GUEST POST | LAUREL TAYLOR, FUTUREFUEL.IO
We started FutureFuel.io to crush student debt. Initially coming to market with a b2b2c platform, selling student debt repayment benefits allows employers to help employees with repayment. This is still the core of our business today, but we quickly learned that solving this problem will take a village.
Student debt and the term “crisis” go hand-in-hand. Employers can take action to help change that.
- 78% of employers rank employee retention as important or urgent
- 86% of those with student debt are willing to work for their employer five years if they help pay down their debt
- 70% of graduates begin their financial journey with student loan debt, impacting 45 million Americans, totaling $1.6 trillion
The impact at the individual level can exceed a daunting 17-20 years of repayment. Due to lack of tools & resources, debt can cause delays in life events; saving for retirement, starting a family, or purchasing a home. Instead of focusing on the crisis of student debt, we must focus on the solution.
Employers are a natural part of this village because they help solve an active problem for themselves and their employees. So employees have student debt, and employers, especially in today’s tight labor market, are challenged to recruit and retain talent. As we have come to market with employers, we quickly started seeing interest from financial services institutions, namely insurance carriers and wealth management companies.
Today, we offer partnership opportunities whereby financial services brands can integrate with FutureFuel.io to offer the platform to their end customers. In fact, 60% of employees with student debt have no one to consult with. That’s where we come in and start a conversation: where is your debt, how much, how do we repay it faster? We’ve found that even for users who haven’t yet had a single dollar matched by employers — simply by educating and gamifying the experience — debt holders repay 5 years faster.
Additionally, legislation also continues to be a big part of the puzzle. While student debt remains a hot topic in our news cycle, the reality is it’s unlikely to be one the government helps solve anytime soon. So who bears the burden? As a technology provider, we’re working to get the private sector involved to end this national crisis. With innovative technology and a focus on employer partnerships to democratize access to student debt benefits solutions, we can eliminate more than $30 billion in student debt by 2021. We have a massive vision, and we’re just barely scratching the surface of what is possible. But more importantly, change is happening. We’re seeing rapid adoption from employers and their employees who are struggling to go beyond student loan indebtedness and into financial health and wellness. As the student debt toll continues to rise, it’s critical for employers to play their part in helping Americans reach their financial freedom and add to an evolving workplace ecosystem.
BY THE NUMBERS
U.S student loan borrowers owed a collective $1.6 trillion in federal and private student loan debt as of March 2019, according to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
- 92% of private student loans have a cosigner
- $383 billion held in debt by students
- $700+ billion held in debt by co-signers
- 18.6 million Federal loan borrowers in repayment
- 3.4 million Federal loan borrowers have loans in deferment
- 2.7 million Federal borrowers have loans in forbearance
- 5.3 million Federal borrowers have loans in default
Interested in learning more? Request a Consultation
Founder & CEO | FutureFuel.io
Laurel Taylor is the founder and driving force behind FutureFuel.io. Laurel’s mission is to reduce student debt by $1.5B by 2021, in partnership with the private sector.
When presented with a 9% interest rate on a student loan to fund her stint at MIT, with a credit score north of 800, she knew there was both an arbitrage opportunity and a serious need to innovate our way out of the mess that is student loan indebtedness and inappropriate risk profiling.
Laurel holds a Master of Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management. She holds an undergraduate degree from Texas State University where she majored in Organizational Communication, graduating summa cum laude.