The following is a guest post by Brendon McQueen, Founder and CEO of Binksty.com, a new site offering web-based student loan management services. Check it out.
I’d like to introduce Binksty.com to our users, our followers, the press, investors, financial aid administrators, counselors, parents, students and graduates along with anyone else with any skin in the student loan game. Binksty is a place to organize all of your student loans and we’re here to execute on that vision with the utmost fortitude. In other words, we’re here to solve a personal problem, which is often times the best way to solve the larger problem.
With default rates at a 12-year high (8.8%) and 3.7 million people entering loan repayment annually, the number of people affected by educational debt is not insignificant. This is not to mention that student loans have eclipsed credit card debt in the US, well on track to reaching $1 trillion dollars within our current calendar year. What’s more… Peter Thiel has called student loans the next bubble and most people don’t know that they are non-dischargeable when it comes to claiming bankruptcy.
I graduated from Columbia University with 12 loans and over $100k in debt so it’s no secret that I had a personal stake in finding a solution. This mission was hinged on seeing that a lot of other people were experiencing issues with their own loans. Along with a number of friends, family, acquaintances, and advisors, the decision was made to explore the concept of providing a comprehensive solution to the ongoing challenges people face when dealing with their educational debt.
Fast forward to April of this year. People would write us literally pleading for help with their student loans. One person signed up and wrote, “After graduation, it was difficult to find all of the places where my loan information was listed. I accumulated degrees from a number of places (undergraduate BS and Masters degree) so it wasn’t even like I could get a reliable picture from any one school’s financial aid office. It’s also hard to figure out when payments are due, get them out the door, and if I’m trying to pay back more than I owe for a particular month, it’s tough to make sure it goes to paying down my principal balance. I’d love to have a chance to see my loans all in one place.” When we got this email we knew we were onto something so we came up with what we thought we needed for our own loans; aggregation, payments, forbearance assistance; advice, etc. – and are now implementing these tools on top of our current private beta platform.
We look forward to welcoming more people into the Beta as we fix bugs and improve our overall capabilities. More importantly, however, we’re excited to be solving a problem that affects so many people in a space that’s growing exponentially. Feel free to drop us a line any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your suggestions and thoughts at this early junction might even shape where we go into the future.
Here’s our private beta launch coverage in TechCrunch
-Brendon McQueen (Founder/CEO), Binksty.com
PS – If you were wondering where the name comes from… Binksty is a financial comfort tool, sorta like a Binky