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Education loans in India for studying abroad vs Prodigy Finance

Chloë Foden, Head of Marketing at Prodigy Finance, wraps up the 3-part series on international MBA loans by covering the MBA financing options for Indian students and the differences between getting an education loan for overseas studies from Indian banks versus approaching an international lender like Prodigy Finance.

In this post, Chloë invites Padmapriya (Indian student at HEC Paris) to share her experiences and views on the various lending options she evaluated before taking a call. Here are some more reviews of Prodigy Finance.

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Comparing study abroad loans: International lenders (Prodigy Finance) vs Indian banks

By Chloë Foden

Education loans abroad vs Indian banks

Padmapriya Iyer dreamt of doing her MBA at HEC Paris. Originally from Chennai, she studied Computer Engineering at the University of Pune, and after working in the consulting industry for three years, she decided to shift direction and pursue another passion: marketing.

She wanted her day-to-day interactions to be not just with computers, but with people. In particular, she wanted to pursue a marketing career in the luxury goods industry.

Padmasees luxury as a fascinating industry, where marketing principles are turned on their head; craftsmanship and artistry are valued over mass efficiency. Additionally, she sees a very promising market for it in emerging economies like India.

In an interview with Prodigy Finance, she explained that through extensive research she knew the best vehicle to help her make this industry shift would be to complete her MBA at HEC Paris, in the fashion capital of the world.

She also wanted to experience an entirely different culture and meet people from different countries, which would be made possible given HEC’s 90 percent international student body for their MBA programme.

Financing your MBA: What are the options?

After being accepted into HEC Paris’s MBA Programme – Padma’s first and only choice – it was time to address the next step in the road to her MBA: financing her degree.

Initially she looked at overseas education loans in India, where the bank interest rates were high as a result of increasing inflation – banks she spoke to offered rates of between 10.5 percent and 13.5 percent. In addition at some of these banks, depending on the required loan amount, borrowers may be asked to provide 100 percent collateral – a hurdle that many students are unable to overcome.

Padma’s view is that “unless you have really good family backing or you have property to show for it, it’s very difficult to get overseas study loans in India”.

“I was looking at all of my options, and Prodigy Finance came along at exactly the right time”, she adds.

She learned from the HEC MBA Council that Prodigy Finance was in talks with the business school about starting a loan programme, and was very intrigued. Once the official agreement between HEC Paris and Prodigy Finance came through, she applied immediately.

Why Prodigy Finance? Transparency, and a simple process

We asked Padma to share her thoughts and experiences of applying for alternative international student loan options, and why she made Prodigy Finance her final choice to finance her MBA.

The banks in India do not give you the APR. I heard of the APR for the first time when I looked at the Prodigy loan offer and saw that it is a much more transparent way of communicating exactly how much you would end up paying.

In addition, the process itself is somewhat less laborious. I applied for loans in India with banks and the processes were very convoluted. I would approach the customer relations department and tell them what I want to do and they keep asking for documentation, a lot of documentation. A loan in India would take about a month and a half to come through.

With Prodigy the application process is really simple. And the terms were pretty simple to understand – there was just a five page document which explained everything, including how to go about restructuring and how to make the payments. Everything was all there. I did not have any questions once I read the loan document.

While Padma’s family was willing to support her as an alternative option, she said she wouldn’t have felt good about it with both of her parents being close to retirement. That was the final factor that made her decide to go with Prodigy Finance – it allowed her to finance her degree independently.

Since Prodigy Finance education loans don’t require any collateral or a co-signer it allows more student borrowers to stand on their own two feet to fund their studies – something that is important to many.

Padma also appreciates the six month ‘payment holiday’ after graduation, before repayments begin with a Prodigy Finance loan.

Even if you get a job, in your initial couple of months all that money goes into setting up your accommodation, travelling, getting used to the new place, if you’re moving to a different city, et cetera.

Prodigy Finance offers access to funding for those who may not have other options

For Padma, the access to an international student loan option that she could take on her own was a driving force in enabling her to attend the HEC Paris MBA programme.

Coming from a developing country myself, it’s very good that it’s not the finance aspect of things holding me back from pursuing my dreams.

Study loan options in India for studying abroad

Indian Banks* Prodigy Finance
Loan amount Most cap maximum amount at Rs 20 Lakhs Dependent on the individual application and school (max amounts vary from 80% tuition costs to full CoA for STEM programmes) Average loan size: $38,000
Interest rate 9% – 14% 5.5% – 8.5%
Collateral requirement Some collateral, sometimes up to 100% No
Co-signer requirement Yes No
Grace period Variable Study period + 6 months after graduation
Fees Varies 2.5% of loan amount
APR Uncertain Specified on a ‘per school’ basis

*Aggregate information from 2 Indian banks for student loans to study abroad.

Also read, How to pay off your student loan early?

Learn more about education loan reviews from Prodigy Finance.

Education loans abroadBio: Chloë Foden is the Head of Global Marketing at Prodigy Finance and joined the company in September 2014. Chloë is particularly interested in driving social value and community building, and looks to grow Prodigy Finance into the leading global option for international student loans.

This sponsored post is part of CrystalConnect, an outreach initiative by MBA Crystal Ball.

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About Prodigy Finance
Prodigy Finance is the pioneer of community-based student financing. To date, the company has funded students from 115 countries with repayment rates in excess of 99%.

37 thoughts on “Education loans in India for studying abroad vs Prodigy Finance”

  1. Dear Chloe Foden,

    I am in the same situation ryt nw searching for the sponsors who fund my education abroad…i am unable to show any type of collateral, your article nw gave me a small hope of life to me!! Could you pls help me in this situation!!

    All time available at this e-mail id::

    Waiting for your reply!!

    Thank you!!

  2. Hello Chloe,
    This is really a ray of hope for aspirant like us who suffers from ill economic health and can’t fulfil their dream and passion. I saw a link of universities in the website who has tie ups. However, I would like to know the list of universities where Prodigy is trying to tie up as loan provider for international student.

  3. hello Chole,

    would you able to provide for students applying to universities other than those mentioned in the site..

  4. Hello Somenath
    There are a few additional business schools where we may be able to offer loans soon – Hult Business School, and Rochester University amongst others. May I ask which business school you have been admitted to, or are hoping to attend?

  5. Hello Ramkaran
    In most cases, we cannot offer loans for business school that are not listed on our site. However, the list of schools that we offer loans for is updated quite regularly, so please keep checking our website!

    • Hi chloe,

      Can you provide loan for smurfit business school. I want to do my project management from there and it’s among one of the best business schools for the course and I don’t want to loose such an opportunity.

  6. Hi Chloe,

    I have gone through the list but i am applying for colleges in Canada, so can I get a loan for colleges in Canada?

  7. Hey,

    Do prodigy take rupee depreciation into the picture, with that 6-7 % loan in prodigy is equivalent to 11-12 % loan in India.

    • Hi Aman,

      Great question! While the rupee has indeed depreciated 4% in the past few years, it would be a fallacy to assume the same depreciation in the future. In the past INR has significantly appreciated reaching highs of 38 rupees per USD. There is no reason to assume that similar appreciations will not happen in the future, specially given that in an increasingly gloomy global economic environment, India is the leading light, leading stats such as GDP growth, FDI inflows etc.

      As a community lender, the offer that we extended is the lowest possible interest rate that we can offer to students and continue to be financially viable. In fact, the funding comes from a community of investors that forgoes a better market return to invest in your education. Thousands of students find our offers to be the most favourable option for funding their studies.

      At Prodigy Finance, we’re proud to be different to a traditional bank. For us, it’s not enough to provide competitive interest rates. Instead, we listen to current international students to offer student-friendly education loans with a number of tailored features:
      1. No Collateral/Co-signer: There is no need to put up your family assets to attend the education you deserve. We are encouraging an environment where students can fund themselves, just as you received an admit on your own merit.
      2. No prepayment penalties: You can make early payments on your loan with no penalty. This effectively saves you interest on your education loan (and reduces APR).
      3. Simple User Experience: As a FinTech company, we are tech-enabled and the whole application process happens online,. Also, loan disbursements are done by sending your funds directly to school.
      4. Transparency: We have a simple, honest and transparent loan origination process with easy simple-to-follow steps. Our Applications team works incredibly hard to provide a personalised experience for 116 nationalities.
      5. Community: Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we support our borrower community to succeed professionally and personally with a host of community initiatives such as networking events, mentoring opportunities, and access to international careers resources.

      Happy to answer further queries and concerns!

      Kind regards,

  8. Hi chole.

    I was looking to apply to prodigy for my student loan.

    i found that you have suddenly stopped funding to McGill university, canada.

    Can you please help me with it


    • Hi Arun,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      In our current list of supported schools, you will find McGill University, Canada.
      We look to open the loan application for McGill students in January.


  9. Hi Chloe,

    I have an unconditional offer to pursue my MBA in Warwick Business School for 2017-2018. I heard that Prodigy Finance has been having discussions to collaborate with Warwick for the student loans. Will the collaboration be up and about for the Sept’2017 intake?

    • Hi Harika,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      Yes, Prodigy Finance is currently discussing a collaboration with Warwick Business School. Please stay in touch so that we can update you when the collaboration is up.

      Rishabh Goel

  10. Hi Chloe,
    Is there any education loan for studying MBA in new Jersey city university and how much will the loan amount will cover.

    • Hi Biki,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      Prodigy Finance supports Rutgers University in New Jersey. For more details, go to our website at and start a loan application 🙂

      Rishabh Goel

  11. Hello Team,

    There are few other good business schools like “UCD Micheal Smurfit Business School”- Ireland and “ESCP Europe” which are not mentioned on your website. Can you please tell whether you provide loan for these schools (MBA program).

    • Hi Nitin,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      As a community Lender, Prodigy Finance can only support certain schools where it has community funding. At the moment, we support most of the top 100 B-schools according to the FT MBA rankings. See the full list of supported schools on our FAQs page: here

      Rishabh Goel

  12. Hey Chloe,
    I have already applied to prodigy finance.
    How long does it take for the loan process to yield a result (approved / disapproved)?

  13. i have send some queries to prodigy finance, but they are tremendously slow. They reply only once or twice but they don’t address the real problem. On the website of prodigy finance they says: Just few days etc etc etc. but it’s been so long and they didn’t addressed my query let alone the approval of loan. It’s pathetic.

    • Hi Vijay,

      Thank you for your interest in Prodigy Finance.

      Congratulations on your admit to Texas A&M! Prodigy Finance is currently setting up the risk-assessment model for your programme, and we’ll reach out to you very soon when it is live.

      Thank you for the patience 🙂

      Rishabh Goel

  14. Hi Chloe,

    I have been admitted for the MSc. in Energy Management programme at ESCP (London & Paris campuses)?
    I tried creating my account successfully, but was unable to find ESCP among the list of schools.

    Can you please help me out in guiding me in this case?

    Maanabh B

  15. hello , does prodigy finance offer education loan for australian universities? i have an admit from la trobe university australia?

  16. Hi,

    In case one doesn’t have an alternate funding mechanism, how is one assured that the max loan amount by Prodigy for a B-school can be availed?
    I want to apply to EDHEC and the prodigy website says that a loan of up to 80% of the cost of attendance for an MBA at EDHEC can be availed.
    Since I don’t have an alternate funding mechanism, can I apply to EDHEC assuming that i can borrow 80% of the cost of attendace from Prodigy?
    If there is no alternate method of funding, what can I do?

    Your response is much appreciated!


    • Hi MH,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You can learn your personalised loan terms by applying on our website anytime! There are no documents or fee required 🙂

      Rishabh Goel

  17. Hi Rishab and Chloe,

    I am planning to pursue either PhD in Business Administration or M.S in Information Systems at UT Arlington. But, I don’t see that school listed eligible on your site. Could you please help ??

    Thank you

    • Hi Sandhya,

      Thank you for your comment.

      While Prodigy Finance does not support PhD programmes, we are supporting MI IS programme at UT Arlington! In fact, we support STEM programmes at top 100 MS in US 🙂

      Rishabh Goel

  18. Hi,

    I want to do JD from US school. However, only thing Prodigy helps in is 2 years of LLM or 2 and 3rd year for JD.

    Could I get clarification in that. As Prodigy was my only hope.

    Best Regards

    • Hi Shruti,

      Apologies for the delayed response. We are indeed working on supporting 3 years of JD and will have an update very soon 🙂

      Best wishes,
      Rishabh Goel

  19. Hi all,

    Disha here. I’m interested in US Masters and received a few admits too. I’m currently looking for finance options and came across Prodigy. I came across a recent article which clearly indicates that the USD LIBOR is increasing at a very high rate.

    From 2014 to 2018, the USD LIBOR grew 5 times from 0.5% to 2.3%. If I’m not wrong, APR means interest rate in common terms. If things go at this rate, then the APR is expected to proportionally increase during the education and repayment period. Suppose, I get at an APR of 10% today, it can be even touching 14-15% in the coming 4-5 years, which is “Humongous”. It will surely be a burden while repaying. I also have an option of taking from an Indian bank right now.

    I would like to ask, is it possible for Prodigy to lend at a fixed APR so that their is no fear of USD LIBOR hike over the coming years? Please suggest. Thanks…

    • Hi Disha,

      Congratulations on your admits, and thank you so much for raising your concerns with Prodigy Finance. Very happy to address them:

      1. APR is NOT your interest rate. Prodigy Finance APR includes your interest rate (with LIBOR) and administration fee. APR tells you that there are no hidden costs with Prodigy Finance. There is no sanction fee, insurance charges, valuation charges etc. Furthermore if you are going for STEM MS, then you’re eligible for 3 year OPT and prepay the loan – saving lots of potential interest. And since you’ll borrow in USD and repay in USD there will be no FX charges that can be 1-1.5% each way.

      2. Yes! LIBOR has increased over the past few months. LIBOR is a variable rate and Institutions lend over LIBOR to protect investors from market fluctuations, and pass on rate cuts to students. Just because LIBOR increased in the past, it does not mean LIBOR will increase in the future. It can go up and down. You can see historical LIBOR rates to see how they move. However, if we offer a fixed rate, then we would not be able to pass-on the benefits of potential reduction in LIBOR rates.
      Talking about variable rates, all rates are variable. If you are from India then for a bank the rates float an MCLR that is linked to an RBI rate (and recently increased). The NBFC’s define their own variable rate which they can change at any point of time.
      At Prodigy Finance, we are extremely up front about our variable rate and it is defined by the financial market. Please check with your local bank on the rate they are offering and how they change it.

      Hope the above helps. The article you mentioned has multiple factual inaccuracies about Prodigy Finance, including our loan terms and process. Please visit our website to learn more about us 🙂

      Happy to answer follow-up questions.

      Rishabh Goel

  20. Hi Chloe, Rishab,

    I am planning to pursue one year full time MBA either from UCD Smurfit or Trinity Business School. Both schools are bases in Dublin, Ireland. However, I don’t see these schools in list of schools available in Prodigy website. Could you please confirm whether Prodigy provides financial help to students for these schools.


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