The United States’ $1.3 trillion in student loan debt isn't just a problem of the present, nor is it burdensome exclusively to borrowers.
“This problem is actually impacting so many financial institution models, so people are not putting money in their 401K,” Justin Fischer, CEO of Student Loan Genius, told Benzinga. “This is the short-term issue that they’re fighting, so we’re trying to help them get to that retirement savings and investment savings, insurance. Trying to get to those products that are important to moving on in your life, moving out of your parents’ house ━ you’ve got to solve student loan debt in order to get to those next things. Our economy is getting stressed by the fact that people can’t solve that issue that’s in front of them.”
That’s where Fischer and Student Loan Genius are looking to help. Based in Austin, Texas, the company emerged in 2013 to improve visibility of individual debt and propose options to chip away at it.
Fischer visited Benzinga's downtown Detroit newsroom with startup venture firm Village Capital, which was conducting its 2017 Fintech Workshop. As an alumnus of Village Capital's 2015 Fintech Program, Fischer consulted with the current batch of startups and offered a model of success in the financial technology services field.
Student Loan Genius’s software reviews more than $175 million in student debt pulled directly from the federal system and equips clients with portfolios of their loans consolidated from various servicers. It then recommends payment programs based on client eligibility.
The capital aggregation strategy combines federal opportunities, from public loan forgiveness to income-based repayment plans, with programs through financial institutions and employers. After filtering these options Student Loan Genius navigates clients toward companies contributing to repayment.
“We’ve actually seen about $10 million impacted on people’s financial wellness, so the ability to consolidate creates cash flow to do things that they’re putting off in their life right now,” Fischer said. “Approaching a mortgage, even something as simple as an auto loan ━ these things are very difficult for them to achieve right now because they’re dealing with a $40,000, maybe $50,000, starting salary and $40,000 in student loan debt.”
© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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