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 $11,450 on average, and while scholarships may help ease the burden, you may need to borrow money to fund your education. In our latest research, we found that 25% of bootcampers are using external loans to cover tuition (that's up from 8% in 2014 and 4% in 2013). 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.
Ask yourself these questions as you consider your options:
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.
Upstart, a peer-to-peer lending platform that considers education and experience in addition to credit score, has partnerships with almost all major bootcamps (ie. Dev Bootcamp, General Assembly, and Fullstack Academy). Quotanda has local partnerships with IronHack Spain, and other Spanish coding bootcamps. Earnest works directly with with DevMountain, General Assembly, Code Fellows and Startup Institute; Pave has struck deals almost all the major bootcamps, including Turing, Hack Reactor, and Dev Bootcamp; and Climb Credit works with over 25 schools, including General Assembly, Wyncode, Dev League, DevMountain and Coding Campus. LendLayer was recently acquired by Affirm, who works directly with Dev Bootcamp, and General Assembly. Skills Fund partners all the major bootcamps, with their slogan "We Don’t Finance Students To Attend Crappy Programs." Those bootcamps include Grace Hopper Academy, Dev Bootcamp, Galvanize, Metis, Bloc, Thinkful, Hackbright Academy etc.
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. Need a refresher on APR, or Annual Percentage Rate? Here's a quick guide. 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. For example, Skills Fund and Bloc have partnered to pilot the first interest-only payment options for a part-time, online bootcamp program. That means students would be able to defer tuition payments until their program is complete.
Other Tips & Tricks to Finance your Bootcamp:
- Choose a school that offers deferred payment. Look at bootcamps with deferred payment structures, like App Academy, and Grace Hopper Academy, which don't require tuition fees until students are placed in jobs.
- Crowd-fund your education. If you can brainstorm a unique pitch, crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter could be a viable source of funding.
- Get sponsored by your employer. Your current employer likely has funds for skills development. Stress that the bootcamp will make you more effective at your job, or could even help you take on a new project!
- Finance through the bootcamp. Many bootcamps offer financing or personalized payment plans. Bootcamps like Turing School only require a deposit before starting class.
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!
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