“I would not be where I am now without Prodigy Finance,” says Abhirath Anuwal, who moved to the US to pursue an MBA at Yale School of Management.
After several years working for Deloitte, Abhirath started looking at funding options to study an MBA abroad. But most local banks were unwilling to lend internationally and offered only high-interest loans, riddled with clauses and extra costs.
Instead, Abhirath applied for an international post-graduate loan from community lender, Prodigy Finance.
“Prodigy Finance clearly had a better interest rate for international students in the US,” he says. “My school knew the company, and that made me feel secure about pulling the trigger on a big loan transaction.”
Prodigy Finance’s borderless, peer-to-peer lending model gives international students access to the loans they need to study abroad.
Founded by three INSEAD MBA grads in 2007, it’s processed over US$250 million in loans to date, funding MBA and business master’s degrees for over 6,200 students from 127 different nationalities. Over 80% of those who use Prodigy Finance would otherwise not be able to finance their studies.
In September, Abhirath, along with Vyom Vats, was chosen for Prodigy Finance’s inaugural scholarship program. They both received $20,000 in additional funding.
Vyom is now studying a master’s in analytics at the Georgia Institute of Technology: Scheller College of Business. He’s one of the 80%.
“I would not have been able to come here for my masters had Prodigy Finance not made taking out an education loan so easy and hassle-free,” Vyom explains.
“There’s no denying that I’ll profit very significantly from the education I’m receiving,” he continues. “A master’s degree in a technical field is a great differentiator when one ventures out into the corporate world.”
Prodigy Finance’s loans come in the currency local to the student’s study destination. They don’t require a guarantor. And when Vyom was looking for education loans, its simple proposition stood out.
“The cost of education in the US is very high if one pays it using Indian rupees,” he says. “It’s much more practical to take the loan out in US dollars, and then pay it back in the same currency.
“Plus, I don’t have to worry about the Indian rupee getting devalued as opposed to the US dollar, or vice versa.”
For Vyom, the scholarship was a welcome surprise. Three more scholarships remain. Anyone who secures a Prodigy Finance loan for a US or UK business school before November 30th, is in with a chance.
Whatever the student’s country of origin, Prodigy Finance opens doors to elite business schools in the US. Carlos Costa worked for EY and McKinsey before joining Harvard Business School’s top-ranked MBA program earlier this year. Prodigy Finance played a key role in his MBA journey.
“Without Prodigy Finance’s financial support, it would have been very hard for me to come to Harvard,” he says. “Prodigy Finance knows exactly how to deal with prospective business school students from Brazil. And everyone I talked to was very open to discuss any kind of issue that I had.”
Neha Bansal is an MBA student at Columbia Business School, a fellow Ivy League institution. She was drawn by Prodigy Finance’s community-funded model, which allows private investors and business school alumni to invest in the future of high-potential students at the world’s top schools.
“I even had the opportunity to share my start-up idea with one of Prodigy Finance’s investors,” she says. “The kind of network that I’m building within Prodigy Finance will go a long way in helping me build my career in the US.”
Neha applied for a Prodigy Finance loan, was accepted and received the funding, in under three weeks. She was blown away by the customer service she received.
“Prodigy Finance allows international students to compete on a level playing field,” she says. “It’s a great option because there’s no collateral required, the interest rates are very attractive, and we don’t need a loan guarantor.
“Prodigy Finance allowed me to maintain my financial independence and fulfill my MBA dream.”