Students can fund an education three ways: paying upfront, taking out traditional loans, or increasingly, by taking part in ISAs. Given how new ISAs are, we work with every student to weigh the tradeoffs between each payment plan. The core advantage of funding an education with an ISA compared to debt is that the ISA payments adjusts to what you can afford based on income; the core advantage of debt is you know exactly what you’re responsible for paying regardless of how successful you are.

To decide which is right for you, consider four possible outcomes. For each, weigh the difference in cost between using an ISA and using debt, and consider whether your budget would work in either case:

Can’t afford living expenses during the program? ISAs were created to prevent unsustainable debt, so to increase our efforts even more, Thinkful now offers living stipends. Students in Atlanta, Minneapolis, & Denver can now earn a $1,500 monthly stipend. Read more.

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