Joining a coding bootcamp is a good way to build in-demand technology skills that are likely to lead to a job in the future. However, like college, coding bootcamps are largely not free. According to our 2021 coding bootcamp market study, the average bootcamp program cost $11,727 in 2020.
A common question prospective coding bootcamp students ask is: Can I get a student loan to finance my coding bootcamp education? The answer is yes. But, there is a lot you will need to know to make an informed decision about whether or not to take out a loan to attend bootcamp.
In this guide, we are going to discuss the basics of coding bootcamp student loans. We’ll start by talking about coding bootcamp student loans in general. Then we will discuss the different types of loans for coding bootcamps and how they work.
Can I Get a Student Loan for Coding Bootcamp?
You can get a student loan to finance your coding bootcamp as long as you meet the eligibility requirements associated with the particular form of financing you are interested in. The main ways you can get a student loan to pay for bootcamp are to:
- Take out a private loan to pay for part or all of your education.
- Take out a federal loan (at eligible schools).
- Take out a personal loan to finance education costs.
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You should first make sure you have considered all options available to you before applying for a loan. Are you eligible for any scholarships? Does a program you are interested in offer Income Share Agreements? Could you pay upfront if you saved up a bit more? By evaluating all of your options, you are more likely to find a method of financing that is right for you.
Coding bootcamps are mainly privately-operated, non-accredited institutions. This means that, on the whole, federal funding is not available for bootcamp students. There are exceptions which we will discuss later in the article, however.
Let’s discuss each method of paying for coding bootcamp using loans.
Private Loans for Coding Bootcamps
A private loan is money given to a student to finance their education. This money is given by a private loan provider, for-profit business who make money on the interest collected on the loans they issue.
Private loans are a common method of financing prospective coding bootcamp students. This is because most programs do not qualify for federal student aid and not everyone can pay upfront.
Bootcamps understand financing can be difficult and often partner directly with approved lending partners when it comes to loan financing. These partnerships can give you reassurance in a private loan provider because the bootcamp will have vetted them. However, you will still need to do your own research to see what private loan provider meets your particular financing needs.
When evaluating private student loans, you should ask yourself:
- What rate of interest is offered on a loan?
- What repayment terms are available?
- Can I cover the cost of a program with my private loan?
- Am I comfortable taking out a loan?
- Will I be able to pay back the loan?
Before you take out a loan, you need to make sure you are familiar with all of the terms to which you are agreeing. It is best to shop around different loan providers to see what interest rates and repayment terms are available. You should also feel free to ask private loan providers directly about their services if you have any questions.
Federal Loans for Coding Bootcamp
Most coding bootcamp students are ineligible for federal loans or aid. This is because most coding bootcamps do not offer accredited certifications, unlike colleges and universities. But some coding bootcamps do offer federal loans. For instance, Make School lets students access Title IV financing to cover their programs.
Title IV financing offers students access to:
- Pell Grants, which are need-based grants and do not need to be repaid.
- Direct Federal loans.
- Parent PLUS loans.
These methods of financing can give you a lot of support when paying back your coding bootcamp costs. However, as we said earlier federal financing is not available for most bootcamps. In any case, you should research whether people who want to attend the coding bootcamp you are planning to attend are eligible for federal aid or loans.
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There is also the government Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP) program which makes some prospective bootcamp students eligible for financing. However, this program has stalled and there has not been much news about its long-term prospects. With that in mind, keep your eye out for whether a program offers EQUIP funding, as this may be a good option to help you cover the costs of bootcamp.
Personal Loans for Coding Bootcamp
You can take out a personal loan to pay for some of your coding bootcamp or education costs. This is a good option if you only need to borrow a small amount. However, personal loans are not ideal for larger amounts of money.
Personal loans are not designed to cover education costs. They can come with less-favorable repayment terms than you might see offered by private education loan providers who work with coding bootcamp students.
A personal loan should be one of the last options you consider if you are trying to finance your coding bootcamp because of the higher interest rates these loans charge.
Private Loan Options for Coding Bootcamp Students
There are quite a few private loan providers who work specifically with coding bootcamp students. Here are a few of the options available to you:
Ascent Funding issues loans exclusively for education programs, including bootcamps in areas like coding, UI/UX design, and data science. Ascent Funding offers rates which depend on the school that you attend. Ascent Funding has partnered with dozens of schools, such as DevMountain, Fullstack Academy, and Coding Dojo.
Climb Credit is a private loan provider offering services to people who want to pursue training programs such as coding bootcamps. Climb Credit is partnered with General Assembly and 4Geeks Academy, among other schools. Interest rates and terms depend on the exact program you choose to enroll in.
Upstart gives personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 with various loan terms and Annual Percentage Rates (APR rates). APR rates range from 8.94% to 35.99%, according to their website. Upstart has helped over 698,000 customers according to their website. They are partnered with coding bootcamps like Dev Bootcamp, Hack Reactor, and Hackbright Academy.
Attending coding bootcamp costs a lot of money. Many programs cost upwards of $15,000 to attend. Thus, you should treat attending coding bootcamp like you would attending college: you need to give thoughtful consideration to your decision about financing.
Research all of the options available to you and ask yourself which ones work for you. Can you pay upfront? Would an Income Share Agreement (ISA) work for you? Are ISAs offered at the school you want to attend? If you are still interested in a loan, there are many options available which will help you cover the costs of your program.
Loans are a common way to finance bootcamp due to the high cost. If you are comfortable with taking out a loan to pay for your education, do your research and see if you can find a loan that works for you based on your financial situation and needs.
Coding Bootcamp Loans Q&A
The topic of coding bootcamp loans is complex as there are many options available to students. We have done some research to find the top questions related to coding bootcamp loans, which we answer below.
529 refers to a type of savings plan to cover the costs of one’s education, typically at a college or university. You can use 529 plans to pay for some coding bootcamps, as long as students at the coding bootcamp you are looking at can access Title IV funding. You should check with the school you are planning to attend whether you can use your 529 plan to finance your education.
You cannot use the FAFSA to finance your coding bootcamp tuition at most schools. However, some schools do offer Title IV funding, which means that you can apply for financing under the FAFSA. You should check with the bootcamp you want to attend to verify if you are eligible for funding through FAFSA.
Coding bootcamps are expensive due to the amount of knowledge and support that is packed into a short period.
Coding bootcamps offer immersive education programs in various programming fields. In bootcamp, you will work with mentors, course leads, and instructors who will help you learn the skills you need to pursue a particular tech job. There are also assignments and projects to complete at most bootcamps, which require time for instructors to prepare, issue, and grade. Most bootcamps last less than a year meaning schools need to be fast and efficient.
In addition, many coding bootcamps offer career support programs in addition to their regular programming. This support helps people transition into a job in tech after they graduate from bootcamp. As you can imagine, offering these services do take a lot of resources, which helps justify more of the cost of coding bootcamp.
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