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.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.49% effective March 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.50% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.81% – 8.79%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.55% – 7.12%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.00% – 9.74%6||Undergrad & Graduate|