Whether you’ve been searching the web for a no-cosigner student loan, a scholarship, or even an employment opportunity (definitely apply – I love it here!), you’ve stumbled across this blog post to learn more about my favorite company, MPOWER Financing.
This is the first of our 8-part product introduction series launching early 2021. My name is Claire, and I’m a Marketing Manager at MPOWER Financing. Each month, I’ll be walking you through the essential components of our student guide. Next month, I’ll be explaining why you should choose a U.S.-based lender like MPOWER.
TL;DR: MPOWER Financing provides fixed-rate student loans to high-potential students from 190+ countries pursuing degrees in the United States in any academic field.
That being said, we are more than just a loan company. As a Public Benefit Corporation, we care deeply about impact and see ourselves as investing in your future. This is why we support you with getting a student visa, building credit in the U.S., getting a job, or sorting out immigration to the U.S. & Canada after graduation.
We enable high-promise global citizens to further their academic and financial aspirations because we believe that socio-economic mobility should be borderless. To accomplish this mission, MPOWER works with investors and universities to lend to students coming from all parts of the globe.
Neat, right? Let me tell you a bit more. Here’s our quick pitch to international and DACA students seeking financial support for school.
MPOWER Financing was created as a Public Benefit Corporation which means we are committed to creating positive social change in the world to help promising students who struggle to complete their education as a result of being ignored by traditional lenders. Founded by, and comprised of, a dedicated group of global citizens, our team is passionate about helping international students access a quality education in the U.S. and Canada, regardless of one’s background or country of origin.
MPOWER cares about your future and thus (in addition to student loans) offers career support such as resume review, networking opportunities, and exposure to paid internships and full-time job openings.
We work with over 200 of the top universities and colleges in the U.S. and Canada to support their international students. We don’t require borrowers to have a cosigner, a credit history, or collateral. We approve loans primarily based on your academic success and career path, using our proprietary and innovative credit models.
Our loans can be as low as $2,001 and as high as $100,000 (over 2 academic terms). We allow you to borrow from multiple lenders and we allow you to repay your loan early – without penalties. We also offer a 6-month interest-only payment period after graduation before beginning your 10-year repayment term.
We strive to be both compassionate and data-driven. Here at MPOWER, we do not believe these two ideals to be diametrically opposed, but instead offer a unique compass for business decisions.
So I’ve told you a bit about what we do and why, but that still doesn’t answer the very important question: How did such a cool company get started?
Without further ado, here are the origin stories of our founders. Once upon a time, they were international students struggling to pay for school…
I am originally from France. I came to the U.S. 22 years ago to attend the University of Virginia as an undergraduate student in Computer Science.
As an international student in the U.S., I struggled to get financing myself. French banks wouldn’t lend to me without using my parents’ home and savings as collateral, which was a huge financial burden to place on them. Meanwhile, U.S. banks wouldn’t lend to me because I didn’t have a U.S.-based credit score nor a credit-worthy U.S. citizen co-signer. Over a decade later, my sister came to the U.S. to complete her undergraduate studies as well. While serving as my sister’s legal guardian in the U.S., I realized that she was facing the same challenges that I had: she couldn’t even get an apartment on her own because she was an international student without a credit history in the U.S.. Then, a few years ago, one of the current students at UVA emailed me and said that he was about to drop out from college just a few semesters short of graduation, because he could no longer afford his rent.
I thought it was so unfortunate that this young guy, who is a talented engineer, could not graduate on time—or at all—because of financial issues. It also occurred to me that he was not the only student who has had to compromise education and a bright future because of a few hundred dollars. I felt like all of this made no sense. At the time, I was travelling around the globe while working as an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company. I thought, “Here I am solving macro financial challenges, yet there is a student in my backyard who might drop out of school.” So I sent him the money, but the topic of student loans and personal financing kept coming back to my mind—that’s when I decided to leave McKinsey and start MPOWER.
– Manu Smadja, CEO and co-founder
My family immigrated to the U.S. from Iran when I was six. My father was a college professor in Iran and education had always been a pillar of our household.
I went on to study engineering at Purdue University and later attended business school at INSEAD, where I met my co-founder Manu.
When we founded MPOWER in April 2014, Manu and I agreed to never lose sight of our primary goal: to help high-potential international students gain access to financing to help them get to and through college. As former international students ourselves, we are familiar with the struggles they face. Seven years later, MPOWER Financing is stronger than ever. We have offices in two countries, employ dozens of employees worldwide (many of whom are former international students themselves), and have helped thousands of borrowers gain access to funding necessary to complete their education.
We are proud of what we’ve achieved but know there is still more work to be done. We don’t want to stop at financing our customers’ education, but also want to help them be well-prepared for the global job market. That’s why we’ve developed our Path2Success program. In addition to free resume review, Path2Success offers our borrowers exclusive access to LinkedIn networking groups, potential volunteer opportunities, and internship announcements.
We publish a monthly newsletter that includes financial literacy guidance and career advice specifically tailored to international talent. In short: we are committed to helping international students fulfill their potential. As you review this guide, I encourage you to reach out to us at MPOWER to say hello. We look forward to hearing from you.
– Mike Davis, Co-founder and board member
I started this blog with the premise that MPOWER’s my favorite company. There are many reasons why, but most important of all: we empower students to achieve their dreams.
Have a great week!
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.
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