Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I make payments on my Skills Fund loan?
To set up payments on your Skills Fund loan or to learn more about your payment options, visit www.AspireServicingCenter.com or call 1-800-243-7552 (Monday-Friday, 8am - 4:30pm Central). You can make payments on your Skills Fund loan using AutoPay, one-time payments, or payment by mail.
The timing of your payments depends on your loan type.
- For Interest-only Loans, you will make interest-only payments while in program and for two months of grace. You will start making full (interest + principal) payments two months after your program ends.
- For Immediate Repayment Loans, you will start making payments roughly one month after your loan is disbursed (which occurs on the second Wednesday after program start.)
You can find more information about repayment amounts and scheduling on your specific school's partner website.
For more info, go to: How Do I Pay Back My Skills Fund Loan
Q: How do I apply for a Skills Fund loan?
After you've been accepted into a Skills Fund partner program, you’ll apply for a Skills Fund Loan on our specific partner website for that school.
If your school doesn’t provide with the link, you should be able to find it on your own. The URL usually follows this formula: "https://yourschoolurl.skills.fund." For example, Galvanize students will visit “https://galvanize.skills.fund.” Or if you search for your school’s name + Skills Fund, it should be at or near the top of the search results.
On that partner website, you'll find all the information you need about the amount you can borrow, loan terms, payment schedule, acceptance notification, and specific program eligibility.
Q: Who is Skills Fund?
We are a team of higher ed, consumer protection, and student loan industry leaders, committed to revolutionizing higher education for the benefit of students of all backgrounds and walks of life. Our goal is simple: build the best financing tools for the best outcomes-focused schools and their students.
In partnership with leading skills training programs, Skills Fund created a financing platform that is both transparent and student-first, to provide all students an experience radically different than traditional student loans. In order for all educational actors to keep an eye to student success, our model uniquely requires skin in the game from the school, lender, and quality assurance entity.
Q: How do you pick schools to work with?
We start by asking schools the right questions about their application process, acceptance rates, curriculum, the qualifications of their staff, and student outcomes.
Then, together with our strategic financing partner, Iowa Student Loan, we perform an extensive evaluation to ensure every school we partner with is setting the bar high and paving the way for student success.
Q: Have you ever stopped working with a school?
Yes, several of them. While we’re mindful of the fact that Skills Fund isn't a government regulator or an accreditor, we commit to doing our absolute best to ensure we're only partnering with schools that deliver a tangible Return On Education. (That’s our way of saying you get your money’s worth and can start a better future.)
Despite our diligent efforts, sometimes we're just not a fit - culturally or operationally. Other times, we have concerns that a school will not be able to deliver on the promises they’ve made to students.
For this reason, our quality assurance efforts are continuous and never ending. We’re always checking up on our partners. We believe every student deserves their maximum Return On Education, and we're committed to making it happen for students from across the country.
Q: Who can use Skills Fund?
U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents are eligible to apply for a Skills Fund loan.
Q: Will I qualify for a Skills Fund loan?
We’ve worked closely with our partner programs to provide access to competitive financing to students from all backgrounds and walks of life.
We want to help as many students as possible get the financing they need so we do not consider employment or current salary in the credit decision.
International Students: At this time, we are only able to issue loans to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
Q: What are your interest rates?
We work with our partner schools to ensure their students have access to competitive financing.
Please see your specific school’s Skills Fund site for further details.
Q: What information do I need to provide to Skills Fund?
During the loan application process, we will ask you for the following information:
- Full name
- Email and other contact information
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Loan amount requested
- Three personal references
- Cosigner information (if applicable)
- Citizenship / Permanent Resident Information
Q: I need financing for tuition and the cost of living. How do I select the amount for each?
Within the loan application, you will find two fields for financing: one for tuition and one for cost of living.
Within each field, you can enter the precise amount you would like to borrow. Students are required to take at least $2,000 in tuition financing in order to receive any cost of living financing. Cost of living financing is not available for some schools.
Q: Can I apply for a loan for the cost of living only?
No, students must apply for at least $2,000 in tuition financing in order to add cost of living financing. However, at select schools, a student is only eligible to borrow cost of living funds. Please see your specific school's Skills Fund site for further information.
Q: What is the status of my application?
Shortly after completing your loan application, you will receive provisional credit decision details via a confirmation window in the application.
If you are credit approved, your loan will then be certified by your school. If you are not credit approved, you may be given the opportunity to amend your application with a cosigner.
To find out the specific status of your application, contact our Customer Trust team at CustomerTrust@Skills.Fund.
Q: Can I pay off my loan faster than the initial term?
Yes, you can pre-pay your loan at any time without penalty.
Q: Will Skills Fund check my credit?
Skills Fund conducts a hard credit check only after you submit your application, but we'll tell you your estimated monthly payment before you even submit your application via our Loan Calculator.
Once your application is complete, we will check your credit, including your credit score.
Q: When can I apply for a loan?
You can apply for the loan after your acceptance into a program.
Your program cohort must begin within 90 days of the date that you apply for a loan.
Q: Do I need a cosigner?
If you do not meet the loan underwriting criteria, you may be invited to add a cosigner and reapply.
You can (1) apply individually, and should you not be approved, you may be offered the ability to reapply with a cosigner, or (2) initiate your loan process with a cosigner.
Please note: we recommend you to apply individually to begin, and should you not be credit approved, you may be given the opportunity to amend your application with a cosigner.
Q: How and when will my loan disburse?
The funds (tuition + living stipend) disburse the second Wednesday following your program start date. Please see your specific school's Skills Fund site for further information, as this may vary for your school.
On this day, the tuition portion will be sent directly to the school and the living stipend sent either by electronic funds transfer or mailed check (whichever you indicated within your application.)
Q: Can I get a loan if I have a scholarship?
Yes, you may apply for financing in parallel to applying for your scholarship.
If you are awarded your scholarship prior to the disbursement of your tuition financing to your school, please email CustomerTrust@Skills.Fund with the amount of your scholarship, and your loan for tuition will be downward adjusted.
Should you receive your scholarship following the second Wednesday after program start, you can apply your funds to your loan balance at any time without pre-payment penalty.
Please note: Should you want to apply for a scholarship, it is recommended to apply for max tuition financing, and once your scholarship is awarded, Skills Fund can downward adjust your requested tuition financing. This will prevent you having to apply for additional funds, should you not be awarded your scholarship, as loans may not be upward adjusted. Simply email CustomerTrust@Skills.Fund with your approved scholarship amount.
Q: What happens to my loan if I drop out of my program?
While it is our hope that every student graduates and finds an awesome job in your chosen field, we understand that other circumstances may intervene.
Regarding your tuition: You are responsible for the full amount you borrow, plus accrued interest and fees. If you are owed a refund by your partner school, the refund transaction will be made to Skills Fund in the amount of the refund due (but in no event greater than what that we paid to the school on your behalf). If there is a balance on your loan after any applied refund, you will be required to immediately start making monthly payments for the balance.
Regarding your cost of living: Because you've received the funds, you're responsible for repaying them to Skills Fund. If there is a balance on your loan after any applied refund, you will be required to immediately start making monthly payments for the balance.
Q: Who is Southeast Bank and how is it related to Skills Fund?
Southeast Bank is a Tennessee-chartered bank and is the lender for all Skills Fund loans.
Q: Who is Aspire Resources and how is it related to Skills Fund?
Aspire Resources Inc. is a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of Skills Fund's non-profit partner, Iowa Student Loan.
Aspire Resources Inc. provides customer service on behalf of Skills Fund, and Aspire's logo will be seen within communications specific to your Skills Fund loan.