Who Really Owns your Student Loan?
I was baptized into start up complexity with my very first job. I learned quickly that the key to a successful start up was simplicity. I thought I had the secret ingredient when I started Nibble. A single concept that is laser focused. We just had to put the pieces together. It was going to be clean, to the point and we were going to build it fast. This was 18 months ago. The product of simplicity we were going to build still has not launched. Our simple app had become more complex than I could have ever imagined.
The complexity began when I made a call to my Loan Servicer support line (Great Lakes Borrower). We had recently discovered the third party that we were using would be unable to provide any account information on our student loans (account number and/or routing number). This sent us in a scramble to find someone who had access to this information. After being unsuccessful, I made a call to see if I could obtain this information for my own account. I spoke with the initial representative and explained I was looking to obtain this information for my student loan. She quickly pointed out that I could make payments via their mobile app, by check or online. After not getting the answer I wanted, I asked to speak with a supervisor. I explained the situation to the supervisor only to get a response that has stuck with me ever since. She said “ Sir, we can not give you that information. You have to go within the channels that are provided for you.” I quickly responded by saying “I can’t get the account information to pay my own loan?”. What she said next still stings. “Sir, Who do you think owns your student loan? Its not you, its not us the servicer. Its the U.S government. And, the government isn’t giving out this information.” I was really angry. You mean the debt that is unforgivable isn’t even mine? Why should I pay it then? I quickly realized that this simple idea, wasn’t as simple as I had thought.
We were are able to figure out the information needed to make payments to student loans (and we are launching our beta at the end of September). But, even being on the other side of the crisis. I couldn’t shake what the supervisor had said to me.
“Who do you think owns your student loan? It’s not you, it’s not us the servicer. It’s the U.S government.”
From 2007 to 2012, the U.S Government made 66 Billion dollars off of student loans (source: http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/660548.pdf). Yes, thats a B for Billion. This meant that Nibble was not only going up against the statistics of a being a start up, but also against the money generating monopoly of the United States Government. Politicians speak of a student loan crisis but there hasn’t been any action. I get it, our government was set up to be slow moving. But, when there are 66 billion reasons to move slower it makes it hard to believe that anything will ever be done.
Even in the presidential election, student loans have taken the back seat to Donald Trump's wall and Hilary Clinton’s emails.
Hilary Clinton has released a 350 billion dollar plan to help students get out of debt. The average savings are expected to be $2,000 per borrower. Trump hasn’t even gone in specifics. But the fact remains, that it’s in the best interest of the United States government to have student debt.
There is only one way for you to own your student loan. And that’s to pay it off. That’s what Nibble wants to help you do. Pay off your student loans and be financial free.
Find out more at www.nibbledebt.com