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Live Chat with Prodigy Finance

This live chat has ended. For those of you who were unable to attend, below is a transcript of the chat. 

If you’d like to learn more about Prodigy Finance, visit their website here. Alternatively, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to them on [email protected].

Clear Admit: Greetings everyone! We’ll start momentarily. In the meantime, if you have any questions all ready, please feel free to ask now.

Clear Admit: We’re going to give everyone a minute to login if need be.

That’ll give us time to introduce our guest for the hour, Zack Hirschfeld.

Zack, or zack.prodigyfinance, is the Student Relations Manager at Prodigy Finance. Zack has explored 35 countries across 5 continents, now lives in New York. He has a degree in International Relations from Bucknell University. Zack loves his job, and believes it’s a great privilege to speak with students from around the world, helping them to reach their goals. That’s you all!

zack.prodigyfinance: Hi everyone! Greetings from our New York City offices. Happy to be here and to answer your most burning questions about Prodigy Finance funding.

Clear Admit: Let’s start with a question that was posed ahead of time. This is very broad, but would be a good jumping off point.

From Asiedu: “Do you provide funds to student willing to take MBA anywhere?”

akurkhuli: Hi!. Thanks for the opportunity to ask the questions. As far as I know you provide student loans to international students. Do you have any restrictions regarding nationality?

zack.prodigyfinance: Sure. Good question. We unfortunately cannot provide funding for every MBA program. However, we can provide funding to any international student admitted to programs within the Top 100 MBA rankings by Financial Times.

To find your school, you can visit:

akurkhuli:  Do you fully fund the expenses (tuition + living expenses) for 2 years? For example for top 20 MBA programs in the US?

zack.prodigyfinance:  Thanks, akurkhuli. We lend to over 120 nationalities, most are eligible. We have a list of countries where we cannot lend to. If your country is NOT on this list, you are set to apply!

And yes, in most cases we can fund up to 80% Cost of Attendance in each year of your program. However, the total amount you are eligible for depends on your application (aspects such as where you are from, work history, program strength, etc.).

Clear Admit: I guess this relates to a question we received ahead of time from “Simplex”:

“If your country is not part of eligible countries to prodigy finance but you attend MBA abroad at one of the top Business Schools that work with Prodigy finance already, is it possible to benefit from this loan financing? Please advise.”

zack.prodigyfinance:  Unfortunately, no. Because we are exclusively an international student lender, your home country does factor into the application approval process. You must be an international student, and from an eligible country.

akurkhuli:  Thanks! How long does the application process usually last?

ebostak:  Does the loan you give cover living expenses? and so this works even if you’re an american going to (say) london for example?

zack.prodigyfinance: My pleasure, akurkhuli. To fill out and submit an application, it usually takes about 15-20 minutes. Once submitted, you’ll receive a provisional offer (most students receive this within seconds). We will then ask you to provide supporting documentation to verify your application. Overall, from the time you submit your application, it can take about 4 weeks to disburse to your school.

kngo:  Thanks, Zack. How does the repayment policy work and does it differ between Full-time and Part-time MBAs? (e.g., for Fulltime we only have to start repaying few months out of school vs. for Part-time this may be earlier, etc.).

zack.prodigyfinance:  Yes, ebostak. For non-US MBA programs, it depends on the school’s capacity to reimburse for living expenses. We always disburse all funds directly to the school — never to a student’s personal bank account. To find out if your school in the UK will accept living expenses, look on our website, here:

ebostak:  ok cool thank you. does Prodigy have any advice then about how to cover living expenses for studies abroad?

zack.prodigyfinance:  For PT programs, students will need to begin repayment 3 months after their final disbursement, whereas FT students repayment 6 months after graduation. However, we cannot fund all PT programs. Do look on our website to see if we offer your PT program.

kngo:  Thanks, Zack.

mason0530:  is one’s pre-mba salary a factor? i know that for loans in general that can be a bbig factor

zack.prodigyfinance:  In terms of living expenses abroad: if we cannot do so at your school, I would recommend asking your Financial Aid Office. They will be able to guide you.

akurkhuli:  Is it possible to apply, e.g. in February, get your loan approved, but do not use it until the late summer so the interest does not accrue? I want to know this because as loan might not cover 100% of the costs, I would like to have time to look for other options in addition. Thanks!

zack.prodigyfinance:  Hi Mason: Yes, it is a factor. The reason is that within our unique credit assessment model, we use employment statistics from each program to predict what your likely salary will be after graduation. Pre-study salary factors into this equation — but it’s not the entire calculation.

jbrown: Does the amount you are eligible for depend at all on your intended post-MBA career field?

zack.prodigyfinance:  Do also keep in mind that we will need to verify your pre-study salary before the loan is fully approved. You will prove this by providing verified payslips.

Clear Admit:  Good answer, Zack! Are there are any other documentations that our users should know to have at hand once they’re ready to apply?

zack.prodigyfinance: akurkhuli — we offer loans on an academic year basis. For all US-based MBA programs, you can apply at any time during the year and have it disbursed at the beginning of any given semester or quarter within that academic year. However, if you’d like to wait and only take a loan in your 2nd year, you can do that as well.

When you start your application online, you can select “1st Year” or “2nd Year”.

If your program is outside of the US, please take a look on our website as each program is unique as to when you can apply. Some programs only accept disbursements on certain dates.

Hi jbrown — Not at all. You can work in any industry in any country in the world!

jbrown:  In terms of repayment, can you make more than one payment per month or extra payments per calendar year? What about paying off the loan early with a lump sum?

zack.prodigyfinance:  Yes — you can make lump sum payments and pay off the loan early. There are zero fees or penalties for this.

In terms of documentation to submit, here is the full list:

ebostak:  do you have a % likelihood of getting funded? i know this is probably on a case-by-case basis

zack.prodigyfinance:  Sure. About 80% of applicants are approved.

ebostak: and about your follow-up q to akurk just above…is that implying that one must apply for each year? would you say then that it’s better to do a one-year program v. full traditional 2 year?

jbrown:  What if you get a loan from Prodigy but then later receive scholarship money that won’t need to be repaid. Can you still borrow the full amount from Prodigy, or will your loan package be adjusted?

zack.prodigyfinance:  In every application for a 2-year program, we will ask you how you plan to pay for the entire 2-year Cost of Attendance (tuition + fees + living expenses). In this section of the application, you can request funds for Year 2. In the approval, we will “pre-approve” you for 2nd year funds, if you qualify. You will then simply have to create a shortened 2nd year application at the end of your first year of the program.

Clear Admit:  What may also be helpful is to possibly run through what an example of a typical loan-taker’s payment plan would be and how one could calculate that. Would that be possible, Zack?

zack.prodigyfinance:  jbrown — in most cases, the Financial Aid Office will not allow you to take financial aid (loans + scholarship + sponsorship) in excess of the approved Cost of Attendance for your program. In the case that you receive more scholarship, which puts your budget over the CoA limit, 1 of 2 things will happen: 1) if before your 1st disbursement, the school will reduce the loan amount in a process called certification, or 2) the school will return the funds that you no longer need.

Sure. All Prodigy Finance loans have an interest rate with two components: 1) a fixed margin, and 2) a base rate. Your fixed margin will be set, once your application is approved. This will be between 5.5% and 8.5%. Your base rate will be determined by your country of study. For example, US programs will have a base rate of 3-month US LIBOR, which will vary and is updated quarterly (3x per year). Add these two numbers together, and you get the rate at which your loan will accrue interest every month.

It is simple interest. So, interest will not compound.

*Correction: we update quarterly, which means 4x per year

Clear Admit: Great!

zack.prodigyfinance:  We’ve got an FAQ on this, as well:

jbrown:  What if you start a business after business school and don’t initially draw a salary that would allow you to repay your loan in the initial year? Or you take a job with an underfunded nonprofit? Is it possible to extend the repayment plan in order to reduce your monthly payments? Are there other allowances in place related to post-MBA salary?

Clear Admit:  Thank you, Zack. This was very helpful. As we’re heading towards latter portion of the hour. Folks should go ahead and post their final questions.

zack.prodigyfinance:  jbrown — since we are a company started by international MBAs (from INSEAD) we certainly understand that students want to be flexible in where they work after the program, and we want to have the most beneficial impact on the world possible! We are able to create flexible repayment schedules, based on your work/career situation. However, you will not be able to extend the total term of your loan.

FYI, something we have not yet gone over is repayment term. Prodigy loans are offered on either 7, 10 or 15 year repayment terms.

Clear Admit:  Ah yes, good catch! Would you be able to elaborate a bit on that? How are each of those different?

zack.prodigyfinance:  So, what I mean here is that we can work with you to adjust the monthly payments after graduation, but you will still have to close out your loan by the end of your given repayment term.

akurkhuli: Are the payment terms determined by Prodigy, or can an applicant choose one?

zack.prodigyfinance:  As a general rule, the term you are given in the provisional offer is the repayment term you will have. However, you can request a different term (either 7, 10 or 15 years) and we can see if that request can be accommodated.

Choosing 7, 10 and 15 years repayment term will not affect your interest rate. It simply may give you more flexibility in repayment (with a longer term) or guidance to pay off the loan early and save on interest accrual (with a shorter term).

Clear Admit: Before we all go our separate ways, we want to make sure that we thank Zack for the knowledge he imparted on us today! If you have any more questions or would like to learn more about Prodigy Finance, please visit:

akurkhuli: Thank you!

zack.prodigyfinance: My pleasure. We also have a stellar dedicated customer service team that can help with specific queries. You can reach them via email: [email protected]

You can also create an application and utilize our live chat feature, through your Prodigy Finance dashboard.

ebostak: yes thank you!

Clear Admit:  So, unless we have one final question, dun dun dun, we’d say that’s a wrap! Thank you everyone for joining and asking such great questions!

zack.prodigyfinance: Thank you, everyone! Really appreciate your time today.