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Nick Sky, Co-Founder and CEO, ChangEd


Instead of counting down the years to repay your debt, what if you could “nickel and dime your student loans?” This is exactly what Dan Stelmach had in mind when he pitched ChangEd to his brother Nick.

For recent college graduates, paying off the average $36,000 student loan can be daunting — especially when principle and interest payments can double the cost of student loan repayment. Instead of counting down the years to repay your debt, what if you could “nickel and dime your student loans?” This is exactly what Dan Stelmach had in mind when he pitched ChangEd to his brother Nick. Together, Dan and Nick founded the new mobile app and platform, which helps student loan borrowers make additional interest payments toward their loans by using the spare change rounded up from everyday purchases. Since its launch in March 2017, ChangEd has sent more than $25,000 in loan payments, saving users years off their repayment plans and thousands in interest costs.

How did ChangEd start?

Nick Sky

ChangEd is the brainchild of Dan, one of our co-founders (my brother). Dan looked over his student loan statements after making payments for several years. He noticed how much he was paying in interest and how much time he still had to make payments. He said to himself, “Man, something needs to change. Boom! Change — spare change. What if I rounded up the spare change from my transactions and sent that to my student loans?” Dan came to me with the idea along with a list of features and concepts that would be part of the app. I said, “Dude, this is a great idea, but let’s take it one step at a time. Let’s see if there’s a need for something like this in the market.”

My brother and I sat down, wrote out a quick business plan, ran the numbers and pulled a friend’s bank statements to see how much the average person can round up ($30-$50/month on average). From there we developed the app through a local developer. In January 2017, we launched a beta app, and officially launched in March 2017 after Apple featured us as one of their “new apps we love.”

What differentiates ChangEd from traditional banking?

We started with a simple, innovative method of debt repayment by aligning with natural spending, being budget-friendly, and automating a smart financial decision by sending your spare change to help pay off student loans sooner and for less. By developing relationships with the majority of student-loan servicers in the U.S., we’re helping borrowers pay off their loans earlier. This differentiates ChangEd into a full-featured student-loan repayment platform.

What are some of your biggest regulatory hurdles?

Because of the scalability of ChangEd, we do not have many hurdles on the banking and regulatory side. One set of hurdles we do foresee are the political and federal regulatory concerns facing federal student debt, and how payments are applied for our members.

What’s next for ChangEd?

ChangEd has a goal to send more than $100,000 in student loan payments by the end of 2017. We’re building a new “friends and family contribution” feature that will help members pay off their loans sooner allowing them to live life without enormous debt. We also hope to further develop our relationships with universities and alumni associations to offer students a solution to help them get ahead of debt. The earlier, the more effective!

Sara Garvin

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