Lendwise, the peer-to-peer lender specialising in education finance, has today announced that loan applications from students surged to a new record high in the first quarter of 2021.
In the three months to March 2021, the number of new loan requests increased by 150% on the first quarter of 2020.
Demand for postgraduate funding remains high despite the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, according to the latest figures from Lendwise.
In recent years, the number of people entering postgraduate education has been steadily rising. Over 350,000 students now start a postgraduate course in the UK every year, compared with only around half this number two decades ago.
The loans Lendwise provides helps students to bridge the potential shortfall between a Postgraduate Master’s Loan and the total cost of postgraduate study. It also offers funding to students who may be ineligible for student finance.
Over the past 12 months, Lendwise believes the pandemic has caused the funding gap to widen due to the impact it has had on students’ potential income from part-time work.
Co-founder and CEO of Lendwise Rishi Zaveri, said: “The uncertain economic climate has accelerated higher education applications over the past 12 months as students recognise the value of pursuing postgraduate qualifications in an increasingly competitive graduate market.
“But unfortunately, government-backed finance, in the form of the Postgraduate Mater’s Loan, isn’t always enough to support students through the process.
“Not everyone is eligible for the loan and for those who do qualify, it may not be sufficient to cover the cost of their course and their living costs.
“Traditionally, a lot of postgraduate students work part-time in sectors such as hospitality or retail to help supplement their income, but both of these have been badly affected by the pandemic.
“It means that now more than ever, a lot of students need additional support from private lenders, which is where we can help. Unlike high street banks and building societies, we can provide a more tailored solution that suits the needs of students.”
Lendwise pairs investors with students and professionals seeking to borrow money to fund their postgraduate education and professional qualifications.
Investors are currently achieving estimated returns of approximately 8% a year from a diversified pool of loans, with investments in individual loans going up to 10% a year.
Meanwhile, students benefit from competitively priced loans with flexible repayment terms, and crucially they don’t have to start repaying their loan until after they’ve completed their course.
Zaveri adds: “At Lendwise, our borrowers are at the heart of what we do. We are passionate about education and supporting those who wish to pursue postgraduate degrees and professional qualifications.
“While the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown will hopefully provide some return to normality for students, we expect our growth to continue into the second half of this year.
“As a business, we are focused on scaling up our efforts to ensure we can serve more higher education students and help them to realise their career goals.”
Lendwise is a FCA-regulated online peer-to-peer finance lender specialising in education finance. Based in London, it has pooled together expertise in banking, finance, IT and social media marketing to bring together lenders and borrowers in the education finance sector and provide them with a superior product and service offering. For further information, please contact email@example.com.
 The earnings returns to postgraduate degrees in the UK: 2020, Institute for Fiscal Studies
 As with all peer-to-peer loans, our products place capital at risk. Investors may not get back the full amount they lend and/or the interest they expect; and the loans can be illiquid. Any reference made to past performance or forecasted performance of interest rates are not a reliable indicator of future performance.