FAQ

We're here to answer all your questions.

Apply For a Loan

Credit Report

What is a credit inquiry?

A credit inquiry is a request from a legitimate business to look at your credit history. There are two types of inquiries:

Hard Inquiry: In most cases, a hard inquiry occurs after you apply for credit from a lender. These inquiries may have a slight, temporary impact on your credit score since many credit scoring models look at how frequently and recently you have applied for credit.

Soft Inquiry: These types of inquiries tend to be monitoring of your credit history, prescreening inquiries by prospective lenders, and your personal requests for your annual credit report. Unlike hard inquiries, these will not change your credit score.

You can visit https://www.transunion.com/credit-report to learn more about how multiple inquiries affect credit scores. MPOWER obtains Canadian credit information from Equifax, which provides information at https://www.consumer.equifax.ca/personal/.

What credit bureau does MPOWER use to check my credit?

MPOWER uses TransUnion for a U.S. credit check and Equifax for Canadian credit check.

For international students, MPOWER uses a cross-border consumer reporting agency called NOVA to check your credit history at your country of origin.

Why is building a U.S./Canadian credit history important?

Credit history and credit score both provide an impression of your repayment reliability and trustworthiness to U.S. lenders as well as to landlords, cell phone retailers, and even employers who perform background checks. If you don’t have a credit history, lenders can’t assess your reliability and will most likely charge higher rates or provide you with a smaller credit amount.

Please note that MPOWER does not currently report to Canadian credit bureaus, but students at Canadian schools can establish a U.S. credit history with MPOWER.

What is a credit score?

A credit score is the number that expresses your credit history. It represents your ability to pay off your debt by factoring together please see “What is included in a credit report.” The higher the score is, the lower the risk for an institution to lend money to you.
FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation, commonly used by Experian) is the most-used score by lenders, while some lenders use BEACON (Equifax) and EMPIRICA (TransUnion) for credit scores.
Unlike many other lenders, MPOWER does not use your credit score when considering your loan application.

Who are the main credit bureaus in Canada?

The two national credit bureaus are TransUnion and Equifax. In addition, there are a number of smaller, regional credit bureaus that collect and provide credit information.

Who are the main credit bureaus in the U.S.?

There are three main credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

What is included in a credit report?

A credit report is divided into four parts:
a)Personal information such as name, address, date of birth, social security number, and employers.
b)Credit history such as available credit, usage of credit, and frequency of on-time payments.
c)Credit inquiries (also called “pulling credit”) by a lender, service provider, etc.
d)Public records such as delinquencies, tax liens, and collections.

What is a credit report?

A credit report is a detailed report of your credit history.

If MPOWER pulls my credit, how will it affect my credit score and history?

Any potential lender pulling your credit (a credit inquiry) may slightly lower your overall credit score temporarily. It can take several months to see your score bounce back up. If you are making multiple inquiries in a short amount of time (primarily during a 30-day period), they will be treated as a single inquiry and will therefore have a relatively small impact on your score.
You can visit https://www.transunion.com/credit-report to learn more about how multiple inquiries affect credit scores. MPOWER obtains Canadian credit information from Equifax, which provides information a https://www.consumer.equifax.ca/personal/.

How can I get a copy of my credit report?

If you have a U.S. credit history, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax).
You can obtain a copy of your credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com, the only authorized website for free credit reports, or by calling 877-322-8228.

If you have a Canadian credit history, you can obtain a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from both of the nationwide credit reporting companies (Equifax and Transunion). Equifax provides information at https://www.consumer.equifax.ca/personal/ and TransUnion at https://www.transunion.ca/.

My MPOWER application was denied because of my credit report. What can I do?

If your application has been declined by MPOWER (or any other lender) due to low or bad credit, you may request to see a copy of the credit report MPOWER received from the credit bureau. To do so, you must contact the credit bureau directly within 60 days of being declined.
You have a right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to know the information contained in your credit file at the credit bureau listed on your loan decision letter. You can work with this agency to dispute any errors in your file that may have led to the decline of your application. Please reapply with MPOWER once the error is corrected.

How does MPOWER help me build my credit?

MPOWER reports your loan balance and monthly payment history to the U.S. credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) each month. Showing a positive payment history allows you to build a solid U.S. credit history and enables other creditors to make decisions regarding your creditworthiness.
Please note that MPOWER does not currently report to Canadian credit bureaus, but students at Canadian schools can establish a U.S. credit history with MPOWER. A U.S. credit history is often very useful for students trying to establish a credit history in Canada.

When will I see my MPOWER loan on my credit report?

It can take several months for your MPOWER loan and payment history to be added to your file by U.S. credit bureaus.
Please note that MPOWER does not currently report to Canadian credit bureaus, but students at Canadian schools can establish a U.S. credit history with MPOWER.

I don’t have a credit history. Will this affect my application with MPOWER Financing?

If you do not have a credit history in the U.S. or Canada, or, for international students, in your country of origin, MPOWER’s decision about your credit will not be affected.
If you are unsure about the status of your credit history, please check with TransUnion for U.S. credit checks by calling 800-888-4213 or with NOVA for international credit checks by calling 844-423-1345. For Canadian credit checks, please check with Equifax Canada by calling 1-800-465-7166.

I have bad credit and am applying for a loan with MPOWER. How will that affect the application decision?

Although MPOWER does not require a U.S. credit score for a loan application, your credit history will be reviewed by our credit team. Public records such as delinquencies, tax liens and collections, and late payments (30,60, and/or 90 days) are important factors considered for the credit review.
Please check with TransUnion for U.S. accounts at 800-888-4213 or with NOVA for international accounts at 844-423-1345 if you think there may be something in your credit history that could affect MPOWER’s decision. For Canadian credit checks, please check with Equifax Canada by calling 1-800-465-7166.

Eligibility

My school is not on the list of schools that MPOWER supports. What should I do?

If your school is not on the list of schools that MPOWER supports, it is because we are not supporting that school at the moment and you unfortunately cannot apply for a loan with us. But our list of schools is always growing, so please check back for updates.

Which U.S. and Canadian schools are eligible?

MPOWER supports a variety of schools across the U.S. and Canada. You can view the complete list here or check your loan eligibility to see if the school you are admitted to or enrolled in is one of them.

Do I need a US/Canadian credit score or co-signer?

MPOWER does not require a credit score or co-signer for our borrowers. We make loan decisions based on your future potential and review your credit history in order to verify your payment history and standing.

As an international or DACA student, am I eligible for a loan?

Yes, we lend to students from 190+ countries who attend one of the schools we support in the U.S. or Canada. Check your eligibility for the MPOWER Education Loan.

Am I eligible for a loan?

In order to be eligible for a loan with MPOWER, you will need to meet criteria below:

a)You must currently be admitted to or enrolled in a school in the U.S. or Canada that MPOWER supports AND
b)You must be within two years of graduating from your program. For example: if your anticipated graduation date is May 2020, then your program must have started in May 2018 or later. Please check your loan eligibility.
c)You can apply for a loan 12 months prior to loan start date
d)You must reside in the country of program during the course
e)Your program must be degree seeking

I'm not admitted to a school. Can I still apply for a loan?

In order to be eligible for a loan, you need to be admitted to or enrolled in a school that MPOWER supports. Please check your loan eligibility.
For support in your college application process, please consider some of the options below:

-Mentorverse: Expert mentors who provide one-on-one help for international students applying to U.S. colleges
-Globalizers: An India-based education consulting firm
-Fortuna Admissions: An M.B.A admissions consulting firm with strong personal focus
-GMAT Club: An information-sharing and resource center that can help with the business school application process.
-Unigo: A great resource that offers a variety of scholarships to current and future students.
-EStudentLoan: A private loan finder source that helps students to compare different loan options.

When should I apply for a loan with MPOWER Financing?

You can apply for a loan 12 months prior to your loan start date.

Application Process

I need to cover my living expenses. Can I apply for a loan to cover them specifically?

MPOWER loans are available for all school-related costs, including living expenses. However, it is up to each school individually to determine if it will accept money for those costs since the financial aid office will need to process each loan. Please reach out directly to your school to clarify their position on coverage of living expenses. What is the process and how long does it take to get a loan with MPOWER?

What is a conditional offer?

A conditional offer indicates that, based on the information you provided in your initial application, you may be approved for your requested loan amount. However, In order to obtain a final loan approval, you are required to submit documents verifying the information you submitted. Once all documents and information have been validated, the credit team will be able to issue a final decision regarding your loan. Conditional offer cannot be used as a support letter.

I received an offer for a loan amount lower than the one I applied for. Why?

MPOWER considers an applicant's existing and future debt needs to complete their education. If you receive a conditional offer from MPOWER for a lower amount than for which you applied, this is the maximum loan amount that can be offered that meets MPOWER's risk thresholds.

My school’s payment deadline is approaching. Can you expedite the loan process?

If your payment deadline is approaching, please reach out directly to your school for an extension. If your loan application is approved and the documents are under final review, most schools will allow an extension. Otherwise, if the application is approved, you can show your approval letter from MPOWER to your school to request an extension.

Can I reduce my interest rate?

Although the interest rate on all MPOWER loans is fixed, we do offer three incentives that could potentially reduce your interest rate by up to 1.50%! That's more cash back in your pocket over the lifetime of paying back your loan:

a)Signing up for autopay: Autopay debits your loan payment each month automatically so you never have to worry about missing a payment. We'll give you a 0.50% deduction on your interest rate just for enrolling in autopay!

b)6 consecutive payments: Once we receive 6 consecutive payments from you via autopay, we'll automatically reduce your interest rate by an additional 0.50%.

c)Proof of employment: After you graduate and receive full-time, salaried employment, you'll get another 0.50% deduction on your interest rate. Just send us proof of employment (i.e., pay stub or offer letter) and proof of graduation (i.e., official or unofficial transcripts or copy of diploma) to mpower.me@mpowerfinancing.com.

Is my interest rate reduced if someone can co-sign?

Having an available co-signer will not affect the interest rate you receive. Our loan process was created so that students wouldn’t have to worry about having a co-signer or credit score.

Can MPOWER help with the visa process?

Upon final credit approval, MPOWER is able to issue support letters at no cost to assist our applicants with the visa process.

Can I find out my interest rate before I apply?

In order to calculate your interest rate accurately, we will need to review your submitted initial application. If you decide not to take out a loan with MPOWER, you can cancel the application at no cost.

I am not sure how much I need to borrow. What is an appropriate amount to request?

If you are unsure of the amount of money you’ll need for your loan, you can apply for $25,000, which is the maximum amount you can request per application. These figures are in U.S. dollars for American schools, and in Canadian dollars for Canadian schools.
If you would like to decrease the amount later, you can do so during the application process. However, if you apply for a smaller amount initially and want to increase it later in the process, your application may need to be re-reviewed by our credit department, or you may need to submit an additional application.

What happens after I submit my application?

Based on your application data, you might receive a conditional offer from MPOWER within 1-3 business days. If you receive a conditional offer, you will be prompted to upload supporting documentation and to complete a short video activity. Next, our credit team will be in touch within 1-3 business days with a final credit decision.

What documents and personal information should I have prepared when applying?

Please select the option below that best describes you:

a) International Student

b) DACA Student

c) Domestic Student

How to read the document checklist: The document checklist represents the documents that may be needed from you during the application process. In this checklist, you will also see “Included” and “Not applicable” columns. Note that some of the “Not applicable” sections will be grayed out because that specific document has not yet been submitted. Any documents without the grayed out area may or may not apply to your case.

Disclaimer: Not all the documents in this checklist may be applicable to your situation. If you are unclear about some of the documents mentioned in our checklist, please reach out to us at mpower.me@mpowerfinancing.com or 202-417-3800.

What is the application process and how long does it take to get a loan with MPOWER?

-Check Loan Eligibility: Find out if your school and program are eligible. (Please check the FAQ for “Eligibility” for further questions)
Estimated time: 60 seconds

-Initial Application: Fill out and submit the application with a valid photo ID. (Please check the “Financial Plan” Section for any further assistance)
Estimated time: 30 minutes

-Initial Review: Your application will be reviewed by MPOWER, and you will be contacted within 1-3 business days about a conditional offer. In special circumstances, you may receive a conditional offer immediately after submitting your application.
Estimated time: 1-3 business days

-Upload Documents: If you receive an offer from MPOWER, your next step is to upload the requested documents to your MPOWER dashboard, watch an introduction video, and complete a short assessment.
Estimated time: 30 minutes

-Final Review: At this stage, we verify all your uploaded documents so we can issue a final offer. . If the loan is approved, we will also provide you with a visa support letter if needed.
Estimated time: 1-3 business days.

-School Certification and Disbursement: After we approve you for a loan, we submit your loan application to your school for verification. This process is called the certification process, and the timeline is dependent on your school.

Financial Plan

I’m asking for a loan for one semester. Why do I need to fill out the tuition cost until I graduate?

There are many hidden charges involved in education costs, such as fees, cost of living, textbooks, etc. Including a breakdown of these costs provides both you and MPOWER with a more accurate picture of how much you will require for a loan.

My school uses the quarter system. How do I enter “Semesters Left Until Graduation”?

Most U.S. and Canadian programs follow an academic calendar of two semesters per year. If your school is on the quarter system, please use the following guidelines:
4 quarters = 2 semesters = 1 year
8 quarters = 4 semesters = 2 years

I am not sure how much my annual tuition is because it changes every quarter/semester. How can I fill out the “Tuition Cost” section correctly?

You can obtain your quarter/semester tuition costs directly from your university and then complete the application by adding that information together.

I live off campus. What amount should I put for my cost of living per year?

If you live off campus, you should provide the estimated costs for your rent, utilities, parking, and food per year.

This is my last year of school. I already paid some part of this semester’s tuition, so how do I enter the tuition cost per year?

Only upcoming expenses that will be incurred (such as tuition cost, cost of living, and other expenses) should be entered in the application. Since you have already paid some part of the tuition in your current semester, you would exclude that amount from the tuition cost.

Under the “Source of Funding During Enrollment” section, I entered the amount that I have already paid for tuition. Because I already spent it, I do not have any proof of those funds. What should I do?

Any tuition amount entered for Source of Funding During Enrollment requires proof. For example, you can submit a bank statement dated within the last 30 days showing your balance and payments. However, any past payments or amounts paid without proof cannot be entered.

I will be getting funding from my parents and I see that they need to fill out a Sponsor Support Letter. Why?

The Sponsor Support Letter is to confirm that your parents will provide financial assistance in the amount listed and for the time period provided in the application. This can be done as a gift or a loan. By supporting you, your parents will not be considered co-signers; if you are awarded a loan from MPOWER you will be the only signer.

What are the accepted sources of proof for the “Source of Funds” section?

-Personal funds: A bank statement from the last 30 days.
-Family and friends: The sponsor or sponsors’ bank statement or pay stub from the last 30 days, their photo ID(s), and Sponsor Support Letter(s). (Please click here for Sponsor Support Letter)
-Scholarships: An official scholarship letter from your program.
-Employer Sponsorship: A signed copy of a letter from your employer on official letterhead as well as proof that the person signing the letter has the authority to provide scholarships, and a bank statement from the company showing proof of funds.
-Other Support/Scholarships: Additional finalized scholarship funding. Official documentation must include an official scholarship letter or grant letter. We cannot accept pending offers.
-Other Educational Loans: Additional finalized loans. Official documentation must include the interest rate and repayment terms. We cannot accept pending offers.

Why is there an auto-completed number in the“MPOWER loan requested” box?

If your funding requirement is less than $25,000, your loan request defaults to that number. However, you can edit the loan amount requested as desired.

Repay a Loan

Loan Terms and Fees

What is an origination fee?

Origination fees are a common loan fee. It covers the cost of processing your loan and having the funds disbursed.

Are there any fees associated with getting the loan?

There is no fee to apply for a loan. If you are approved and choose to proceed with the loan, a 5.0% origination fee will be added to your loan balance and must be repaid over the term of your loan. You are not required to pay this fee upfront, instead you pay it back with your monthly loan payments.

Is there a prepayment penalty?

No. If you decide to repay part or all of your loan ahead of schedule, there is no penalty.

How much will I pay monthly while I am in school?

Here’s a payment sample if you qualify for discounts: For a loan amount of $10,000 at an interest rate of 11.99% (11.60% APR¹), your monthly interest-only payment is $100.54 for the first 6 months and $96.16 for the next 8 months. You are required to make this interest-only payment during your in-school period as well as the 6-month period post-graduation. After the 6-month period ends, you are required to make interest and principal payments of $141.62 for the next 120 months.

How much time do I have to pay back the loan?

You will make interest-only payments in school and after graduation during the 6-month period. Loan repayment term is 10 years and starts after the 6-month period ends.

What can the loan be used for?

Our loans can be used for all university-related expenses, including but not limited to tuition, books, meal plans, housing, and health insurance. However, we suggest reaching out to your school if there any concerns on how your funds may be allocated.

Is the interest rate fixed for the life of the loan?

Yes, the interest rate is fixed over the life of the loan.

What interest rate can I expect?

You can borrow with fixed interest rates between 7.99% (8.89% APR¹) and 13.99% (14.97% APR¹). These will be the maximum rates and will never increase. However, If you qualify for all these discounts, your rate will range between 6.49% (7.53% APR²) and 12.49% (13.63% APR²).

How much can I borrow?

Applicants can borrow a maximum of $25,000 per academic period with a lifetime borrowing limit of $50,000 in total. As an example, a student may choose to borrow $25,000 in their fall semester and an additional $25,000 in their spring semester. As an additional example, a student with two years remaining until graduation may choose to borrow $12,500 over each of their four academic semesters.
Please note that each application is reviewed independently of the other.

Repayment

How long until the loan is disbursed to my school?

The disbursement dates are set up by your school electronically in accordance with MPOWER’s rules. You may check the status of your loan in real time on our online borrower portal.

How is the loan disbursed?

MPOWER disburses funds directly to your university. There is no additional effort required from your end to send the money to your school.

When will I start repaying the loan?

In-school interest only payments will begin 45 days after loan funds have been disbursed. Making consistent on-time payments will help build your U.S. credit history and will avoid the accumulation of interest.

What payment methods can I use to repay my loan?

Our auto-withdrawal option allows you to make on-time monthly payments directly from your U.S. bank account. This option also reduces your interest rate by 0.50%. We can also accept payment online through our payment portal, via the phone, via check through U.S. mail and even international money transfers.

How do I make payments if I go back to my country after school?

As a global company, we are able to accept multiple methods of payments. You can pay directly from your U.S.-based bank account, pay from your home country-based bank account through our partnership with Flywire, or pay over the phone with our loan servicing partner, Firstmark.

Disbursement

What is disbursement?

Your disbursement date is the day your school receives your funds and when your loan begins to accrue interest. Please check your MPOWER dashboard for the disbursement date of your funds. If the disbursement date has passed and you have not received your funds from your school, please contact your financial aid office. Note that it can take the financial aid office several business days to allocate the funds to your student account.

What is my disbursement date? How long will it take for the loan to be disbursed to my school?

The timing depends on:

  • When the school requests the funds to be disbursed and
  • When you e-sign your final loan documents.
  • The fastest we are able to disburse the funds to your school is 5 to 10 business days after you’ve signed your final loan documents.

    Please make sure to refer to your MPOWER dashboard to confirm that the loan amount and date approved by the school match your request.

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding your loan amount or schedule, please talk to your school’s financial aid office. Any changes to your loan must be sent to MPOWER in writing via ELM/Scholarnet or via email.

    How is the loan disbursed?

    The loan is disbursed either electronically via wire transfer or by physical check in the mail – whichever method your school requests. The funds are disbursed directly to the school, not to the borrowers.

    Can MPOWER Financing disburse the loan directly to me?

    No, the funds are disbursed directly to the school regardless of the type of funds (e.g. tuition, living expenses, other school fees, etc.).

    How are the funds for books, insurance, and other living expenses disbursed?

    MPOWER will send the disbursed amount requested directly to your school. Then, it is up to your school to allocate the funds accordingly. Please contact your financial aid office for more information about how this process works.

    Generally, the school will first apply the funds towards your outstanding bill, and the balance will be sent to you via check.

    What is the school certification process? How does it work?

    School certification is a process for MPOWER to confirm the information on your application with your school. We confirm your graduation date, program, student status (full time/part time), loan period, loan amount, and requested disbursement date(s). During this process, MPOWER communicates directly with your school, and no additional documents are required from you at this time.

    The process works like this: MPOWER sends a request form to your school by either electronically via ELM or Great Lakes, or sent via fax. ELM and Great lakes are third-party communication systems used by private lenders and schools to transmit information.

    Why is the school certification needed?

    In order to validate your loan, MPOWER must confirm your identity and school enrollment, and the school must confirm your financial needs. In addition, the school provides MPOWER Financing with information regarding your disbursement

    What can I do to help with the school certification process?

    You do not need to do anything on your end since this process is done solely by your school and MPOWER.

    How do I change my loan amount at the school certification stage?

    Please notify MPOWER Financing and your financial aid office immediately if you would like to change your loan amount. Any changes in disbursement must come directly from the school in writing, either via email or ELM/Scholarnet.

    How long does the school certification process take?

    The timing of the school certification process depends on whether or not it is requested during a peak season for your school financial aid office.

    If the school certification is requested during peak season, which is July through October and December through February, it can take up to 6 weeks. If it is not a peak season, it may take up to 10 business days.

    Please make sure your loan period is correct; many schools cannot certify loans outside of the specific academic period requested. For example, if you apply for a loan in spring 2019 but you need the loan to cover the expenses incurred during the fall 2018 semester, your loan date must show a start date of August 1, 2018, and an end date of December 31, 2018.

    Many schools will not certify loans until you have registered for classes. For example, if you apply for a loan in April 2019 for the 2019/2020 school year, which begins in August 2019, most schools will not certify the loan until July or August 2019. Please contact your financial aid office for more information on their timeline of processing loan certification requests.

    How can I expedite the school certification process?

    Please talk directly to your financial aid office to get an estimate on the timing of the school certification process and to check if it can be expedited.

    Why did my school certify a lower loan amount than I requested?

    In order to determine why the school certified a lower loan amount than requested, please contact your financial aid office. MPOWER Financing is only able to disburse the amount of funds certified by the school.

    How do I know where I am in the process?

    Please refer to your MPOWER Financing dashboard to see where your application is in the process.

    BEYOND THE LOAN: BENEFITS FROM MPOWER FINANCING

    PATH2SUCCESS

    MPOWER Financing is dedicated to supporting our borrower community with their professional development and job search. We have a team of professional CV/resume reviewers who would be happy to edit and provide feedback on your documents. Interested? Email mpower.me@mpowerfinancing.com.

    Want someone to chat with about your internship or job search? We’re happy to provide advice. Email mpower.me@mpowerfinancing.com.

    Need Help?

    Technical Issues

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    Don’t see your question? Download our student guide or contact us here

    © MPOWER Financing, Public Benefit Corporation

    DISCLAIMER - Subject to credit approval, loans are made by Bank of Lake Mills or MPOWER Financing, PBC. Bank of Lake Mills does not have an ownership interest in MPOWER Financing. Neither MPOWER Financing nor Bank of Lake Mills is affiliated with the school you attended or are attending. Bank of Lake Mills is Member FDIC. None of the information contained in this website constitutes a recommendation, solicitation or offer by MPOWER Financing or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments or other assets or provide any investment advice or service.