In a minute, some product news. But first, a confession: Count me as part of the 50 percent of Americans with outstanding credit card debt.
Then about two years ago someone introduced me to ReadyForZero, which is a site for helping consumers pay down their debt. That started with credit cards, but has gradually expanded to other forms of debt, including student loans and mortgages. And, nowadays you can make payments directly from ReadyForZero.
All of that has been a huge help for me. Since joining, my personal debt graph has gone like this:
So yeah, ReadyForZero is actually really awesome for those looking to pay off their debt. It’s doubled the amount of debt under management and increased the amount of payments processed by 15 percent over the last several months.
However, the service has only been available on its own website and apps. That’s changing, though, with the launch of an API that will be available for partners to deploy as part of their own websites.
The goal, according to CEO Rod Ebrahimi, is to make its tools available in places where most users actually make their financial decisions. That is, on the sites of major financial institutions.
Those partners will be able to integrate a ReadyForZero widget into their sites, providing visualization for the progress they make in paying off debt. In doing so, ReadyForZero could move from a B2C business to one that offers B2B2C tools.
Putting those tools on third-party websites could help increase consumer adoption, and for financial institutions providing more transparent visualization could help their customers to avoid becoming delinquent or running up more debt than they can afford.
ReadyForZero has raised about $4.8 million since being founded in 2010. Investors include Polaris Venture Partners, Citi Ventures, and angels such as Steve Chen, Dave McClure, Benjamin Ling, Nils Johnson, and Maneesh Arora.