What is an Income Share Agreement (ISA)?


An ISA is a contract between a student and a funder that protects students from the risks associated with student loans. When a student receives financing, he or she agrees to pay a small percentage of income for a fixed period of time after school. When that period is over, the student is free from the agreement -- regardless of how much or how little has been paid. 
ISAs have no interest, and no principal amount that must be repaid. 


PROTECTion for students

BFF's ISAs were created to make paying for school as risk-free as possible. The terms of an ISA agreement contain features designed to protect students, including:

  • a minimum income, called a threshold, that prevents you from owing money when you're unemployed or earning less than expected

  • a maximum cap that limits the amount you will ever pay

  • a term length after which you are free from the agreement, regardless of how much or little you have paid



If you receive money through an ISA, you can be confident that your payments after graduation will be fair and manageable. What you owe is determined by two things only: your annual income and the fixed percentage you agree to up front. 

If you end up at a low-paying job or unemployed, you are protected from unaffordable payments and spiraling interest. In years when you make less than the threshold, you owe nothing.

If you are wildly successful after graduation, you will pay more back --
but only until you hit the end of the agreement or your maximum cap. 


no cosigner required

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ISAs do not require a co-signer, and pricing doesn’t change based on credit history.

The terms in your contract are based only on your institution, program of study, and year in school. Our model uses income predictions that account for historical performance of graduates, among other measures. In other words, the terms of your ISA consider where you're headed, not where you come from. 


Pay back to pay it forward

After graduation, student payments replenish the ISA fund, creating a scalable, sustainable form of financial assistance. Students who earn a basic income – more than $20,000 a year – pay a fixed percentage of their earnings each year over a set period of time. These affordable payments go back into the ISA fund, allowing a fresh wave of students to benefit from the success of previous recipients.