When mom-of-three Patricia Feldman decided on helping fund her son’s engineering degree at Purdue University, she didn’t expect him to graduate owing nearly $100,000 to a loan servicer in addition to several federal student loans.
“It sounds worse than a payday loan,” Feldman told Yahoo Finance. “It sounds almost illegal.”
Income-share agreements, known as ISAs, are an alternative type of student loan financing where a borrower receives a loan, then pays a percentage of their income after graduation. The terms of an ISA depends on various factors, such as their major topic of study and projected future earnings.
Purdue’s Back a Boiler program, launched in 2016, offers ISAs to students seeking alternatives to traditional federal and private student loans. Feldman’s son took out a $10,373 ISA for the 2018-19 academic year, and a $29,491 ISA for the 2019-2020 year, according to documentation seen by Yahoo Finance.
That $39,864 loan ballooned to $99,660.50 as of January 2022.
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