ASU + GSV Summit 2022 Key Takeaways

Posted on April 15, 2022 by Darius Goldman

This past week education leaders gathered in San Diego for the annual ASU GSV Summit.

The ASU + GSV Summit features a diverse lineup of thought leaders who shared firsthand stories of inspiration and innovation. This conference brought together entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts eager to start the dialogue necessary for success. From K-12 to Higher Ed, it was cool to see so many people partner together to find solutions to problems. My team and I were thrilled to join everyone, learn from each other, and share the unique insights that building Meratas has given us. 

A Brief Background

The ASU GSV Summit is one of the leading educational technology conferences and started in 2010. The summit is a collaboration between ASU (Arizona State University) and GSV (Global Silicon Valley). With 12 years of conferences, the summit always connects some of the brightest minds in the EdTech space.

The summits are full of actionable insights, human-centered connections, transformational experiences, and unexpected discoveries. The attendee list grows every year and boasts an average of 15,000 attendees. With so many thought leaders in the education space in one place, there was a lot we took away from this conference.

Make Financial Aid Make Sense

Why are stories like these so common?

“I didn’t know what to expect the first time I stepped foot in a college financial aid office. I assumed it would be the easiest part of college. Who knew I would be bawling in front of a stranger, telling them about one of the most humiliating and heartbreaking experiences of my life?” – Lizzy Shoben

“My financial-aid officer didn’t understand why I worked so many jobs or why I picked up even more hours at times.” – Anthony Abraham Jack

We don’t just need to help students have a better financial experience; we need to find ways to teach the people in the financial aid offices how to better present the options students have and how to use the tools at their disposal. For example, students today are confused when they are signing up for loans. They’re tired of trying to make ends meet, and they’re tired of the stress of not knowing what exactly they’re signing up for. So we need to re-educate educators to explain financial aid in a way that clearly presents its value.

There are fewer and fewer students going to college, and when a student’s financial aid is confusing and if they aren’t options that work for their specific situation, they will drop out. There has to be better financial literacy training for students. It could be at the high school level or offered as a free college pre-requisite class or training. Either way, students need to fully understand their financial options and which is the best option. Part of the issue with alternative options to student loans is that students aren’t familiar with them, so students are confused and aren’t set up for financial success.

If students are well prepared for their financial journey, they will be better set up for success in their academic journey.  No student should have to forgo higher education because they’re confused or worried about affording their payments.

Broadening access to education and enhancing career mobility for all students is crucial so we can better prepare workers for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. 

Students Need to be Career Prepared and have Access To Additional Options

“ A national labor shortage has benefitted workers in the form of higher pay and greater agency in choosing an employer. In turn, employers —especially those with urgent shortages in essential roles— are seeking to differentiate. “They realize the difference they can offer to workers are skills, and workers don’t ask for skills. Instead, they ask for career advancement,” –  Romer Carlson explained at the Summit. 

The demand for career advancement drives a need among working adults to acquire new skills and competencies. At the same time, institutions are working to fill their seats. By meeting that demand together, employers can strengthen talent attraction and retention, articulate career mobility pathways, and address skills gaps by offering access to education through better financial options.

Romer Carlson also pointed out that this is a key area where major employers can make a huge difference. “…the striking thing that we find in our work with employers on one side and university partners on the other is that, at some level, the average CEO now has more insight into the skills we need five years from now than then a university president has access to and that’s a problem. We need to get that data available to everybody.”

Students Need More Options

Offering students more options to pay for their education at your institution is crucial to both schools’ and students’ success. The more options students are given and the better they understand these options, including which is the best option for where they are in life, the more likely they are to pursue their education of choice and have a better overall experience. 

The ASU GSV summit allowed me and my team to learn from the innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, and changemakers from around the country, and I’m thankful for that. By gathering the top minds and leading companies from across the industry, untapped potential is discovered, trends are identified, and innovators find inspiration for changing the future of their business.

 My team and I at Meratas are on a mission to unlock opportunities for those looking to upskill or start a new education. If you’re interested in helping your students do this, check out our Partner’s Page to learn more!

Posted under: News and Updates, Tuition Options

Pay For a New Career in 4 Payments

Posted on January 14, 2022 by Anna Klawitter

Of the roughly 50% of employed Americans who intend to make career changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic 33% are interested in changing industries.

It’s difficult for hard-working students and career-changers to get into the new careers they want because of the ever-increasing cost of education. 

Many times students analyze the debt they’ll have to take on to upskill or get a new career and opt to skip higher education altogether, making it harder for them to find lasting careers that help them build the life they want and the fulfillment in their careers that they need.

What if there was a better way to pay for education? What if you could use a type of payment you’re probably already using  to pay for the training to get a better career? 

1. What is Buy Now, Pay Later? 

“Raise your hand, who else has an online shopping problem?” There’s a couple of us over here at Meratas that definitely do…

If you’ve shopped anywhere online, you’ve probably heard of companies like Affirm and Klarna that let you pay for products in installments, instead of upfront.

You’ve probably seen this offer—

“Buy Now, Pay Later!” Just four installments of $19.99!

Basically Buy Now Pay later is structured so that you’ll pay an initial part of your full shopping trip and then pay the rest in 4 or so payments over a period of time. (Typically 6 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.

“43% of the U.S. adult population, some 111 million consumers, say they are interested in using BNPL solutions to pay for big-ticket service purchases. Travel, remodeling and medical expenses top the list.” According to a study by AWS on Buy Now Pay Later models. 

So what does that have to do with education or a new career? 

2. How to use BNPL to launch your career

Eighty-three percent of consumers who would like to use a BNPL option to make big-ticket service purchases say they see it as a practical alternative to using personal loans and credit cards for those purchases.

So what if there was a way to use BNPL to pay for your education? 

At Meratas, we took BNPL and created a way to use it towards launching your career!

Learn Now, Pay Later

The Pay in 4 is a Meratas tuition plan that separates tuition payments into four installments over the course of several months. Pay in 4 was created using Buy Now Pay Later models. You pay for your education in 4 installments over a period of time. (Varies depending on your program.) 

We partner with programs, bootcamps, and higher ed institutions that will allow you to use the same payment method you use to buy a computer or new watch to pay for your education and build your career!

You’re probably already using BNPL for your everyday purchases. Instead of taking out a traditional private student loan, why not use that same payment method to pay for your education and build your career?

Are you looking to start a new career and invest in yourself in 2022? Meratas can help – check out our Students Page for more info on how we can help you get the career you’ve always wanted!

Posted under: Tuition Options

How to Use Buy Now Pay Later To Build Your Career

Posted on January 3, 2022 by Anna Klawitter

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: Tuition Options

Everything You Need to Know About Private Loans

Posted on November 29, 2021 by Anna Klawitter

Attending college can be difficult for many students to afford without financial assistance. With even a semester of community college costing thousands of dollars these days, college affordability often makes a big difference in which college you’re able to choose. Thankfully, several higher education loan options are out there to help you pay your college bills, including scholarships, federal aid, private loans, and Income Share Agreements (ISA).

Private loans for college are worth considering if your federal student aid allotment isn’t enough to cover your tuition and other costs. However, some private lenders will tell you to consider taking out federal loans before weighing their products. 

This is because of the protections that the government affords its borrowers. However, those same private lenders will present their student loan options as customizable to your financial situation while positioning the federal government as one-size-fits-all.

At Meratas, we offer a host of alternative financing options to help students pay for their education. Options like installment plans, Income Share Agreements, and other Buy Now, Pay Later financing choices can oftentimes be a better fit than a traditional private student loan. Many of our options offer more flexibility than what is often available with traditional private loans.

However, if you’ve exhausted all your other financing options, you may need to turn to traditional private student loans to finish your education.

Unlike federal student loans, private student loans offer variable interest rates in addition to fixed rates. So if your credit history is strong, it could also lower your interest rate, as well as if you have a cosigner with a high credit score. 

When comparing private lenders to federal loan options, ensure that you do the research for yourself and know exactly what you want. After all, not all lenders are created equal.

What are private student loans?

Unlike federal student loans, which the government designates, independent lenders issue private student loans. These can be traditional banks or credit unions or student loan-specific organizations like Sallie Mae.

Each organization has different eligibility requirements, interest rates, and repayment terms. So, it’s a great idea to compare other options before choosing one. Even though private student loans may not always be your best financial option, there are some situations where taking out a personal student loan makes sense. Let’s look at three types of private student loans for college and beyond.

 In-school loans for students and parents

The beauty of in-school student loans in the private marketplace is that there are many to choose from. Whether you’re a college freshman, a scholar seeking a doctoral, or are the parent of one — there’s something for everyone. Sallie Mae, for example, offers 13 different education loans, from paying for the private kindergarten of your toddler to financing your study for the bar exam.

But with varying loan types come more choices. Take repayment as one example: College Ave offers undergraduates four options while they’re in school:

 Refinanced loans for graduates

Private lenders offer the option of refinancing federal and private loans into one new loan. The key difference between private refinancing and federal loan consolidation could cost you more in the long run, as the repayment term could lengthen. 

However, private loan refinancing could award you a lower interest rate and could help you save on the total cost of your debt. In addition, a solid credit score and steady income may help you qualify for the lowest interest rates.

Private lenders promote their average customer’s savings by refinancing. So it’s especially crucial to proceed with caution if you’re refinancing federal loans as well and would lose their associated protections and forgiveness programs.

You should know some things before you refinance any of your student loans, such as what interest rates you’ll end up with, how much you can afford to pay each month, and if you meet all the lender’s requirements.

The repayment process for private student loans

There are a few ways to make using private loans more manageable. First, aim to put extra money toward your loan’s principal to knock it out sooner. Doing so could save you a lot of money on interest.

At the same time, pay attention to the interest rate on your loans. If it’s variable and keeps climbing, look into refinancing your student loans. Refinancing is a fancy way of saying “swapping an existing loan for another.” Qualifying for a lower interest rate by refinancing will lower your monthly payments, too.

Finally, reach out to your lender if you wind up struggling to keep up with your private student loan payments. Some will work with you if you’re having a hard time. For example, they might allow you to defer payments temporarily or lower your interest rate.

It always pays to max out your federal borrowing options and alternative financing options first before resorting to private loans. But if you need to borrow privately, aim to find loan servicers with the most favorable terms. Then be vigilant about paying them off as quickly as you can once you graduate.

The most common repayment processes include:

Immediate repayment: You will start making principal and interest payments while still in school. This could help keep down your out-of-pocket costs, but it might present additional financial pressure while you’re in school.

Interest-only repayment: You will only pay the interest while in school, which could reduce the total cost of the loan payment you’ll have to repay. Even if the monthly interest costs are minimal, you’ll have to budget this into your monthly expenses and might need to take on a part-time job to cover the payments.

Deferred repayment: You will only start paying back the loan amount once you’ve graduated or dropped below half-time enrollment. Interest could still accrue during this time, making your overall debt higher.

Refinancing your private student loans: You might get a lower interest rate if you have a solid income and excellent credit. Depending on your specific situation, this can help you spend less money over the life of your loan program. However, keep in mind that lower monthly payments might mean an extended loan term. A longer-term could cost you more, so weigh out the pros and cons of refinancing private student loans.

In general, repayment terms for private loans for graduate students can range anywhere from five years to over 20 years, but remember that the interest will add up over time.

Options to Consider Before Private Student Loans

Unlike traditional private student loans, Buy Now Pay Later options are relatively new to the financial aid scene.

There are three different types of buy now pay later options that Meratas helps schools offer to their students: Installment plan, Flat plan, Hybrid plan.

Buy Now Pay Later options are proven to increase conversions. No consigner is required for students, making your program more accessible to students.

Our Installment Plan option is a fixed payment plan for students. Tuition payments are divided equally, and they are collected over the course of a few months. 

The Flat Payment Plan incorporates all of the flexibility that your students want with the reliability that you need.

The Hybrid Plan means your students don’t have to start paying back their tuition until they’re making over the minimum income threshold and their payments are linked to their income by a percentage.

How to know if you’re eligible for private student loans

While the government considers your level of financial need when issuing financial aid, private lenders have different requirements. Factors that are considered can include your income, credit score if you have a cosigner, and debt-to-income ratio. Eligibility will vary by lender, but having a low credit score or no credit history will likely make it difficult for you to qualify. Having a cosigner can help if their credit score and income meet the eligibility requirements.

Overall, the decision to take out private student loans is one you should consider carefully. However, if you’ve already exhausted federal student loans and other alternative financing options but still need funds for school, a private student loan may be the last option for finishing school. Carefully work through your options before taking out private student loans. If you’re interested in learning more about great financial aid or alternative financing options for schools or programs, check out our student’s page!

Posted under: Tuition Options

Get Matched: Start Your Career Through Our Partner Programs

Posted on October 25, 2021 by Anna Klawitter

Does your current career feel like the wrong fit? Are you tired of feeling like you’re not making any progress in your career? Do you feel like life is standing still while you’re trying to get ahead? If you’re unhappy in your current employment, now is the time to change that.

But the job market is a harsh place. It’s difficult to upskill and learn new skills to change careers. You may be saying to yourself: I don’t have the time to learn a new skill. How am I going to pay for the training? I don’t even know where to start.

It’s hard to get a new job, and it’s even more difficult to get a job in a field you love. If you want to learn the skills required to upskill to a new career it may be difficult to know where to start.

Well, Meratas is here to help. Many people feel stuck in the wrong job or the wrong industry—and they know there’s something better out there for them, but don’t know how to get there. That’s why we are here. You can change careers! The path to a new career is closer than you think! We’re here to help you find a career you love.

If you’ve found your passion or are even just curious about where to get started, Meratas is here to actively partner you with one of our bootcamps or colleges to change your career and start something new.

We partner with programs like Sales, UX/UI Bootcamps, coding bootcamps, and colleges that are dedicated to their student’s success. If you need flexibility in paying for your education, we can help there too. All partners on the Meratas platform offer a form of incentive-aligned tuition which means not only do you have options no matter what your financial situation looks like, but you and your partner program’s goals are aligned. 

Incentive aligned tuition options give you access to things like income-linked repayment, deferment in case of career hardship, a cap on the maximum you’ll pay, and many other benefits!

We’re looking to help people bridge the gap between their current job and their dream job.  Meratas helps you find and finance your next career steps through our partnerships with colleges and bootcamps.

Are you ready to start a new career and get ahead? Let us help you kickstart your new career journey. Fill out the info on our student’s page and get started today! Check out our get matched page to get started!

Posted under: Career Guides, Tuition Options

ISA Student Benefit: Painless Deferment

Posted on June 18, 2021 by Anna Klawitter

Income Share Agreements (ISAs) are emerging as an excellent alternative to traditional private student loans. With this type of agreement, students pay nothing, in most cases, until after they complete their program. Then, once a student has finished the program and gets a job using their new skills, they pay a percentage of their income for a set period of time until they have either reached the Required Payments, Max Payment Cap, or Payment Window. 


Posted under: Income Share Agreements, Tuition Options

How to Choose the Best Income Share Agreement

Posted on June 11, 2021 by Anna Klawitter

The rising balances of traditional private student loans are a major problem. Signing up for a traditional loan without knowing exactly how much you could be paying back or how you’ll be able to handle your monthly payments could be difficult. 

One solution that has been gaining traction among online bootcamps and colleges alike are Income Share Agreements. (ISAs). 

An ISA is an agreement where, in exchange for tuition, after graduation and as long as you’re earning an agreed-upon income, you pay a percentage of your income back to the college (or funder). Besides the absence of growing interest and generally, no upfront payments, a significant benefit of ISAs is the fact that there are certain instances when your payments are paused or deferred.  

With traditional private student loans, you have a principal, the borrowed amount, and an interest rate. You pay back the amount of the principal plus any interest you accrue while paying it back.

ISAs keep students from paying for educational experiences that don’t create value for them in the labor market, aligning the risks and rewards of education and creating better outcomes.

Are you considering signing an Income Share Agreement? Here’s what you need to look out for before you sign your agreement to make sure your payments are manageable. 

What are the ways to finish my ISA?

By far the biggest differentiating factor between ISAs and traditional student loans, other than the built-in benefits, is the way they’re satisfied. With an ISA contract, there are three distinct ways you can finish your ISA: 

1. Make the required number of payments

With an ISA, you pay back a percentage of your earnings each month for a set number of months. Each of these payments is considered one of your Required Payments. If you pay all the Required Payments, your ISA amount is satisfied! 

2. Pay the Max Payment Cap

The Max Payment Cap is built into your ISA and is the most you’ll ever need to pay towards your ISA. It is a built-in protection for high earners so that they are not punished for earning more than expected. A Payment Cap is usually some amount more than the Funded Amount (the amount the school is fronting you for their program as part of your ISA). Once your total payments reach the payment cap, your ISA is also satisfied!

3. Reaching the end of the Payment Window

The final way to end an ISA is by reaching the end of the Payment Window. The school or funder who you have an ISA with will have a set time period to collect your Required Payments or Max Payment Cap. However, if you have not reached either of those two and the Payment Window ends, you’re absolved of your ISA.  

To read a more in-depth version of how to finish your ISA payments click here!

What should I be aware of before signing an Income Share Agreement? 

1. Use the Income Share Percentage to calculate your future payments

Before you sign your Income Share Agreement you need to be aware of how much of your gross income you’ll end up paying each month. Remember this factor runs along a sliding scale with the Maximum Payment Cap and Payment Window. So, even if your ISA is only a small percentage, you’ll want to look at your Payment Window to determine for how long you’ll be paying that small percentage of your income to make sure it doesn’t add up to a huge total amount. Determine just how much you’ll be paying each month based on your anticipated salary, then compare that cost to traditional monthly student loan payments.

2. Double check your Payment Cap

This sum is the most you’ll ever pay towards your ISA. Traditional private loans cost the original balance, plus interest, which you’ll need to calculate to determine the true cost. With an ISA, there’s a much firmer, hard cap on payments, so it’s easier to determine total max costs. But make sure to know if your cap is a lot more than you were funded or just a little more. ISA caps tend to range from 1.2x to 2x more than you were funded. Be cautious with caps that are more than 2x what was funded to you, and avoid ISAs that don’t have a payment cap at all. Some programs utilize incremental payment caps, where the payment cap increases slowly over time.  This rewards students who find early career success, by making it cheaper for them to pay off their ISA earlier in their career. Make sure to calculate what your payments might look like and determine whether the payment cap is suitable for you and your future career.

3. Understand your Payment Window

The Payment Window is how long your ISA contract lasts and is the length of time you have to pay back your required payments or Payment Cap. Think of your payment window as the total contract term. At the end of the payment window, your ISA contract expires, even if you paid back less than the amount of money you received. 

To keep your ISA fair, and to prevent any potential game playing, certain situations of voluntary withdrawal from the labor force may extend your Payment Window by one month for each month of such withdrawal.  For example, if you take a 6-month vacation, your payment window may pause during these break periods, and then resume when you are ready to re-enter the labor force

The most important thing to know about your Payment Window is whether your ISA lender counts months in which your payments are paused due to financial hardships towards your Payment Window or if your Payment Window is extended in those instances.

4. Double check your Minimum Income Threshold

The main benefit of an ISA is that your payments automatically pause whenever you’re unemployed or making less than the salary floor. The best part of Income Share Agreements is that during periods of deferment, there is no accruing interest like traditional student loans. The Minimum Income Threshold is how much you have to be making before you owe payments.

If your income drops below that line your payments are paused.  An ISA’s salary floor should reflect your expected post-graduate income. Is your threshold lower like just $10,000? Or is it something reasonable for your career, say like $40,000. For example, Lambda School’s salary floor is $50,000 because it expects graduates to get starting salaries of at least that much. Think about what you’ll actually be able to afford, depending on where you plan on living, before you sign on the dotted line. 

5. Make a note of any fines and fees

Just like with traditional student loans, there are ways to get in trouble with ISAs, if you avoid making payments. There may be some penalties for not accurately reporting your income or other scenarios with your ISA. Be sure to read and understand those possible fees and make sure you avoid any of those possible scenarios. 

If you’re considering an Income Share Agreement to cover your higher education costs, then make sure to utilize an Income Share Agreement Calculator to help you figure out what your monthly payments will cost and how much you’ll pay overall. 

If you think an ISA option might be right for you, make sure you take into account your ISA terms, expected future income, and calculate what your payments will look like in order to determine if an ISA is the best option for you.

What if my school doesn’t offer an ISA?

If you’re unmoved by existing Income Share Agreement providers, you could always take on the challenge of convincing your school to start its own program. That’s where Meratas comes in.


About Meratas

Meratas is the leading Income Share Agreement (ISA) software company, providing a full-service, turnkey, SaaS platform to design, originate, and manage ISAs. We help universities, bootcamps, trade schools, and membership programs increase enrollment and open accessibility to their programs. All through the power of Income Share Agreements.

We also help those looking to get an education, up-skill, or re-skill get into the career of their dreams. All at, generally, no upfront cost. We pair individuals looking for fresh new career with the best educational programs on the Meratas platforms to reach their professional goals. If you’re looking to break into your new career, check out our student page and we’ll help you find the job of your dreams.

Want more career advice, education news, and student success tips? Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Meratas Inc. makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content contained herein. Meratas Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained herein or the operation or use of these materials.


Posted under: Income Share Agreements, Tuition Options

ISA Student Benefit: Income Share Percentage Discount

Posted on May 24, 2021 by Anna Klawitter

College is not only far more expensive than it was a decade ago, but the burden of paying for it has also shifted away from the public to individual students. At the same time, the odds of graduating and immediately landing a job that rewards you have become even more difficult. 


Posted under: Tuition Options, Income Share Agreements

Income Share Agreement Student Benefit: Cap Paydown

Posted on May 17, 2021 by Anna Klawitter

College still provides a strong return on investment for many students. But the risk profile of that investment has gone up dramatically with the cost of college in recent years. One way that schools are sharing the risk and reward of education with their students is through the use of Income Share Agreements (ISAs). 

With this type of agreement, students pay nothing, in most cases, until after they complete their program. Then, once a student has finished the program and becomes successfully employed using their new skills, they pay a percentage of their income for a set period of time until they have either reached the Required Payments, Max Payment Cap, or Payment Window. 

Income Share Agreements have a whole host of student benefits that are often absent from traditional private student loans. For example, there is something called the Minimum Income Floor, which is the minimum amount a student needs to earn before they begin paying back their ISA. There is also a payment window, which is the set time frame that the ISA funder has to collect all of the required payments under an ISA.

In today’s post, we’re going to take a look at the ISA student benefit known as the payment cap.

The Payment Cap

One way to satisfy your ISA is by paying the Max Payment Cap. (The most common way to pay back your ISA is by making all the required payments. Read about the different ways to pay off your ISA here). The Maximum Payment Cap limits the maximum amount of income a high-earning student is required to share. This is in place to ensure that high earners do not overpay on their ISA.

The Max Payment Cap is built into your contract and is the most you’ll ever need to pay towards your ISA. A Payment Cap is usually some amount more than the funded amount (the amount the school is fronting you for their program as part of your ISA). Once you hit your Max Payment Cap, your ISA is completed.

For example, let’s say your agreement terms dictate that you pay 10% of your monthly income over 24 required payments (read more about required payments here.) Let’s say your Max Payment Cap is $12,000. Based on your income, you would pay $500 per month to your ISA. If your income doesn’t change for 24 months and you make each of those $500 payments each of those months, your ISA would be finished. But let’s say, you’re crushing it at your job, and 10% of your income would now be $1,000 a month. If you had to make the same 24 repayments, you would pay double the amount over the course of your ISA.

However, that’s where the max payment cap comes in. Instead of doubling all of your payments for the same 24 months, you instead would just continue making your monthly payments until the total sum of all your payments reaches the Max Payment Cap. If you pay your $1,000 payments each month, you’ll hit your payment cap in only 12 months thanks to the payment cap. You’ll pay it back a full year earlier than if you were making the 24 required payments!


The Cap Paydown

The Cap Paydown is a feature for higher-earning students to pay off their ISA as quickly as possible. The cap paydown is a feature of our ISA design that Meratas makes available to all our partners as an option to offer to their students.

This gives students who have an income while they are in their program the chance to potentially lower the overall cost of their ISA significantly over the course of the contract.

Essentially, the Cap Paydown allows students to make smaller, fixed payments (usually a few hundred dollars) each month while they are still in their education program. These payments continue until they find a qualifying job and are making above the Minimum Income Threshold outlined in their ISA, at which point they then switch over to making their ISA payments. In exchange for making these payments while in their program, students receive a discount on their Max Payment Cap of either the total amount of the initial payments made or a flat amount.

For example, let’s say your Max Payment Cap would be $15,000 in your ISA. But if your program offered a Cap Paydown and you started making $300 monthly payments during the program, your payment could be lowered by $3,000 to $12,00 depending on the terms of your program’s Cap Paydown.

This feature is especially important for students who are confident they’ll be able to get a well paying job after graduation and know they’ll reach the Payment Cap before their Required Payments or Payment Window are up.

Meratas is the only ISA platform that offers this student benefit as an option to partners on our platform and is one of the many benefits of working with Meratas for all of your ISA needs. Ready to offer an Income Share Agreement program at your school or educational institution designed to increase student enrollment and accessibility? Partner with the leading Income Share Agreement software company that provides a full-service, turnkey, SaaS platform to design, originate, and manage ISAs.

Schedule a meeting with one of our ISA specialists today! 

Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Meratas Inc. makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content contained herein. Meratas Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained herein or the operation or use of these materials.


Posted under: Tuition Options, Income Share Agreements

A Guide to ISAs vs Traditional Private Loans

Posted on October 16, 2021 by Anna Klawitter

With student debt in America amounting to $1.6 trillion and 5.2 million student loan defaults last year, many are beginning to wonder if there’s a better way to pay for education.


Posted under: Tuition Options, Income Share Agreements

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