Stride Funding Income Share Agreement review
A student loan alternative for graduate students based on your future salary.
- Best for students who want to enter the STEM, business or healthcare industries.
- Pick something else if you plan on getting a high-paying job straight out of school.
$25,000 per year
Max. ISA Amount
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Stride ISAs are ideal if you’re a senior undergraduate or a graduate student in a traditionally high-paying field and plan on taking a relatively low-paying job after you graduate. Instead of having high monthly repayments, you’ll only have to pay a certain percentage of your income — or none at all, if you end up unemployed or making less than $40,000 a year.
But it might not be a great choice if your goal is to make as much money as you can immediately after graduating. You’ll have to pay a higher amount if you end up at a high-paying job — though the rate itself would be the same as if you made less. And you might end up paying more than if you just took out student loans.
Still on the fence? See our list of private lenders that might be a better fit for you.
First, am I eligible?
The only hard requirements to qualify for a Stride Income Share Agreement are that you must be a US citizen or permanent resident, and you must be graduating from an eligible program within the next two years. Unlike student loan providers, Stride doesn’t consider your credit score or current income.
Instead, your eligibility depends on the school you’re attending and your field of study. Stride focuses on helping graduate students complete a STEM, business or healthcare program — not including MD degrees.
How does a Stride Income Share Agreement work?
A Stride ISA works by funding up to $25,000 of your cost of graduate school in exchange for a percentage of your income over two to 10 years. If you need more than $25,000, Stride can connect you with student loan providers CommonBond and MPower to pick up the slack.
You can find out if you qualify online by filling out a short form on Stride’s website. If you’re eligible, you can move forward with your application and review your offer before signing.
How much does a Stride ISA cost?
It depends on how much you make since your monthly payments are based on a percentage of your income. That percentage depends on several factors, including:
- Major or field of study
- Where you attend school
- Expected salary
If you’re in a high-paying field at a school with a high graduation rate, you might get a lower payback rate than students less likely to make as much money or finish their program.
Is there a limit to how much I’ll pay?
Yes, Stride has protections for students who end up earning too much or too little:
- Minimum income threshold. If you make less than the minimum income threshold — $30,000 to $40,000 a year, depending on your agreement — after you graduate, you don’t have to make any payments toward your ISA.
- Payment cap. If you make more than expected, your payments are capped at twice the amount you borrowed. So, you’ll never pay more than $50,000.
Top reasons to consider a Stride ISA
From its short terms to its payment protections, here are a few perks of working with Stride:
- No credit or current income requirements. This could make it a particularly attractive option if you can’t qualify for private student loans or don’t have a cosigner.
- Cost based on projected income. You won’t have to sacrifice your dream career for a higher-paying job to afford monthly repayments.
- Payment protections. You don’t have to pay anything if you make less than $40,000 a year. And high-earners will never pay more than twice the amount they borrowed.
- Shorter terms. You’ll be done with repayments in two to 10 years with a Stride ISA. The minimum term for a federal income-driven repayment plan is 20 years.
Drawbacks to working with Stride
Consider these potential drawbacks before signing up for a Stride Income Share Agreement:
- Low maximum amount. You might not be able to cover your full cost of attendance with a Stride ISA.
- Favors high-paying fields. You might not get as good of a payback rate if you’re not in the healthcare, STEM or business industry.
- Potentially more expensive than a loan. If you get a high-paying job out of school, you might pay more with an ISA than if you’d borrowed federal student loans.
- Multistep application. Stride’s application is a little more involved than some online private loans.
- Limited information online. Stride doesn’t provide a range of income percentages you might expect on its website.
Compare more private student loan providers
What do borrowers say about Stride Income Share Agreements?
Stride and its parent company, AlmaPact, are relatively new. Neither have customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau or TrustPilot as of October 2019.
What to expect when signing up
You can sign up through Stride’s website by following these steps:
- Go to the Stride website.
- Click Apply now.
- Fill in the required fields with information about yourself and your program.
- Click Join Stride.
After you submit your application, Stride will send you a quote. If you qualify, Stride sends over your ISA offer which provides complete details of your contract — including the income percentage and length of the agreement. From there you can choose whether to accept the offer and join the Stride community.
What information do I need to apply?
You only need to provide the following information on the application:
- Your name and email
- School name
- Type of degree and degree program
- Your field of study
- If you’re applying to or already admitted to the program
- How much funding you need
More about Stride
Formerly known as AlmaPact, Stride was founded by a Harvard business student, Tess Michaels. It’s one of a handful of companies that offer ISAs as a student loan alternative in the United States. In 2019, it acquired Base Capital, an ISA pioneer founded in 2014.
Not sure an income share agreement is right for you? Check out our guide to student loans to explore more ways to pay for college.