
● Discounts available to lower interest rate by up to 1.5 percentage points
● Only available to students within two years of graduation
● Limited loan amounts
● Only students attending certain school will qualify

What types of student loans does MPOWER Financing offer?

  • International undergraduate student loans
  • International graduate school loans
  • Domestic and DACA undergraduate loans
  • Domestic and DACA graduate loans

How to refinance your MPOWER Financing student loans

If you aren’t happy with your MPOWER Financing student loans or if you want to get a lower interest rate to save money, student loan refinancing can be a smart strategy. To refinance your debt, you’ll work with a private lender to take out a new loan for the amount of your MPOWER loans. The new loan may have different terms, including interest rate, length of repayment and minimum monthly payment.

The refinancing process is slightly more complicated for international and DACA students. Not all lenders work with borrowers who aren’t U.S. citizens or permanent residents, but some do. In general, you’ll need to have an established U.S. credit history to qualify, or you’ll need to find an eligible cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply for a loan with you.

If you decide to refinance your education debt, compare offers from multiple lenders to find your best loan terms.

MPOWER Financing student loans FAQ

Does MPOWER Financing offer prequalification? No, MPOWER doesn’t offer prequalification. You can check your eligibility for a loan, but you won’t get an interest rate quote until you submit your application.

Can MPOWER Financing help with the visa process? Once you’re approved for a loan, MPOWER can issue you a support letter to help you with the visa process.

Will loan funds be disbursed directly to me? The loan is disbursed directly to your school regardless of whether the loan is being used for tuition or room and board.

Does MPOWER Financing offer forbearance? If a student is facing a financial hardship, they can enter into forbearance for up to 24 months. Loan payments can be postponed, or students can make reduced payments of $25 a month.

When will my loan payments appear on my credit report? According to MPOWER Financing, it can take several months for your loan and payment history to be reflected on your U.S. credit report. MPOWER does not report to the Canadian credit bureaus.

What types of career support are offered? MPOWER offers free resume tips, advice from a career coach and access to a LinkedIn community group. The company also offers webinars throughout the year on building a strong LinkedIn profile, conducting successful informational interviews and more.

Is student loan interest tax deductible? Private student loans, such as those offered by MPOWER Financing, are eligible for the student loan interest tax deduction. However, whether you qualify for the deduction is dependent on your status and unique situation. If you’re unsure, contact a tax professional.

Does MPOWER Financing offer scholarships? MPOWER Financing offers three scholarships: the Global Citizen Scholarship, Women in STEM Scholarship and the Central America Scholarship Program.

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