Understand
your ISA
Lambda School was founded on the belief that while potential is evenly distributed across society, opportunity is not. Our Income Share Agreement (ISA) allows us to provide an education that usually costs tens of thousands of dollars for no upfront cost, without debt, loans, nor interest. Plus, as you make payments toward your ISA, you’re helping to make Lambda's programs more accessible to the next cohort of students.

An Income Share Agreement is a legally binding document. Scroll down to see the five top things you need to know about your ISA.
1
Once you begin making at least $50,000 a year, you will owe Lambda 17% of your monthly income until you reach the cap or the terms of your ISA expire.
A Lambda School graduate making $50,000 a year would earn $4,167 a month and would pay Lambda $708.39 each month. You will not be obligated to make ISA payments during months in which your income was below $4,167.
See the calculator
2
You will owe payments toward your ISA if your job requires skills you learned at Lambda School, even if your title isn't "Web Developer" or "Data Scientist."
Your ISA contract states that you only have to make monthly payments when you are working in a "Qualified Position." However, a "Qualified Position" is any type of role in any field where your participation in Lambda School helped you get the job, even if it's not directly associated with the track you were in.
Qualifying positions:
Employee
Contractor
Self-employed
Temporary
Second Job
Job changes
Salary changes

Examples of qualifying jobs:
Front-end developer
Data scientist
Sales/Support engineer
‍iOS/Android
Cyber security
IT specialist
UX researcher
App developer
QA engineer
Business Analyst
Technical business operations
Jobs that likely do not qualify:
Barista
Construction worker
Chef
Bartender
Waiter
Banker
Realtor
See details
3
You must continue to make monthly payments toward your ISA until one of the following happens:
You have paid 17% of your monthly income for 24 months.
You have reached the maximum payment amount of $30,000.
You did not make over $4,167/month or did not have a qualifying job, and therefore "deferred" your monthly payments for a total of 60 months.
See the calculator
4
You are responsible for the full amount of your ISA starting after Sprint 16.
If you decide that Lambda School is not right for you, you can withdraw within the first 4 Sprints (Unit 1) with no tuition obligations or penalties. After you complete Sprint 5, you have vested 15% of your ISA, and will be required to repay 15% of your ISA when working in a qualified role earning at least $50k. The percentage you owe will increase again after completion of Sprint 8, 12 and 16, at which point you are responsible for the full amount of your ISA.
See details
5
You are required to report any changes in your income to your ISA servicer.
Upon withdrawal, being withdrawn, or landing a job (qualified or not) you will be required to send your ISA servicer (Meratas or Leif) a pay stub, a letter from your employer, or a contractor agreement stating your income. You must do this on a regular basis, including:
  • No later than five days after starting your new job
  • Every time your income increases or decreases
  • Every 30 days, even if your job is outside of the tech industry
See details
How to get help with your ISA
The ISA is a legally binding document. It's important to us that you understand what is required of you and how it will affect your finances.

Make sure have read your ISA contract in full and understand the terms. You can see the template of an agreement here. If you have any questions please reach out to Meratas, the company who manages your ISA, or contact /front desk.
Meratas
Website: https://www.meratas.com/
Phone number: (877) 311-3824
(Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm PST)
Support email: help@meratas.com
Leif
Support email: support@leif.org
Resident of California?
Students living in California, and joining after August 14, 2020, do not have the option to sign an ISA but instead are able to sign a Retail Installment Contract. The new RIC option preserves as many student protections from the ISA as possible. Most importantly, it still allows for zero upfront payment and no repayment until the student is making $50,000 or more. Payments are still calculated based on 17% of the student's income and there is no interest rate, both identical to features of the ISA. That said, we're disappointed the RIC doesn't include some very beneficial terms, like the termination of the ISA after 24 payments or 60 months of deferred payments.
Frequently Asked Questions: ISA
Who are Meratas and Leif?
Meratas is a third party provider who services the ISA on behalf of Lambda School in the United States. Leif is a third party who services ISAs for some existing students.

Servicers handle parts of the financing process like origination and payment processing. They will perform things like identity verification, bank account verification, and students will be able to make their payments through their online portal.

For questions about payments or using the servicing platform, students can contact the servicer's support teams

Leif
Email: support@leif.org

Meratas
Email: help@meratas.com
Portal: message within your Meratas portal
Phone: (877) 311-3824, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm PST.
When and how do I report my income?
Students are required to keep their servicer account up-to-date with their salary and job status at all times. Even if a student is still active in the curriculum, they need to keep their account up-to-date.

Students must inform Lambda School of their employment status no later than five days after starting work in a qualified position paying at least the minimum monthly income required to make monthly payments under the agreement. Students must also must inform Lambda School of the name of their employer, their job title, and their earned income every three months, or as requested by Lambda School, thereafter.

Each year, there is a tax reconciliation process performed to verify the students' reported income. This is to ensure that students are not over- or underpaying what they owe per their financing agreement.

Students must submit to Lambda School and/or their servicer the following documentation evidencing their earned income:

- Before their first monthly payment and every time their earned income increases or decreases, a pay stub, a letter from their employer, independent-contractor agreement, or other evidence of their monthly income.

- By 30 April each year, a year-end pay stub, form W-2, form 1099, schedule K-1, or other official documentation showing their sources of earned income and the dates of their employment for the previous calendar year.

- If Lambda School requests it, a completed and signed IRS form 4506-T (or any successor form) designating Lambda School as the recipient of their tax return information for returns covering any months for which they are required to make a monthly payment, dated no earlier than 30 days before the date they provide it Lambda School.
When do I have to pay my ISA?
Payments are due on the 1st of every month.

Students will have a one-month grace period before their first payment is due. The first month for which they are required to make a monthly payment is the second full month in which their earned income exceeds the minimum. Here are two examples:

A student graduates from Lambda School on 15 May and on 5 June they start a job for which they are paid at least $4,166.67 a month. In June they are paid $4,166.67 or more. The first month for which they must make a monthly payment is August.

A student graduates from Lambda School on 15 May and on 20 June they start a job for which they are paid at least $4,166.67 a month. However, in June they are paid less than $4,166.67. The first month for which they must make a monthly payment is August.
How do I calculate how much I need to pay?
The 17% monthly income payment requirement is based off of your "Earned Income," which means all you are paid or that you earn in all your qualified positions. Earned income is your gross income—your income before taxes or any other withholdings (including contributions to retirement plans and savings plans).

For example, the US Internal Revenue Service for the 2019 reporting year defines income to include on an annual basis (a) the sum of Line 1 (Wages, salaries, tips, etc.), Line 7a (Other income), and Line 8a (Business income or loss) of IRS Form 1040, as reported or required to be reported on U.S. federal income Tax returns. All of those are examples of “earned income.”

Earned Income does not include:
- Income earned by your children or spouse (if any)
- Any money you inherit
- Any amounts paid to you under the Social Security disability insurance program (title II of the Social Security Act) or the Supplemental Security Income program (title XVI of the Social Security Act)
- Any amounts paid to you under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

Students are not required to make a monthly payment if their earned income for the previous month is less than $4,166.67 from qualified positions.
What jobs qualify?
“Qualified Position” means work as an employee, independent contractor, or business owner in a field related to, or position requiring knowledge of, one or more of software, data science, full-stack web, iOS/Android development, cybersecurity, information technology, UX, and web and app development and design and any other field or position for which you would not have been qualified, or not have been considered or promoted into, but for your participation in your Lambda School program or the job placement efforts of Lambda School.
What does "deferment " mean and what's the process?
"Deferment" means it is agreed you don't have to pay your ISA for that month because you either don't meet the qualified job position or are not making $4,167.67 a month or more. Students can reach out to their servicer requesting an Industry Specificity Deferment if they believe that their job is not a "Qualified Position".

The servicer will ask for supporting documentation such as the job description and pay stubs, etc.
Once the request has been processed (usually a week or two) the servicer will provide the student with an approval or denial of the deferment.
When does the ISA contract start?
Once a student signs their financing agreement, it is a live contract. Per the terms of the contract, there is a window of time during which payments may be owed.

The term of the contract is either 60 deferment months (months during which a student does not have a Qualified Position after finishing/leaving Lambda School) or 24 monthly payments, capped at $30k.

The contract enters the Repayment Period and becomes active upon the earlier of:
- The date for completing the program specified in the student's enrollment agreement and

- Accepting a Qualified Position after the date specified in the enrollment agreement on which they are responsible for the entire amount of tuition funding allocated to their program (accepting a Qualified Position after fully vesting the ISA).
When does the ISA contract end?
The maximum term of the agreement is 83 months. That would happen if a student has not had a Qualified Position for 59 of the 60 deferment months, and then becomes employed in the 60th month in a Qualified Position. They would then owe the 24 monthly payments.

Students will not be required to make further monthly payments if:

- They have made 24 monthly payments
- They have paid the maximum amount of $30,000 (excluding fees)
- They have not been required to make a monthly payment for a total of 60 months, whichever is the earliest to occur.