As long as there are computers and software, as long as there is the Internet, there will be code. The recent tech boom in the United States has led to the creation of roughly 5 million jobs in computing, according to a 2015 Course Report study, and as the economy continues to improve post-2008 financial crisis, more and more employers are looking for people fluent in coding languages. President Barack Obama himself has gone on the record to stress the importance of learning to code, especially at a young age. And with the 2015 TechHire initiative, the president’s incentivized the tech industry to create accessible pathways to well-paying jobs in the tech field.
Coding bootcamps can be an educational supplement or addition to traditional schooling, costing about $3,000 to $21,000 for the intensive programs—although they average about $10,000 according to Course Report. Despite the price being considerably lower than a college tuition it’s still nothing to scoff at. What if you don’t have those funds available immediately? How would one set off on this education path without adding to their already existing debt? Some coding bootcamps offer limited scholarships, but they rarely put a dent in the average tuition rate. What if you’ve exhausted your options? All hope is not lost. To give you a better idea of how to finance one of these coding bootcamps, we’ve compiled a short list of some of the top alternative lenders who can help underbanked prospective students pay for their tech education.
Affirm Students can borrow from for 12-,15-, and 18-month periods, with rates that range from 6% to 20% APR based on credit worthiness. Led by Paypal co-founder Max Levchin, Affirm is partnered with General Assembly, Bloc, and Dev Bootcamp. They offer deferral for the first six months of study while students can focus on their training and finding work.
Earnest The first lending startup to target bootcamps, Earnest also offers one-, tw0-, or three- year financing options for students, local and international, looking to borrow. The rates fall at 5%, 6%, and 7% APR, respectively. Earnest is partnered with DevMountain, General Assembly, Code Fellows, and StartUp Institute, and they offer a three-month deferment period.
Pave The New York-based startup, Pave, offers tw0- or three-year fixed-rate, merit-based loans at rates between 7% and 15% depending on the borrower. The alternative lender connects ambitious talent with investors who can invest in their loans. Pave has secured partnerships with General Assembly, RefactorU, and DevBootcamp. The startup offers a three-month deferment period. Upstart Founded by former Google employees, Upstart is a alternative lending service that offers low interest, fixed-rate loans over a three-year period—with rates as low as 4.7% APR. Instead of simply looking at a person’s FICO score, Upstart takes other factors into consideration, such as education, areas of study, and job history. They are partnered with most major coding bootcamps, including General Assembly, DevBootcamp, Launch Academy, Starter League, Code Fellows, Coder Camps, and Metis. If you’re interested in starting your career in the tech industry, coding bootcamps may be the way to go. Everybody’s financial needs vary, but it should add some peace of mind to know that there are plenty of lending startups out there to help give prospective bootcamp students a fair shot. Do your research before applying, and figure out which lender is right for you. With coding bootcamp alumni reporting an average 40% increase in salary, you’ll be paying back those loans in no time!
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