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How to Use Buy Now Pay Later To Build Your Career

Posted on January 3, 2022 by Anna

Being in a career that isn’t meant for you can be draining. 76% of employees experience burnout—which researchers say include such symptoms as exhaustion, feeling negative, cynical or detached from work, and reduced work performance. Upskilling can take time and can also be expensive and for many, it can feel out of reach. But what if there was a way to quickly change careers by learning new skills? And what if you could pay for it in a manageable way that you’re probably already using?

You’ve probably seen this offer before—

“Buy Now, Pay Later!”

It often applies to retail shopping. Platforms like Afterpay, Klarna, and Affirm allow users to make big box purchases like a new computer without having to shell out the entire cost upfront. Instead, they typically let users pay in four installments over six weeks. 

Buy now pay later (BNPL) platforms that allow customers to make purchases in installments are growing in popularity in the United States and being used like never before.


Four easy payments of $19.99 is becoming the default choice when shopping.

What if there was a way to use BNPL and installments to pay for your education?

At Meratas, we took BNPL and repurposed it with student education in mind.

Learn Now, Pay Later! 

Quality education does not always have to be financed with traditional student loans that acquire more interest over time. Buy Now Pay Later options are the future of education for students!  

The Flat Payment Plan incorporates all of the flexibility and reliability that you need.


This tuition product is best suited for you if you have long-term plans designed to ensure you have the time needed to pay. 

The Flex-Plan is designed to provide students with the same benefits of a traditional Income Share Agreement!

Do Your Research

If you are looking into Income Share Agreements or other flexible financing options, it is very important to do your research. You want to make sure that you understand the terms surrounding your financing completely. You don’t want to be surprised by a high or variable interest rate. 

If you’re not happy in your current role. If you’ve been putting off a new career because of the cost of learning new skills, Meratas can help. Visit our student’s page and get matched with the perfect education program to help you get the amazing career you deserve. Check out the Meratas blog for more!


Posted under: MeratasMemo, isas

Income Share Agreements For Entrepreneurs – The Future of Funding

Posted on December 14, 2021 by Anna

Income Share Agreements, or ISAs for short, are a growing alternative to traditional student loans. In the world of new financing approaches, Income Share Agreements are unique.  But many are starting to think of them as a tool to help startup founders and entrepreneurs. 

Don’t know what an ISA is? Here’s a quick overview: usually, with an ISA, your upfront payment for a service like education is deferred. Instead, you agree to pay back a percentage of your income over a set number of months. Think of it like deferred tuition but with added benefits since your repayments are linked to your income.

The percentage and period of time vary depending on ISA. For example, a student may receive tuition upfront for 5% of their income during the 48 months after graduation. ISA terms vary between ISA funders and have many benefits, but this is a basic overview. If you want to learn more about Income Share Agreements, you can check out our Ultimate Guide to ISAs. ISAs are most well-known as a tool for educators and students.

 But how might someone apply the principles of an ISA to funding for a startup?

ISAs for Entrepreneurs

Income share agreements are most commonly used to fund education and career development, but they are gaining potential for founders seeking early capital to start a business. 

With an ISA, the percentage you pay will stay the same even as your income varies. Meaning that your payments are linked directly to your income which ensures payments are always manageable. 

ISAs also include a salary floor, so your payments are paused if you’re earning under a certain amount. This feature is essential for founders who may experience periods with little to no income.

Most ISA’s also include a repayment cap, so once you reach that set total amount, you’re finished with your payments, regardless of whether or not you’ve made all the required payments. This prevents high-income earners from paying back an unfair amount.

This approach is perfect for entrepreneurs because it’s more flexible than equity-based funding options alone. It’s also an inclusive, equitable approach that serves idea and early-stage companies better than other traditional funding options. Since it’s an Income Share Agreement, your funder only wins if you win, so they’re committed to helping you succeed and giving you the tools you need to win. 

Who’s doing this now? 

Chisos is an up-and-coming company that invests in high-potential individuals from all walks of life. Chisos designed a funding model for idea and early-stage entrepreneurs: the Convertible Income Share Agreement. To learn more about their ISA program, visit their program info page.

This concept could be a game-changer for those looking to become entrepreneurs but don’t have the upfront capital to get started. What are your thoughts? 

Posted under: MeratasMemo, isas

15 Schools That Offer an Income Share Agreement To Fund Your Education

Posted on August 31, 2020 by Anna

An Income Share Agreement (ISA) is funding for higher education in exchange for a percentage of your income if and once you land a decent job.

ISAs are becoming increasingly common. For some, they’re a no-brainer. An ISA, for example, could help fill in the gaps for financial aid if you’ve reached federal borrowing limits or are attending a school that’s ineligible for federal or traditional private student loans. They are also ideal for students looking to upskill using a Bootcamp or specialty school where they might not have a traditional means of funding.

In some cases, ISAs are available directly from your school, who partner with companies, such as Meratas, to administer and organize the ISA. But in other cases, it may be more difficult for you to find an Income Share Agreement if your school does not directly offer one. If you’re interested in comparing your options, here are different ways to secure funding for your degree through an ISA.

Schools That Offer Income Share Agreements

All sorts of schools are joining the ISA game, including traditional 4-year colleges and universities, online-only educational institutions, and a variety of bootcamps and career training programs. Although this isn’t an exhaustive list, this will highlight some key ISA programs offered across the U.S.

Purdue University

Through its Back a Boiler – ISA Fund, Indiana’s Purdue University offers ISAs as a supplement – not a replacement – for traditional private student loans. Eligibility is limited to non-freshman students who have exhausted their federal loans for the academic year and are considering traditional private student loans or asking their parents to borrow a Parent PLUS Loan. To qualify, students must have no significant negative incidents, such as wage garnishment or bankruptcy, listed on their credit report.

Nearly 800 students have received $9.5 million in funding through the program, according to the school. It caps each student’s repayment at two and a half times what they initially received. You could use the school’s ISA comparison tool to estimate your dues.

Lackawanna College

Lackawanna College, a private institution in Pennsylvania, reserves its ISA for covering remaining tuition costs after borrowing federal student loans. The program is available to students who sport at least a 2.5-grade point average and are pursuing select majors.

Lackawanna’s alumni who take part in an ISA enjoy a federal loan-like, six-month grace period before they start paying an agreed-upon percentage of their income for the following five years or so. At the end of those years, the participant no longer owes anything, even if they haven’t repaid as much as they originally received.

Clarkson University

Clarkson University’s donor-funded ISA program is competitive, available to only 20 students per year. The private upstate New York university disburses up to $10,000 per student per school year. Members of the 2018 class who receive a four-year ISA, for example, would get $40,000 and then repay 6.2% of their income for 10 years.

About 97% of Clarkson graduates find work in their fields after graduation, according to the school.

Messiah College

Messiah College, a private Christian school in central Pennsylvania, started its pilot ISA program in June 2018 for undergraduates. Messiah offers $5,000 per year and the payment cap is 1.6x the ISA amount that students take out. Messiah students in an ISA would be expected to repay 3-3.5% of their income for 84 months once their earnings surpass $25,000 annually.

The University of Utah

In the pilot phase of its ISA, the University of Utah’s Invest in U program is limited to undergraduates who are within one year of collecting their diploma and are pursuing one of 18 majors. After accounting for gift aid like grants from your state and scholarships, these students could receive between $6,000-$20,000 per academic year.

Depending on each student’s major and the amount received, they could expect to repay 2.85% of their employer’s paycheck for between 3-10.5 years. However, they can defer their income payments while they earn less than $20,000 or attend graduate school. Check out the university’s ISA comparison tool to measure its usefulness for your situation.

Colorado Mountain College

Officials at Colorado Mountain College had a specific goal in mind when the school launched its ISA program in 2018: help undocumented students pay for college.  CMC’s tuition per year is $2,400, so their ISA program offers $3,000 per year.

Depending on each student’s situation, they could expect to repay 4% for 60 months once they are earning $30,000 (or sooner if a student pays back the total amount of the funds they received before 60 months), and the great thing about this ISA is that students don’t pay more than the amount of ISA that they take out.

Norwich University

Norwich University in Vermont became the only military college of its kind to provide an ISA option to its sophomores, juniors, and seniors, rolling out the program in the fall of 2018.

You’d have to be comfortable giving back some of your salary to attend Norwich. By 2019, 48% of the graduating class of 2017 was employed – 38% of whom worked in the military, according to the school.

Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a private research university located in Boston Massachusetts. They offer both undergraduate and graduate-level programs. Northeastern’s students distinguish themselves as some of the nation’s top creative thinkers, intrepid entrepreneurs, and motivated researchers.

Northeastern understands that each student’s and family’s financial circumstances are unique and offer a number of payment and financing options including Income Share Agreements. The funds through their ISA program are typically provided per term in alignment with the billing cycle, academic year, and terms of enrollment. Exact disbursement dates are determined by your ISA provider.  Check out Northeastern’s ISA terms here.

Lambda School

Lambda School has built a curriculum designed to get you hired. They asked hundreds of top tech companies what specific skills they look for in candidates and then designed their lives and remote programs to include learning activities that help you master each key skill.

With Lambda’s ISA, they cover all of your $30,000 tuition in exchange for 17% of your income for 24 months, but you only start making monthly payments once you’re earning $50,000.

Make School

For some entering the computer science field, ISAs can prove useful. Many coding bootcamps and schools aren’t eligible for federal student aid in the first place, so ISAs are a way to fill the void of funding.

That’s the case at Make School, which claims to be the first start-up-style school to offer bachelor’s degrees in applied computer science. Here, you could finance your education with either a partial ISA (worth $35,000) or full ISA ($70,000): With a partial ISA, you repay 20% of your gross salary for 30 months. With a full ISA, you repay 20% of your gross salary for 60 months.

The school also offers a $1,500-per-month ISA for living costs that would be repaid from 5 to 7% of your income over 10 years.

Awesome Inc

Awesome Inc is a 16-week bootcamp that offers an online intensive training program for aspiring software developers based in Lexington, Kentucky. With over 500 hours of hands-on training, students will gain experience while building ten+ projects using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, web frameworks, GitHub, Agile, and more. The program is aimed at beginners, and students learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, web frameworks, GitHub, Agile, and more. The coding Bootcamp is designed to feel less like school, and more like the first 3 months on the job. With their Income Share Agreement program, you can go to Awesome without any upfront payments! Check it out here. 

Redwood Code Academy

Redwood Code Academy offers software development bootcamps for either 12 or 24 months in either New York, San Francisco, or online. Redwood Code Academy covers full-stack software development, with a focus on web applications, but also includes mobile applications, desktop applications, and cloud services. The Academy focuses on real-world skills training by helping students learn the fundamentals of full-stack development.

Redwood Code Academy also provides students with career guidance including resume prep, optimization of LinkedIn and Github profiles, mock job interviews, and introductions to local recruiters and employers in Redwood’s hiring network. Redwood is powered through Meratas to offer an ISA to their students. Check it out here

Wyncode

This bootcamp offers full-time and part-time Full stack development, front end web development, digital marketing, and UX/UI design programs in Miami, Florida. The program is 10 weeks full time and 12 weeks part time. 

Wyncode’s Income Share Agreement program allows three candidates in every cohort to enroll in a full-time Wyncode program with no up-front tuition costs. Wyncode’s Income Share Agreements are granted to candidates that have a financial need. ISA recipients can pay back tuition once you’ve landed a job making $40,000/year or more. ISA applications are open for our full-time programs: Full Stack Web Development and UX/UI Immersive. 

Insight Data Fellows

Insight is a seven-week professional training fellowship and data science program designed to be your bridge to a thriving career. Applicants should have a background in Physics & Astrophysics, Mathematics & Statistics, Neuroscience & Bioinformatics, or Engineering & Computer Science, as well as their PhD. Students are mentored by employees of top tech companies, who then hire graduates as data scientists and engineers. Insight’s ISA is designed to lower the barrier of entry to making career transitions, allowing Fellows to join the program without requiring any upfront payments. You can find an example agreement here.

 Holberton School

 Holberton School is a two-year software engineering school that trains individuals to become Full Stack Software Engineers with courses in full stack web development, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, and algorithms.  The school’s mission is to train the next generation of software developers through 100% hands-on learning. The bootcamp is broken into three different components. Students complete the 9-month Foundations school then a 6-month internship followed by a 9-month Specializations course. Their curriculum focuses on collaborative, project-based learning with no formal classrooms or teachers. Holberton’s students have been hired by the world’s leading tech companies. They also offer their students Income Share Agreements to fund their education.

Companies That Offer Income Share Agreements  

A company that offers ISAs means that any student can apply with them and use those funds for any school, regardless of whether that school offers an ISA. You would apply with the company for a certain ISA, they would then disburse those funds to you, and then you could use those funds for your school or program. For now, only a few private companies provide ISAs directly to students – Blair, Lumni, and Align are among them – although more are expected to join. Edly and Tradeup also provide direct to consumer ISAs.

As you review these ISA providers, compare terms such as income threshold and repayment cap, just as you’d judge traditional private student loans by their interest rate and repayment term. By looking at the income share terms, you can help ensure you land an ISA with the company that best fits your needs.

What if My School Doesn’t Offer an ISA?

That’s where Meratas comes in.

Meratas

Meratas provides a full-service SaaS Platform for Schools and Skills-Training Courses to design, administer, and service custom ISA programs. We help institutions create impactful ISA programs designed to promote student accessibility and increase enrollment.

Our programs are intended to incentivize students, schools, and capital providers to work together to promote and finance only the best educational programs that lead to more successful careers.

If you’re interested in offering an ISA option at your school or program that has been proven to increase student enrollment, there’s no better time to offer one then now! Click here to schedule a call with one of our ISA specialists and get your ISA program up and running today.

Are you a student and don’t have an ISA option at your school? Want one? Let us know here so one of our ISA specialists can reach out to your school!

Ensure an ISA is a long-term plan for your degree

If you like the idea of an ISA – as a way of borrowing less  traditional private student loans  – check in with the schools above. Although this list is not extensive, if none of these schools line up with your plans, check out our student’s page for a list of even more schools. (Please note these ISA statistics are as of August 2020 and are subject to change in the future.)

Before you decide, however, note that not all jobs or training paths are the correct ones for an ISA – take a look at our suggestions for some fields that are a better fit for this type of funding.

If an ISA sounds intriguing, take a look at some of the pros and cons. Interested in more ISA programs? Check out our student’s page for a full list of schools and programs offering an ISA through Meratas!

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Posted under: Income Share Agreements, isas
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