Deciding to attend a career training program to upskill or reskill is a big decision. Figuring out which program to attend can be even more difficult. So, no one wants the added burden of seeking out all of the payment options available and weighing which ones work best for their situation. That’s why we’ve put together a list of how to pay for school, to help you compare the pros and cons of each to find the payment method that’s right for you!
Upfront, in full
If you have enough money in savings to cover tuition and living expenses, you may want to pay out of pocket. While this option does have the highest upfront cost, you won’t owe any money in interest, and you won’t have to worry about making monthly payments!
- Highest upfront cost — full tuition paid at once
- No interest
- No credit check
Pro-tip: if you’re able, paying upfront is the best option — you won’t owe interest, you won’t have to worry about remembering payments, and your credit won’t be impacted. Since education programs can cost thousands of dollars, check out if there are any scholarships available to use for your program that can help ease the tuition amount!
Pay-as-you-go payment plan
For students who are unable to pay the full cost of tuition at one time, many schools offer payment plan options that spread payment out over the duration of a course.
Because these plans come with zero interest, you’ll pay less overall than with a loan. However, the payments are usually spread over a much shorter period of time, so your monthly payments will be higher.
- Payments spread over a short period of time — higher monthly payments than a loan
- No interest
- No credit check
A student loan can be a good option for people who need to make smaller monthly payments, rather than in larger payments or all upfront. While many career training programs don’t offer federal student loans, private student loans can still be available. Depending on the products available for your program, you may have the option of full deferral, interest-only deferral, or immediate full repayment.
Additionally, Climb only performs a hard credit pull once a loan is funded, so you can submit an application with no impact to your credit score!
There are some things you’ll want to keep in mind — these loans come with an interest rate, so you’ll ultimately pay more than the tuition amount. Your credit will also be pulled once loan funds are sent, so your credit score may be impacted.
- Payments spread over a longer period of time — lower monthly payments than pay-as-you-go plans
- Interest rates
- Credit check
Pro-tip: even with a deferred loan, interest will build up while you’re in class. If you’re able, a good idea is to make interest payments during your program, so you won’t be faced with a larger principal amount once your repayment period begins!
Income Share Agreement (ISA)
Some programs also have an income share agreement (ISA) option. With an ISA, you won’t have to make any tuition payments until you find a job and earn above a minimum income threshold. Once you’re earning a minimum salary amount, you’ll make payments based on a fixed percentage of your income, until you pay a maximum amount or number of payments.
You’ll want to keep in mind, though, that the amount you pay will increase as your income increases, so if you find a well-paying job, you may actually end up paying much more.
- Varied payment amounts depending on employment and salary
- Protection for possible unemployment or underemployment
- Potential for much higher payments once employed