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Stride Funding Income-Share Agreements: 2022 Review

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Stride Funding was founded in 2018 as a way to provide students with an alternative to student loans. The company offers income-share agreements with a short repayment timeline and low starting rates.

A Stride ISA can be a good option for college students who could benefit from career resources in addition to the basic funding package; Stride claims that it wants to provide students “both an affordable education and the soft skills necessary to navigate their future,” offering networking, workshops, internship postings, scholarships and more.

It’s worth noting that the company has faced criticism from the Student Borrower Protection Center and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, with those agencies claiming that the company uses a discriminatory lending model. No legal action has been taken, but borrowers should do their due diligence comparing companies before signing up for any agreement.

Stride Funding features

One of Stride’s selling points is its unique structure. Most ISAs are offered directly by universities, but Stride is one of the few companies that offers its product independently — though you’ll still have to attend an eligible program and school.

Stride also has a relatively short repayment timeline. In general, borrowers can expect to make 60 monthly payments over a maximum of 10 years.

Stride Funding snapshot

Income share percentages Starting at 2% per $10,000
Loan amounts Up to $25,000 per academic year
Repayment timeline 5  to 10 years
Grace period 3 months
Minimum income threshold $30,000 to $40,000
Payment cap 2 times the initial funding amount

Pros and cons of Stride Funding

Stride Funding offers innovative ISAs, but there are both benefits and downsides to be aware of before signing up.

Pros

  • No credit requirement: Instead of considering credit score, Stride bases its income share percentages on estimated future earnings, the amount financed and time to program completion. There is no minimum credit score to qualify, though Stride will flag any major credit issues.
  • Low starting ISA percentages: While your exact ISA percentage depends on your financial profile and program, Stride’s percentages start at just 2 percent per $10,000 of funding.
  • Career benefits: Stride offers networking opportunities, career-boosting workshops and job placement support for members.

Cons

  • Limited rate information: Stride doesn’t disclose its maximum income share rate percentage, meaning you’ll have to get a quote in order to determine how high your rate percentage could be.
  • Limited availability: Stride does not fund associate degrees, and borrowers must be within two years of their graduation date to receive funding. Stride ISAs are also not available in Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, South Carolina or Washington.
  • Short grace period: Stride’s grace period is only three months. While borrowers will not have to start making payments until they make above the minimum income threshold, this is still a relatively short grace period considering traditional student loans don’t require payments until at least six months after graduation.

Eligibility requirements

In order to qualify for an ISA with Stride Funding, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident attending school in the U.S.
  • Be within at least two years of graduation.
  • Be enrolled in a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral program at an accredited four-year college.
  • Be enrolled at least half time.
  • Have no major credit issues.
  • Have a GPA of at least 2.9.

Currently, Stride does not lend to borrowers in Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, South Carolina or Washington.

Who is the loan good for?

A Stride Funding ISA is a good option for borrowers entering a high-earning field, since Stride says that it’s designed for borrowers pursuing health care, engineering, computer science and business. It’s also worth pursuing if you’re interested in taking advantage of workshops and other career services.

Income share rate

Stride doesn’t disclose its maximum income share rate percentage, but its minimum is 2 percent per $10,000 in funding. Borrowers may take out up to $25,000 per year.

Fees and penalties

Stride funding does not charge any application fees, though it may charge a fee if your payment is late. You can avoid this by setting up automatic payments through Stride’s loan servicer, Knowledge Finance.

Repayment timeline and grace period

Generally speaking, Stride borrowers will need to make 60 payments on their ISA, unless they meet the payment cap before that time. The maximum repayment timeline is 10 years.

Stride offers a three-month grace period after graduation before borrowers have to start making the monthly payments.

Borrowers can also request a short-term economic hardship forbearance if they’re experiencing illness, natural disaster and more.

Income requirements

Stride says that borrowers will not have to make payments until they earn a minimum livable wage, which it defines as around $30,000 to $40,000 a year. Borrowers will not have to pay more than double what they received from Stride — so if a student borrows $10,000, their repayment will end if their repayment amount reaches $20,000.

Customer service

Stride Funding has been the target of scrutiny in recent years. In March 2021, the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund claimed that the company’s lending model discriminates against students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs).

According to the letter, applicants who listed HBCUs when requesting a quote received higher rate quotes, even when incomes, credit scores and financial backgrounds were the same as applicants listing other institutions. Since the report has been published, no legal action has been taken against the company.

For general questions, you can contact Stride’s customer service department by phone at 214-775-9960 or by email at hello@stridefunding.com.

For questions concerning repayment, you can contact Knowledge Finance, Stride’s servicing partner, by phone at 855-479-0490 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT on Friday. Payment and automated account information is available 24/7 by phone, and borrowers may use a secure messaging service on Knowledge Finance’s website.

How to apply for an income-share agreement with Stride

Stride’s application process is entirely online and can be completed on any device.

Here’s what the process looks like when applying through Stride’s website:

  1. Start by filling out a few questions about your education and program. According to Stride, this process takes under one minute to complete, and you’ll instantly receive a quote if you qualify.
  2. After qualifying, you’ll apply for ISA funding through its online application. Be prepared to answer questions about your school, your expected graduation date, how much money you need and basic personal information.
  3. Accept your personalized ISA quote.
Written by
Hanneh Bareham
Student loans reporter
Hanneh Bareham specializes in everything related to student loans and helping you finance your next educational endeavor. She aims to help others reach their collegiate and financial goals through making student loans easier to understand.