Ultimate Guide to Paying for Coding Bootcamp: Loans & Financing

By Liz Eggleston
Last updated on March 31, 2023

Deciding on a coding bootcamp that will propel you into a new career is a huge decision on its own; figuring out how to pay for a bootcamp adds another layer to the search. Programming schools cost around $13,584 on average, and while bootcamp scholarships may help ease the burden, you may need to borrow money to fund your education. In our latest research, we found that 23% of bootcampers are using external loans to cover tuition (that's up from 16% in 2017). We’ve compiled a handy infographic comparing coding bootcamp loan and financing platforms- and a list of questions to ask yourself- as you navigate your options.

9 Ways to Pay for a Bootcamp:

  1. Fund your education yourself using personal savings or with assistance from your family. Many bootcamps offer a tuition discount when a student pays upfront.
  2. Apply for a loan from a Lending Partner. Our favorites are Ascent Funding (formerly Skills Fund) and Climb Credit. Some of these even offer Living Stipends!
  3. Choose a school that offers deferred payment or an income sharing agreement (ISA). Many bootcamps today offer deferred tuition or ISA plans, which allows students to enroll in the bootcamp and pay for the tuition only once they have landed a job after graduation. As with any loan, make sure to read through all of an ISA or deferred payment plan's terms to evaluate if this is the right choice for you.  
  4. If you are a U.S. veteran, use your GI Bill benefits, VET TEC, or VRRAP.
  5. Apply for a scholarship – you can read a full list of coding bootcamp scholarships here!
  6. Crowd-fund your educationUsing crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indigogo, you may be able to crowd-fund your bootcamp tuition. 
  7. Get sponsored by your employerYour current employer may have education funds available for skills development. Stress to your employer that the bootcamp will make you more effective at your job or could help you take on new responsibilities and projects.  
  8. Finance through the bootcamp. Many bootcamps offer financing or personalized payment plans. Some bootcamps like Turing only require a deposit for starting the program.
  9. Apply for a workforce development grant. There are many federal and state-based workforce development grant opportunities for career changers and upskillers that may cover some or all of a bootcamp tuition.

8 Coding Bootcamp Financing/Lending Options

  1. Climb Credit works with over 25 schools, including General Assembly, Dev League, Devmountain, and Coding Campus.
  2. Ascent Funding partners with all the major bootcamps, with their slogan "We Don’t Finance Students To Attend Crappy Programs." Those bootcamps include Coding Dojo, DigitalCrafts, Fullstack Academy, Tech Elevator, Galvanize, Metis, Thinkful, Hackbright Academy.
  3. Upstart, a peer-to-peer lending platform that considers education and experience in addition to credit score, has partnerships with almost all major bootcamps, such as General Assembly, and Fullstack Academy.
  4. Quotanda has local partnerships with IronHack Spain and other Spanish coding bootcamps.
  5. Earnest works directly with with Devmountain, General Assembly, and Code Fellows.
  6. Pave has struck deals almost all the major bootcamps, including Turing and Hack Reactor.
  7. LendLayer was acquired by Affirm, who works directly with General Assembly.
  8. Meritize has partnerships with many bootcamps, such as Ada Developers, Practicum, General Assembly, Spin Career, and more.
Lender Starting APR Terms International? Partner Bootcamps
Climb Credit 5.0% 3 Years No General Assembly, Hack Reactor, etc.
Upstart 6.5% 3 Years No Code Fellows, Coding Dojo, etc.
Ascent Funding 7.34% 3 or 5 Years No Coding Dojo, DigitalCrafts, Fullstack Academy, Tech Elevator, etc.
Quotanda n/a 2-3 Years Yes Ironhack Spain, Kodemia, etc.
Pave 7.2% 2-3 Years No Coding Temple, Flatiron School, Sabio, etc.
Affirm 6.0% 12-18 months No General Assembly
Meritize 8.5% 18 months – 10 years No Ada Developers, Practicum, General Assembly, Spin Career, etc.

What's the Best Payment Option for Bootcamps? Ask yourself these questions: 

Does your dream school have a direct partnership with a lending platform? 

Don't be afraid to ask about lending partnerships when talking to an admissions team. Nearly all coding bootcamps have some kind of relationship with at least one lender. These relationships mean less communication breakdowns, and more work done to ensure that loans are fair and flexible.  

Is it important that the lending partner works with international students? 

For international students, there are some limits because many of the lenders do not offer loans to non-US citizens. Luckily, both Quotanda and Earnest have no restrictions for international students, although Earnest is only available in certain states in the US.

How long will it take you to pay back your loan? 

Think about how long it will take you to pay back your loan once you're employed after graduation. Set a goal for your starting salary and pay attention to terms and interest rates when making your decision. In terms of interest rates, Earnest offers the lowest starting APR at 3.5% and Climb Credit is close behind at 5%. Most of the other lenders sit somewhere between 5-6%.

Remember that you will likely not be able to start paying your load back until after you graduate. In some cases, a lending partner may offer an interest-only loan. That means students are able to make interest-only payments while in school and for three months after. Three months after graduating, students begin making full payments (tuition + interest).

Can I use 529 to pay for a Coding Bootcamp?

If the bootcamp is eligible for Title IV federal student aid, then yes! For example, Kenzie Academy at SNHU. Here's a list of the accredited bootcamps

Further Reading + Watching

For more information, check out our Live Panel Webinar on How to Pay for a Coding Bootcamp, featuring Shannon Burns of Hackbright Academy and Zander Rafael of Climb Credit. You can watch the video below or read the full transcript here. Here's what we cover:

  • How to calculate the real cost of a coding bootcamp.
  • All of your financial options to fund your career change: scholarships, loans, financing, deferred payment, and more!
  • When to get creative to cover your tuition (hint: would your boss actually PAY for your coding bootcamp?)
  • Plus, our guests Zander Rafael of Climb Credit and bootcamp alum Shannon Burns answer all of your questions about bootcamp loans and getting creative! 

Every bootcamp student has unique financial needs, and planning ahead will pay off! 

What is APR?

APR stands for "Annual Percentage Rate," and it includes the interest rate as well as additional fees on a loan for a whole year. Keep in mind that different lenders and loans have different APRs — Make sure to find out what the APR is on a loan you are interested in! (If you want to take a closer look at APR, here's a quick guide.)

For more, check out:

About The Author

Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students researching coding bootcamps. Her research has been cited in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and more. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube!

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