This report documents the results of an SBPC investigation finding that emerging point-of-sale lending firms, and particularly those in the rapidly growing “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) space, are driving students toward risky loan products and propping up a startling array of questionable for-profit schools. These loans lack many of the key protections consumers rely on in other financial markets and involve a range of hidden fees and other hazards. Nevertheless, an SBPC review has identified a troubling range of unaccredited and otherwise dubious for-profit schools that market point-of-sale financing such as BNPL credit as a variety of student loan, particularly institutions in the tech-focused “bootcamp” space.
The report additionally documents evidence that PayPal has failed to rein in bad practices that the SBPC and partners have previously drawn attention to at the intersection of point-of-sale student debt and questionable schools. Instead, the SBPC’s investigation found that dubious institutions continue to add PayPal’s revolving credit product—PayPal Credit—as a tuition financing option, and that many schools have also begun to offer PayPal’s BNPL product as a form of student loan.
Read the Press Release: Watchdog Warns Students: Beware Risky New Loans By Tech Lenders for Dubious For-Profit Schools
To learn more about the SBPC’s work related to shadow student debt, click here.