Student Lenders Unite

By Ryan Weeks on Friday 10 July 2015

Alternative Lending

Two of the world’s largest student lending platforms are joining forces.

US based, student focused marketplace lender CommonBond is teaming up with Prodigy Finance in order to ramp up the supply of capital to international post-graduate students who are studying in the States. Prodigy caters to post-grads and MBA students all over the world. The platform, which launched in 2007 and has in recent times transitioned away from the marketplace lending model, has lent a cumulative total of $130m to students from 92 different countries to date. 

CommonBond has facilitated over $200m of student lending thus far, via a marketplace lending model.  The company announced the securitization of $100m of student loans in June, receiving strong ratings from both DBRS and Moody’s.

The union between these two closely aligned platforms is designed to drive international MBA students who plan to study in the US towards Prodigy Finance’s services. Prodigy will determine the terms and conditions of the loans. It’s reasonably safe to assume that the two platforms will have entered into some kind of revenue share arrangement.

David Klein, CEO and Co-Founder of CommonBond, commented on the partnership:

“International MBA students in the U.S. face a unique set of challenges in financing their degrees, largely due to the shortage of funding options from traditional financial institutions. We have long recognized the need for a solution which addresses this need. Now, thanks to our partnership with Prodigy Finance, we are able to make U.S. business schools more accessible and affordable for international students.”

One might assume that Prodigy and CommonBond would line up as rivals, rather than as allies. This partnership suggests that the international post-graduate and undergraduate student lending markets are perceived as wholly distinct by the two platforms – thus the tie-up. For CommonBond, the platform will now be able to cater to a broader range of student customers (through direct lending or through referral).  

Cameron Stevens, Co-Founder and CEO of Prodigy Finance, gave his take:

“We understand firsthand just how difficult it is to finance an international MBA, which is why we launched Prodigy Finance eight years ago as a way of offering borderless loans to international MBA students while enabling investors to earn a competitive financial and a social return by investing in these students. We are excited about our partnership with CommonBond as it furthers our vision to create global funding options for international post-graduate students.”

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