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MPOWER Financing Review: Loans for International, DACA Students
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MPOWER Financing has processed student loan applications for more than $2 billion in funding, accepting students from more than 190 countries attending one of 380-plus colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. It added a student loan refinancing product in 2021 but is best known for in-school loans for international students and DACA recipients. As MPOWER loan reviews show, the lender doesn’t require cosigners or credit history, eliminating the “barriers to financing that international students typically face.”
MPOWER loan reviews: Refinancing
Based in Washington, D.C., MPOWER Financing launched its student loan refinancing product in November 2021 for international college graduates who now work in the U.S. The company allows eligible borrowers to refinance up to $100,000 in loans borrowed internationally, helping them to build stateside credit history.
MPOWER student loan refinancing is a good fit for consumers who hail — or previously borrowed education debt — from one of 17 countries and are aiming to secure a single-digit interest rate and release a cosigner. Its refinancing limit is $100,000.
Given that MPOWER has only offered refinancing for a period of months — and that it aims to serve international borrowers — details on the product are specific and, at times, sparse.
|Rates||● Fixed APR: 8.45%|
|Basics||● Prequalify and check rates without affecting your credit
● Refinance as little as $2,001 and as much as $100,000
● Reduce your interest rate by 0.50 percentage points if you enroll in autopay
● Shave another 0.50 percentage points off your APR after six on-time payments
|Eligibility||● University graduate from any country
● At least three months of career experience in any American state
● Visa (that allows you to work in the U.S. for at least two years), DACA recipient, citizen, refugee or asylum seeker
|Applying||● Not possible to apply with a cosigner or co-borrower
● No application fee
● Origination fee: 2% of your loan amount
● Late payment fee amount is undisclosed
● Exchange rate, currency conversion fees for refinancing loans lent by foreign banks
|Repayment||● No prepayment penalties
● Repayment term of 10 years
|Support||● No back-to-school deferments offered
● Forbearance may be available in cases of hardship
● Not clear if forgiveness is offered in case of borrower’s death, disability
If you’re an international graduate working in the U.S., MPOWER refinancing might already seem like a great fit. Here are a few more potential pros of refinancing with this company.
The vast majority of student loan refinancing companies put your credit report under the microscope before determining whether you qualify and for what terms. MPOWER, on the other hand, doesn’t require you to have a U.S. credit history or a cosigner to make up for lacking one.
With that said, if you have a negative credit history, due to delinquencies or unpaid taxes, for example, then it could impact your eligibility. In other words, no credit is better than bad credit when it comes to getting qualified.
One of the main benefits of student loan refinancing is the ability to release any cosigners you might have had on your original loans.
Though this is universal among other lenders, it’s worth highlighting that MPOWER allows you to release cosigners on loans borrowed from other countries. That could be particularly valuable if you have a parent or other benefactor in another country whose financials are affected by loans borrowed back home.
MPOWER also prides itself on its social impact, using its resources to help borrowers with all manner of issues. The company’s Path2Success program, specifically, offers a de facto career coach by connecting you with a human resources professional.
Because it serves a niche audience, MPOWER Financing isn’t the right option for every borrower who’s considering refinancing student loans.
Before getting ahead of yourself, confirm that your native country or the country where you borrowed student loans is eligible for MPOWER Financing.
|If you’re a citizen from one these countries (or you borrowed student loans there), you’re likely to be eligible for MPOWER Financing|
● The Dominican Republic
● South Korea
MPOWER Financing might only be a worthwhile option if your residency status makes you ineligible with most other lenders. That’s primarily because its fixed interest rates are higher than competitors who cater to citizen or permanent resident borrowers.
Also, all MPOWER Financing customers receive the same rate, so it’s not possible to secure a lower APR because of the strength of your application. Finally, MPOWER doesn’t feature the option of variable interest rates that start out lower and fluctuate according to market conditions.
On the brightside, you can shave a full percentage point off your APR after opting for automatic payments and submitting six on-time payments consecutively.
If you borrowed more than six figures, perhaps for a costly graduate or professional degree, you’ll be subject to MPOWER Financing’s $100,000 refinancing limit. You could choose to refinance up to that amount with MPOWER or shop around for another lender that will consolidate the whole lot.
MPOWER loan reviews should note the company’s lack of repayment protections. The company doesn’t allow you to defer (or put off) your loan payments if you decide to go back to school for another degree. It also doesn’t outline a clear forbearance program that would allow you to postpone payments for months at a time.
For its part, MPOWER Financing sports a multilingual customer service team and asks its customers to reach out directly if they have experienced hardship that might affect their loan repayment.
With MPOWER refinancing, you could consolidate loans from your home country or from another U.S. financial institution. As of Jan. 26, 2022, however, you could not refinance a loan that you originally borrowed as an undergraduate or graduate student from MPOWER directly.
If you’re an international graduate hoping to refinance education debt, you may not have as many options as your U.S.-citizen or permanent-resident peers. Still, it’s wise to shop around for the best possible loan for your situation.
|SLH rating||3.1/5||Not yet rated||Not yet rated|
|Products||● Student loan refinancing||● Student loan refinancing
● Parent PLUS loan refinancing
● Medical resident refinancing
|● Student loan refinancing|
|Eligibility requirements||● No credit required
● Minimum income not disclosed
● Visa (that allows you to work in the U.S. for at least two years), DACA recipient, U.S. citizen, refugee or asylum seeker
● At least three months of U.S. job experience
● College diploma
|● Good or excellent credit score
● No minimum income
● Nonpermanent residents with eligible visas can apply with a permanent resident cosigner
|● 660 credit score
● No minimum income requirement
● Citizenship, permanent residency or eligible visa-holder
● College degree from lender network university
|APRs||Fixed starting at 8.45%||Variable starting at 4.99% and fixed starting at 4.49%||Variable starting at 4.44% and fixed starting at 4.49%|
|Minimum loan amount||$2,001||$5,000||$5,000|
|Repayment terms available||10 years||Up to 20 years||Up to 20 years|
|Apply with a cosigner||n/a||Yes||Yes|
If you graduate college or university in another country, perhaps borrowing student loans there, too, MPOWER Financing could be a real boon to your situation. It could allow you to consolidate your education debt in the U.S. and start building credit history stateside while also potentially netting you a lower APR.
If you have other lending options out there — whether because you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or because you borrowed your loans domestically — it’s worth shopping around beyond MPOWER. That’s because its one-size-fits-all fixed APR isn’t highly competitive with other lenders. Plus, you could find secondary features, like borrowing amounts and repayment protections, more appealing elsewhere.
A good place to continue your search for the right lender is our student loan refinancing marketplace.
|Best student loan refinancing options for…|
|Parent PLUS loan consolidation||Refinancing with a credit union|
|Job loss protection||Refinancing without a college degree|
|Consolidating six figures of student loan debt|
If you’re ready to apply with MPOWER Financing, here’s what to expect about the process:
- Visit the MPOWER website.
- Confirm your eligibility.
- Complete an online application, which requests personal and financial information.
- Receive conditional approval (or disapproval) “within a few business days.”
- Upload documents to verify the information you provided previously.
- Sign your final loan documents.
- Wait for MPOWER to pay off your original loans and issue your new refinanced loan.
|What you need to begin the refinancing process with MPOWER Financing|
|● Photo identification depending on your residency status
● Payoff statements for any loans you wish to refinance
● Diploma or final transcript
● Job offer letter and three months of pay stubs
● Documents confirming your address and living expenses
MPOWER loans review: For undergraduate and graduate students
MPOWER stands out from the crowd of student loan companies by working with students of 190-plus nationalities who are attending degree or certificate programs in the U.S. and Canada. These no-cosigner private loans could help students (who are within two years of graduating) bridge remaining gaps in their cost of higher education.
MPOWER Financing student loans are a good fit for international students and DACA recipients who don’t qualify for federal financial aid or have the cosigner or credit history necessary for private loans with lower APRs and more robust repayment flexibility. MPOWER’s relatively high interest rates are partly helped by the fact that it offers attainable discounts of up to 1.50 percentage points off your original APR.
MPOWER Financing styles itself as a fintech with innovative student loan solutions, but it’s still important to weigh the nuts-and-bolts details of its products.
|Rates||● International graduate students: Fixed APR of 12.94%
● International undergraduate juniors, seniors: Fixed APR of
● Citizen, permanent resident and DACA grad students: Fixed APR of 8.89%
● Citizen, permanent resident and DACA undergrad juniors, seniors: Fixed APR of 10.91%
|Basics||● Prequalify and check rates without affecting your credit
● Borrow $2,001 to $50,000 per academic term, with a lifetime limit of $100,000
● Reduce your interest rate by 1.50 percentage points if you sign up for automatic payments, make six on-time payments in a row and show proof of graduation or employment
|Eligibility||● Attend one of about 380 eligible colleges or universities in the U.S. or Canada (parents are not eligible to borrow)
● Be within two years of graduating
● International student, DACA recipient, U.S. citizen, refugee or asylum seeker
|Applying||● No application fees
● Loan origination fee: 5% of your loan amount
● Unspecified fee for late or invalid payments
|Repayment||● No prepayment penalties
● Interest-only payments while enrolled and for six months after (grace period)
● Repayment term of 10 years
|Support||● No deferment available if you return to school
● Pausing payments via forbearance might be possible in cases of hardship
● Not clear if forgiveness is offered in case of borrower’s death, disability
Every lender has its pros and cons. Here are some potential pros in our MPOWER loans review.
MPOWER is transparent about its eligibility criteria and offers you the ability to prequalify, or confirm that eligibility.
The fact that MPOWER offers one fixed APR option to each type of prospective borrower also makes it easy for you to shop around and compare quotes with other companies that offer prequalification.
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.
Some fine print, however: If you do have a credit history, it can impact your application. Bad credit, due to late payments on past accounts or other reasons, would harm your chances of loan approval.
MPOWER Financing attempts to make itself a full-service operation by helping customers with:
- Financial aid: Besides dispensing loans, MPOWER awards a variety of scholarships.
- Career support: Through its Path2Success program, MPOWER matches you with a job recruiter to make you more marketable for postgraduate employment.
- Visa support letters: The company could issue a support letter to support your application for a U.S. immigration visa.
MPOWER loan reviews on customer sites like Trustpilot are generally positive, but there are some lender characteristics to be aware of.
MPOWER Financing sets a fixed APR for each type of loan it offers, but that APR is on the high end as compared to competitors. If you’re creditworthy (or you have a cosigner who is) and you meet residency requirements with other lenders, you could nab a lower interest rate elsewhere.
To be fair, MPOWER offers up to discount your APR by up to 1.50 percentage points for making automatic payments, submitting dues on time and graduating or finding employment. But most borrowers won’t qualify for these discounts until after leaving school.
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 student loan early. MPOWER Financing doesn’t charge prepayment penalties, so paying off your debt ahead of schedule can help you save money.
MPOWER Financing notes that many private lenders charge origination fees, or a tacked-on cost to process your loan disbursement, but the majority of lenders that LendingTree reviews do not charge such a fee. And 5% is a high amount compared to the few lenders that do require this fee.
If you’re willing to stomach MPOWER’s 5% loan fee, make sure to account for it in the amount you request to borrow, as it will come directly from your balance.
Many private student loan companies allow borrowers to take out funding for as much as 100% of their remaining cost of attendance, minus other financial aid. MPOWER’s threshold, however, is $50,000 per academic term, and $100,000 overall. If you plan on attending graduate or professional school (perhaps to become a health care professional, for example), you might hit your limit and have to find additional funding elsewhere.
Deferment and forbearance programs allow borrowers to postpone their loan payments for a variety of reasons, such as to return to school, take on an internship or residency or recover from an unforeseen hardship. MPOWER Financing only states that it will award forbearances in undescribed situations, leaving you to wonder whether relief will be there should you need it.
MPOWER also doesn’t publicly state whether it offers loan forgiveness in the case of the primary borrower’s death or permanent disability.
If you compare rates and terms with multiple lenders, you give yourself a chance to secure the best possible loan for your needs.
|MPOWER Financing||Prodigy Finance||Funding University|
|SLH rating||3.1/5||Not yet rated||3.8/5|
|Loans for…||● Undergraduate and graduate students without cosigners||● Undergraduates and graduate students without cosigners||● Undergraduate students without cosigners|
|APRs||Fixed starting at 14.98%||Variable starting at 5.91%||Fixed starting at 7.99%|
|Ability to prequalify without affecting credit||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Borrowing amount||$2,001 to $50,000 per term ($100,000 overall)||100%||Check with lender|
|In-school repayment options||1||2||2|
|Repayment terms||10 years||7 to 20 years||10 years|
|Cosigner release available||n/a||n/a||n/a|
You’ll very likely be better off if you shop around beyond a few lenders. Make sure you learn all about the best options for your specific needs.
|Borrower||Programs||Other degrees||Personal situation||Lender feature|
|Part-time students||Community college||Associate degree||Applying without a cosigner||Credit unions|
|International students||Trade school||Non-degree programs||Bad or no credit||Cosigner release|
|Adults returning to school||Nursing school||Economic hardship forbearance|
|Graduate students||Medical school||Hybrid interest rate|
MPOWER Financing offers student loans to borrowers that are often excluded by U.S. banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. If you’re an international student or a DACA recipient, this company could be one of few options for higher education funding.
Still, it’s worth noting that this company’s loans carry relatively high APRs and fees, with limited repayment flexibility. You’d have to make in-school payments immediately and may have a hard time postponing payments after you leave school.
Even if you like MPOWER Financing’s offerings, it’s worth comparing competitors like Prodigy Finance and Funding University that also don’t require good credit, cosigners or citizenship. You might continue your search for the right lender in our private student loans marketplace.
The entire application process for MPOWER loans is completed online. You can confirm your eligibility and review rates without affecting your credit.
If you decide to proceed with a formal application, you will have to upload a variety of documents that verify your identity, cash flow and enrollment status. MPOWER estimates that applying takes about 30 minutes.
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
Applicants from India and Nigeria are asked to use the U.S. phone number or to request a callback using MPOWER’s contact form.
If you didn’t find your question answered in our MPOWER loan reviews, see the following FAQs:
What is MPOWER Financing?
MPOWER Financing is a fintech company offering private student loans and, since 2021, student loan refinancing for borrowers who are typically excluded by traditional financial institutions: international students, DACA recipients and those without domestic credit history or a stateside cosigner.
What is the interest rate for an MPOWER loan?
Interest rates for MPOWER loans vary by the borrower’s residency status and education level.
|Product||Borrower||APR (before discounts)|
|Private student loan||International graduate students||12.94%|
|International undergraduate juniors, seniors||14.98%|
|Citizen, permanent resident and DACA grad students||8.89%|
|Citizen, permanent resident and DACA undergrad juniors, seniors||10.91%|
|Student loan refinancing||8.45%|
|As of Jan. 26, 2022|
What is the maximum loan term for MPOWER?
MPOWER offers only a 10-year repayment term for its private student loans and refinanced loan product.
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.
|More student loan lender reviews|
|● Citizens Bank
● College Ave
● Education Loan Finance
● Laurel Road
● Navy Federal Credit Union
● Prodigy Finance
To come up with our shield rating for student loan refinancing lenders and companies/private student loan lenders and companies, LendingTree asks hard questions — 20 of them, in fact — spanning three categories: accessibility, rates & terms and repayment experience. That’s because we want to judge financial institutions on their products and services from start to finish: when our users are shopping around, filing applications and paying down their debt.
A top-rated lender, for instance, has inclusive eligibility criteria, allows you to prequalify and check rates without harming your credit score and is supportive as you face monthly payments.
The answers that we get to our 20 questions — either from the lenders themselves or by combing through their fine print — determine each lender’s overall rating. We score answers consistently, sometimes awarding partial points, to ensure that you can make equal comparisons between all lenders that we put under the microscope.
LendingTree isn’t paid for conducting these reviews, and lenders don’t have a say in their content. The goal with our reviews and ratings, along with everything else we do, is to give our users the most comprehensive and up-to-date information available to make the best decisions according to their borrowing needs.
LendingTree has independently collected the above information related to MPOWER Financing student loans, which is current as of Jan. 26, 2022, unless otherwise noted. None of the financial institutions named has either provided or reviewed the information shared in this article.