MentorWorks Secures CDFI Certification after Rigorous Review by the US Dept. of the Treasury Defining New Funding Category, Demonstrating Industry Leadership in ISA Space

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MentorWorks has secured CDFI certification through the US Department of the Treasury allowing it to provide safe and affordable capital at reasonable rates to students who may be outside the mainstream of traditional funding options.

MentorWorks announced today that the United States Department of the Treasury has certified MentorWorks Education Capital, Inc. as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). MentorWorks is the first and only Income Share Agreement (ISA) provider to secure this designation, granting access to capital to provide ISAs to economically-disadvantaged, low-income students. ISAs are an innovative alternative to student loans.

“Being one of the few certified CDFIs in Massachusetts is a key milestone; until last year there were only 27 certified CDFIs in Massachusetts and only 1163 nationally. We also have the distinction of being the first CDFI in the income share agreement space and one of a handful in the higher education finance space," said MentorWorks’ CEO and President, Karthik Krishnan. “This certification enhances our ability to further our mission of supporting low-income and underserved students by creating education to employment pathways for them. MentorWorks provides financial and social capital to students, which we know drives equity and economic mobility so, as a CDFI, we now have greater access to impact, federal, and bank sources of capital. Moreover, this certification is a seal of approval of our mission by the US Federal Government, which engenders trust with students and schools.”

MentorWorks is a leader in the income share agreement funding space, having successfully originated nearly 200 ISAs within the past two quarters. MentorWorks has a proven “fund and support" model, which is evidenced by the 126% increase in the average income of students funded by MentorWorks. 74% of students funded by MentorWorks represent BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and Persons of Color) populations and over 60% are from low-income families. Funded students include individuals who may also not have had any other education financing options, individuals with limited or no credit histories, parents who took time off to take care of their children and wish to return to the workforce, and community college to 4-year transfer students, among others.

With an ISA, students make monthly payments which are calculated to a fixed percentage of their income, for a set period of time, up to a maximum cap, without accruing interest. Unlike a loan, students do not pay until they find a job that pays at or above a minimum income threshold to ensure affordability. The payments adjust according to the level of the student’s income – making it an outcome-based model with downside protections in place for the student. The MentorWorks ISA obligation can be ended early by making payments as listed in our early payment schedule. In addition, MentorWorks provides career support to its students through its proprietary Talent Accelerator Platform (TAP), which is designed to enhance employment outcomes of funded students.

About Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)
Community Development Financial Institutions - or CDFIs - are mission-driven financial institutions that are dedicated to providing financial services to meet the needs of economically-disadvantaged individuals within underserved communities. CDFIs invest in local communities and the residents who live there by providing critically needed financing often unavailable from mainstream financial institutions. CDFIs are certified by the US Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund – known as the CDFI Fund. In order to become a certified CDFI, the financial institution must: have a primary mission of promoting community development; provide financial products and services; serve one or more defined low-income target markets; maintain accountability to the community it serves; and be a legal non-governmental entity. All CDFIs share a common mission of serving low-income communities. CDFIs are commonly loan funds, credit unions, community banks, or venture capital funds. Certified CDFIs are part of a national network promoting economic growth in America’s underserved communities by financing businesses, creating jobs, and rebuilding neighborhoods.

About MentorWorks Education Capital
MentorWorks Education Capital provides Income Share Agreement (ISA) programs, which enable college and non-traditional students to complete their education without incurring up-front tuition costs. ISAs are alternatives to loans with which approved students will have their tuition paid and, once employed, will make payments calculated to a fixed percentage of their income, for a set period of time, up to a maximum cap, without accruing interest. Uniquely, MentorWorks also provides career development support, mentoring and access to employers through their online and asynchronous Talent Accelerator Platform (TAP).

To learn more about MentorWorks Education Capital visit: mentorworks.com or reach out to Micha Sabovik, COO, at micha@mentorworks.com.

Follow MentorWorks Education Capital on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/mentorworksISA.

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Micha Sabovik
@MentorWorksISA
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