Help! Should I borrow $30k from Prodigy Finance?

I’m about to join the Master in Finance program at ESSEC Business School. However my family can only afford my living costs in Paris. To pay the tuition fee I have to consider student loan. I plan to borrow 30k dollars from prodigy finance at the given rate of 13%. As the rate is high I’m currently very worried about my choice. Will this be a risky move? But if I give up I’ll never have the chance of leaving my country.
I’m from China and students mostly don’t need to pay high tuition fee for college. Let alone taking a student loan. I thought students in western countries may be more familiar with this? I would appreciate it if you can give me some advice.


Yes it’s high. But it allows me to choose the repayment period. If I choose to pay in 10 yrs or even 20yrs, I only have to pay about $500 every month. Plus it gives me a grace period of 6 months, meaning that I can start to pay it 6 months after I graduate, so I can have more time to find a job.


Have you looked into opportunities like Eiffel Scholarship? They’re granted by the French government not ESSEC, also don’t be afraid to reach out to ESSEC and relay your financial concerns, if you’ve already been admitted the worse they can say is no. 13% is rough and salaries in France are not that high.

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I'm not that qualified to speak here, but will try help. I'm from the UK and had to borrow £60k+ for my uni (zero family assets). Fortunately, we have the govt scheme here so my int rate was capped at around 7% during the inflation spike and is lower now (my int rate tracked inflation). I also have Chinese friends who came here to study, so I am somewhat familiar with the current problems in China (high youth and graduate unemployment).

I can share some small info that might help. First, I want to also recommend what the other person said - talk to the uni in France and ask if they can help. Otherwise, apply elsewhere if you can get a scholarship at a different uni. ESSEC is a well known school in London, so you might be able to get a job there if you're lucky. However, the job market for youngsters is bad and getting worse in UK/EU. I can share that many UK students can be lazy, so if you came to Europe and worked really hard (e.g. lot's of learning in your own time - I'm a trader, so I got my job by doing my own trade ideas and reading lots about the markets). Also, network aggressively once you've started learning about your chosen job. Do not just do your degree and expect a top grade to get you a top job - it doesn't work like that in careers such as trading. Instead, you need to get an ok degree from a well known uni AND most importantly learn about your desired job in your own time. Many students in the UK don't do much learning in your own time and that's the advantage that you have if you're hungry and really want this (that's the route I had to go - since I was from a small town in the UK with no connections or money). 

Overall, I just wanted to share that since if you do take the loan, you should only do it if you proceed to work your a$$ off to get and succeed in a job that can help you pay the loan back. I know my friends from China that got jobs in trading are glad they did - but they were like me, hardworking and lucky. 

Also, don't try get a job in Paris - the French want you to speak, well, French (even if it's not a formal job requirement, they will chose a French person over you). However, London is more of an international city and if you show you're hungry and REALLY want it, people will warm to you, no matter your background (take it from me, someone who 'wasn't supposed to make it into finance' if you look at my family background). 

Good luck. 


Adding to this. I got accepted for the Master in Finance at ESSEC but ended up going somewhere else. FYI, the MiM is the more "Prestigious" degree in France and Europe which I think might open more doors than the MSF (Please verify this I'm not 100% sure). I personally had family in France who I would have asked to be my guarantor because 13% is insane. A couple of questions for you: Are you doing the 1 or 2 year program? 2 is better because you can intern in the first summer whereas the 1 year program requires you to find a job from the get go. If its 2 years and you grind real hard you might be able to land an "Alternance" in your second year where you will work/study part time and the hiring company will cover your tuition. Also, If you're doing the 2 year program, is a "Sandwich Year" something you would consider? It is very common in the MiM where students take one year off to work relevant jobs in Europe or the Middle East, these can be well paid and help you cover some of your tuition and might even convert into FT offers, but you end up graduating in 3 years. I know you intend to borrow 30K but keep in mind you will need to cover cost of living (Unless you intend to work a student job, which I wouldn't recommend as you should be focused on classes and recruiting). Let me know if any questions.

As whomst_gym_bro mentioned, certainly plan on taking French classes and feeling very comfortable with the language, it would be very difficult to land a Job in France otherwise. I would recommend you do this even if your goal is London because a) London is very competitive and you need a plan B and b) Commonly, I've noticed people land an internship in their country of residence first then shoot for London. 

If you've gotten into ESSEC I believe you have a solid shot at ESCP/EDHEC, have you applied there? What are they offering? Finally, if you haven't connected with Chinese students at ESSEC, I highly encourage you do as their experience will be more relevant for you.


Thank you for your advice! I didn’t choose the 2-year program because a) I already major in Finance in my bachelor degree. The 2-year program is for those who didn’t major in Finance before. b) The 2-year MIF or 3-year MIM is, obviously, more expensive. Even if the company can pay my tuition fee, the living costs is still a burden for me. Besides, I heard that to find an apprenticeship is not that easy even for EU citizen nowadays. I personally would rather start working and saving money as soon as possible, instead of… spending another 2 years in school without getting real experiences in workplace, which I think is more important for finance major. As for the application choice, considering the school reputation and location, I think ESSEC is more suitable for me. It’s just the tuition fee that pains me…


Took a loan from Prodigy Finance to study in the US. The loan amounted to $45K but was repaid after my 1st year bonus hit. I submitted only 3 monthly payments as the rest was covered by the grace period so the interest wasn’t an issue. The only unknown is whether you can get a high paying job in Europe. If the answer is yes, definitely worth the risk.


Is 10% a reasonable price? The website said if I apply before 21st May I can get it at 10%. I’m still waiting for the application result.


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