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The value of refinancing an international currency loan

Prodigy Finance - June 21, 2019

Chandu Prodigy Finance Customer and MS Engineering student

It’s all about saving money. And, in his own words, Chandu Yerragopu, an MS Data Science graduate from Texas Tech University, “Prodigy Finance is definitely an option to save money.''

After he began working full-time at TransUnion in the United States, his first priority was to clear his Indian education loan. He chose to refinance with Prodigy Finance during our refinancing pilot because:

  • It cut his interest rate and which saved him plenty of money.
  • He didn’t want to waste time and money on international transfers.
  • There are no prepayment penalties with Prodigy Finance.

In other words, Chandu wanted to rid himself of the hassles that any graduate with an international currency loan faces.

The hassles of repaying international currency loans

Repaying his Indian student loan was a bit of a pain for Chandu. He would transfer money from his US bank account to his Indian bank account in lump sums, so he could make the monthly payments through in-country transfers.

He did this to simplify the process. Without it, “payment can reach India after 2 or 3 days, then you need to contact the bank [to make sure it was received]. But, they’ll account only on the day they got the money, so it won’t be the day you wanted to pay.”

While lump sum transfers should have saved Chandu some time and money, it didn’t. He still had to pay the transfer costs which can be significant, and he still needed to follow up on his loan payments every time he made one.

Moreover, paying off his loan was a priority, but between the interest and prepayment penalties he faced, Chandu would have paid roughly $19,000 more to pay off his loan within a year than what he had originally hoped.

When he refinanced his international currency loan with Prodigy Finance, Chandu:

  • Cut his interest rate by around 5%.
  • Cut monetary transfer costs completely.
  • Reduced his loan term to 7 years.
  • Gave himself the option for penalty-free prepayment.
  • Reduced his monthly minimum due and the total cost of his loan.
  • Linked his US bank account to the Prodigy Finance app so he can pay his loan on the day he’s paid. 

“The good thing is there’s no prepayment penalty with Prodigy Finance which was my priority.. Although the monthly amount looks low, you can pay in lump sums and pay it faster. They also have a mobile app, so it’s easy. You can do it from your mobile phone. You link your checking account with their app, so as soon as you get your paycheck, you can pay your loan account.”

Want to set up automatic payments for your Prodigy Finance loan?

Automatic payments are currently available for customers paying USD loans from US bank accounts.

The process for refinancing an international student loan

Chandu already knew about Prodigy Finance through another student who studied his master’s in the US. When he learned they were also able to refinance, he investigated further.

The process was easy - even easier than Chandu thought it would be. 

What Chandu did: 

  • Had his documents ready because he also used them for his OPT and H1-B visa applications.
  • Chose a loan term (7 years) that fit his financial goals. (10, 15 and 20 year terms are also offered.)

What Prodigy Finance did:

  • Sent his provisional refinancing offer instantly after completing his application.
  • Had a dedicated customer support specialist ready to answer Chandu’s questions and explain the process.
  • Handled the transfer of funds and settling Chandu’s original loan account directly with the Indian provider. 

“The process with Prodigy Finance was really easy and it goes very fast. You get a dedicated customer relationship manager who follows up and emails you.” The most difficult aspect was dealing with the bank who gave Chandu his initial loan; they took their time providing the necessary information.

But it was worth it. Chandu has saved himself thousands of dollars and the hassle of making international currency loan repayments. 

Chandu’s top tips for international grads

Now that he’s on the fast-track to his financial goals, Chandu’s excited to share what he’s learned. His top tips for international grads are:

  • Put all your efforts into landing a great job. Start early and make it a focus while you’re still studying.
  • Perform your job well to grow your career, receive bonuses and other benefits from your employer.
  • Keep money matters (clearing your education loan, managing your credit score and saving money) at the top of your to-do list from the very beginning. 

Got half an hour? Check out this Happy Schools webinar to hear about Chandu's refinancing experience in his own words. 

Want to save money on your international currency student loan?

Learn more about international student loan refinancing, then add your name to the list so you'll be the first to know when we launch.

Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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