ChangEd on ‘Shark Tank’: A Look Inside the App That Uses Spare Change to Pay Off Student Loans

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ChangEd entered the Shark Tank with an app that allows users to put spare change towards paying off student loans.

It rounds purchases up to the next dollar, transfers it to an FDIC insured ChangEd account, and when it amounts to $100, an automatic loan payment is sent out.

We interviewed founder Nick Skrzyniarz who set out to help the 44 million Americans who are in student loan debt. He launched the company with his brother, Dan, in March of 2017 and they already have thousands of borrowers signed up. And in the last year alone, they sent over $100,000 in student loan payments.

Here’s what else he told us about…

How the Idea Came About

ChangEd was an idea that Dan came to me with. Dan has student loans. I have student loans. Forty-four million other Americans have student loans. He wanted to find a way for us to pay down our loans sooner without having to think about it or budget for it. Rounding up spare change from our everyday spending is something that aligns with our natural spending, doesn’t require us to think about it and it helps save thousands of dollars.

How it Works

A ChangEd user simply downloads the app, adds some of their info, including student loan payment info, and then securely link their bank and/or credit cards. From there ChangEd takes over. ChangEd verifies your student loan info, starts to round up your transactions to the next dollar and make transfers from your checking account to your FDIC-insured ChangEd account based on your roundups after your ChangEd balance reaches $100. ChangEd members save $30-$50 in roundups every month. Soon, you’ll also be able to add family to pitch in. Mom didn’t write a $10K check to pay for college but imagine how easy it’ll be to convince her to round up the change from her morning cup of coffee to help you get out of debt sooner.

Advice to Future ‘Tank’ Contestants

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Have fun. This was the most exciting, most stressful, most insane thing that could have happened for ChangEd. We worked super hard to build our product and knew we had something great. We prepped as much as we could for our pitch, but at the end of the day we know our company best and winging it was sort of our thing. At the end of the day, if you don’t have fun doing it, it’s not worth it.

Pros & Cons to Working With Your Brother

So many more pros than cons. The only con I can think of is the fact that we’re always talking work. At Thanksgiving, when hanging out with the family. Everything else is great. We work well together. We’ve been doing it since we were 9 years old.

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