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MPOWER student loans: 2023 review

Updated on November 15, 2023

At a glance

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On lender's site
Rating: 3.3 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Repayment Options
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

MPOWER Financing is a public benefit corporation that specializes in private student loans and student loan refinancing. This D.C.-based lender was founded by former international students and focuses on loans tailored for current international students. 

Lender Details


Loan amount

$2,001 to $100,000


APR from

13.98% to 17.08% Fixed APR

Clock Wait

Term lengths

10 years

MPOWER features

MPOWER student loans are open to international and DACA students without a co-signer. By removing the need for a co-signer, collateral and credit history, MPOWER makes it easy for students to be eligible for its loans.

Besides that, MPOWER goes the extra mile by helping international students with their visa application process and finding a U.S.-based job after graduation at no additional cost. These services are completely optional. So if you want to return to your home country, that’s okay, too. MPOWER has partnered with payment platform Flywire so you can repay your loans from abroad using the currency of your choice.

MPOWER: in the details

Pros and cons of MPOWER student loans

MPOWER student loans can be a great alternative to help international students cover the costs of college when other types of financial aid fall short. Still, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before you apply to ensure this is the best option for you.

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  • Open to noncitizens without a co-signer. Most lenders issue loans exclusively to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. MPOWER focuses on international students and DACA students — and doesn’t require students to have a co-signer, collateral or credit history to be approved for a loan.
  • Multiple currencies supported. Although you will be charged a fee for currency exchange, you can repay your loans using your local currency if you’re living abroad.
  • Apply in advance. MPOWER allows you to apply for a loan up to 12 months prior to your start date.
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  • Limited availability. To be eligible for either an undergraduate or a graduate loan, students must also be within two years of their expected graduation date — and enrolled in one of the institutions MPOWER works with.
  • Limited repayment terms. While most lenders offer repayment terms ranging from five to 20 years, MPOWER only offers a 10-year repayment term.
  • No in-school deferral. Lenders typically don’t require any payments on your loans until six months after you graduate. With MPOWER, you are required to start making interest payments 21 to 60 days after your loan is disbursed.

MPOWER student loan requirements

To apply for MPOWER’s private student loans, you must:

  • Be admitted to or enrolled in one of the U.S. schools supported by MPOWER.
  • Be within two years of your expected graduation date.
  • Be enrolled in a degree-seeking program.
  • Be a citizen of one of MPOWER’s approved countries.
  • Reside in the U.S. while completing the program.

To apply for a student loan refinance, you must:

  • Be a college graduate.
  • Have worked in the U.S. for at least three months after graduating.
  • Have a valid visa or be a DACA recipient, U.S. citizen, refugee or asylum-seeker.

Who is this loan good for?

MPOWER’s student loans are a good option for international and DACA students who are enrolled in a degree-seeking program in the U.S. and need financial assistance to pay for school. If you’re a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, however, you might be better off looking into other options, as you could potentially find better terms and interest rates than those offered by MPOWER.

Interest rates and terms

MPOWER has one discount of 0.25 percent for signing up for automatic payments. Its advertised minimum rates reflect the automatic payment discount. It formerly offered additional discounts for making multiple consecutive on-time payments and providing proof of graduation and employment, but MPOWER’s website no longer mentions these discounts.

Loan product Variable rate Fixed rate
Undergraduate student loans N/A 14.75% to 15.01% APR
Graduate student loans N/A 13.72% to 13.98% APR
Student loan refinancing N/A 12.23% to 12.48% APR

MPOWER’s rates are higher than industry average student loan rates. With most lenders, having a better credit score nets you a better rate and you may choose between a fixed and variable rate

But MPOWER offers only a single, fixed annual percentage rate (APR), plus or minus the autopay discount. This means that even those with excellent credit will pay an above-average rate. On the other hand, many lenders won’t work with international students at all. 

Fees and penalties

MPOWER has an origination fee of 5 percent for graduate and undergraduate student loans. If you refinance a previous student loan, there is a smaller origination fee of 2 percent. Many student lenders have done away with these fees.

There is also a late payment fee and a returned check fee, although the costs for these are not specified.

Repayment terms and grace period

All of MPOWER’s loans have a 10-year repayment term, which can be limiting, especially for current or former students who want to refinance.

Its grace period is also unconventional. You are not required to make any payments on the principal balance until six months after you graduate. However, MPOWER does require borrowers to start making interest payments 21 to 60 days after the loan is disbursed.

Other lenders allow you to choose between defering your loans’ entire cost while in school, making small flat payments or making interest-only payments. For example, competitor Prodigy Finance allows full-time students to defer all payments while in school and for six months after graduation.

How to apply for a loan with MPOWER

The application process is done 100 percent online and takes about 30 minutes to complete. Before you begin, see if you are eligible to apply for a loan with MPOWER. 

Then, follow these steps to apply: 

Customer service

MPOWER has a 4.6 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot, with numerous reviews praising the company’s customer service and seamless loan application process.

The customer service department is open during “business hours.” You can contact customer service by submitting a form through MPOWER’s website, over WeChat or by phone at 1-202-417-3800.

MPOWER frequently asked questions

  • No, MPOWER does not require any collateral for their loans. Borrowers also don’t need a co-signer to get a loan with MPOWER. 

How Bankrate rates MPOWER

Overall Score 3.3
Repayment Options 3.0 MPOWER is widely available and has several types of loans, but its limited repayment options makes it less ideal for borrowers who need flexibility.
Affordability 3.0 While not unreasonable for a lender that doesn’t require co-signers, MPOWER’s interest rates and fees are high compared to more traditional lenders.
Customer Experience 4.0 MPOWER does not specify its customer service hours but does make loan management easy with an online portal and discounts for automatic payments.


The Bankrate team evaluated over a dozen lenders to select our top picks for the best student loans. To do this, Bankrate considers 14 factors, including loan amounts, fees, repayment terms and options, as well as fixed and variable APR ranges. Then, lenders are rated using our vetting system known as the Bankrate Score, which focuses on three main categories.

  • Availability: We looked at minimum and maximum loan amounts, as well as the lender’s eligibility requirements, co-signer option, degrees covered and state availability. Lenders that offered the most flexibility as well as nationwide servicing and that offered financing for a variety of programs ranked higher in this section.
  • Affordability: Fixed and variable interest rates, fees, penalties and discounts were measured in this category. Lenders with the lowest rates, fewer fees and multiple discounts got the higher scores.
  • Customer experience: Our team looked at the ease of the application process, as well as online account management tools, customer support hours, app availability, repayment options and grace periods offered by the lenders. This allowed us to determine the lenders’ ability to satisfactorily serve customers.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.