Last October, we wrote about Binksty, a young startup that aims to give college students saddled with debt a one-stop shop to manage loans, pay off debt, as well as educate them on the best ways to save money. The student loan situation in the U.S. was atrocious then, and it continues to be atrocious now. A recent report from the New York Times shows that the total balance of student loans is currently $870 billion. Not only that, but 40 percent of people under 30 have outstanding student loans, the average of which is $23,300. If that’s not enough to make you cringe, I don’t know what is.
Luckily, startups like Binksty are doing their part to come to the rescue of debt-burdened students everywhere. Currently part of the First Growth Venture Networks’ fourth class of startups, Binksty is a personal finance tool for educational debt (CEO Brendan McQueen likes to call Binksty the Mint.com for student loans), which launched into private beta at the end of last year.
Today, the startup is announcing that it has over $10 million in student loans under view, and has recently forged partnerships with Yodlee, which provides Binksty users with loan aggregation tools (the same engine that powers Mint.com and LearnVest) and Fynanz, a startup which now offers its competitive private consolidation and refinancing options to Binksty users. The startup is also launching a major redesign of its web platform, which makes navigating loans and finding easy repayment options much easier.
The startup’s sign-ups are up over 1,300 percent since September, primarily because its users get loan aggregation, loan detail, and pay-off tools, along with a custom advice engine (including real human support) that help outline all of the repayment options available for each loan, says the Binksty CEO. It’s this engine that tells customers on a loan-by-loan basis what repayment options exist for their specific loans that he believes sets Binksty apart from others in the space.
As to how the startup is making money, 3 percent of its user base has started its private consolidation of loans, which should point towards future revenue. Beyond that, the CEO says that its simple lead-gen model based on tools that can help the borrower is just the beginning, and plans to announce some tools later this year that will help it monetize and start moving towards profitability. It also helps that the startup recently raised a small seed round, and is on it’s way to graduating from FVGN’s accelerator, when it should hit the ground running and start raising that big Series A. Stay tuned.
For more, check out the startup at home here.