Like millions of other graduates, when Dan Stelmach started his career, he felt overwhelmed by his student loan debt. With high interest rates, he felt like he was never going to make any progress.
His brother, Nick Sky, recalls watching his brother struggle with his debt.
“He said, ‘something needs to change so I can pay my student loans,’” says Nick. “And that’s when it occurred to him; spare change! If he rounded up his spare change, he could save money and put more towards his debt.”
And the idea for the ChangEd, a student loan app, was born. Below, find out how this new app can help you manage your student loans and accelerate your repayment.
When Dan to came to Nick with his idea, he estimated that he had about $50 a month in spare change. Nick and Dan did the math together; if he used that $50 to make extra payments towards his loans on top of his regular payments, he would save thousands of dollars, get out of debt sooner, and he wouldn’t have to manage a strict budget.
Together, the two brothers worked on building a simple app that could help others like Dan pay off their debt.
In late 2016, they launched a beta version of the app, but began signing up real users. After users started making real transactions and getting results, they’re now ready to launch the app to the general public.
“Seeing a large student loan balance can be frustrating and demoralizing,” says Nick. “But by using your spare change, you can start making progress paying off your loans without sacrificing or making drastic lifestyle changes.”
How the ChangEd App works
According to ChangEd, users can save $10,000 on average by collecting spare change and making extra payments on their loans.
The student loan app works by first analyzing your spending habits. Once the app understands your shopping patterns, it starts setting aside your spare change. For example, if you spend $2.45 on a cup of coffee, the app will round up to $3.00, putting $0.55 towards your student loan payments.
ChangEd transfer your extra change to an FDIC-insured account. Once your account hits $100 from your spare change, the app automatically submits a payment towards your student loans.
You can check your progress and see how much time you knocked off your repayment term in the ChangeEd dashboard.
Nick is proud of the app, particularly regarding its security.
“It’s a very secure environment. We do not store your account or banking information; we just facilitate payments, so your accounts are always protected,” says Nick.
Using the student loan app
Once you download the app and sign up, the app will prompt you to enter your student loan information, including who your lender is, your interest rate, when your monthly payment is due, and how much your payment is each day.
You will then have to enter your full name and birthdate, so the app can open an FDIC-insured ChangEd account for you.
There is a disclaimer that you will have to read and sign that you agree to link your accounts.
After a few days, you will start seeing transactions show up in the app. You’ll see your regular transactions on the dashboard and the change that was set aside from each purchase.
The dashboard will also show you how much change is saved each month and how much is applied to your loans. The app calculates how much each payment saves you in interest over time and how early you will pay off your loans.
ChangEd App Fees and a special offer
For most users, ChangEd charges a $1.00 a month fee. But if you sign up now through this link, you can get a six-month free trial. That way, you can test out the app and start collecting change without making any commitment.
ChangEd is currently only for iOS/iPhone users, but Nick says they plan to add Android compatibility by the end of the year.
Both Nick and Dan know what it’s like to deal with student loan debt. Between the two of them, they have over $120,000 in student loans. With a fix of federal and private loans, high interest rates make it difficult to pay down the debt quickly. And the interest rates caused the original loan balances to balloon over time.
By using their spare change – and designing an app for others to do the same – the brothers are making extra payments and knocking down the principal. The app makes it a simple and automated process, so you can pay off your debt faster without worrying about it yourself.
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