Featured Startup Pitch: In an era of ever-increasing education costs, Achieve Lending has created a search engine for finding student loans
Achieve Lending is the first ever search engine for student loans. It lets students search, compare, and find the best student loans in less than 30 seconds, for free. By helping students discern between competitive interest rates, Achieve Lending helps users save money and borrow on their terms, while helping them find an education loan that best fits their needs.
Achieve Lending is the world’s first free online portal to search, find, and compare education financing in as little as thirty seconds. By combining the power of search with the ease-of-use of a side-by-side comparison engine, we’ve built the very first search engine for student loans.
Prospective borrowers spend just 30 seconds filling out an online questionnaire before Achieve Lending presents them with a list of the most suitable options. Borrowers can then easily compare and ultimately accept the best-fitting offer, saving precious time and money in the process.
Achieve Lending was born out of my own bad decisions when financing my education at Cornell. I never shopped around and my parents didn’t have any insight into the process. After I graduated and began paying off my student debt, I realized just how uninformed my decision was. There were many other, better options, yet I failed to take the time to objectively compare with even one or two other offers. After witnessing many other students and friends make similarly uninformed decisions, I decided to build Achieve Lending.
It’s evident that the education financing marketplace is growing quickly, but it’s also inefficient and fragmented. Borrowers are confused and lenders are, as always, eagerly looking to acquire new customers. I knew we could leverage technology to help both sides and create a better way to get the job done.
Achieve Lending markets and promotes the business via the following channels: (1) a rapidly growing Affiliate Partner Program with over 1,900 partners, (2) sharing relevant content with many partner bloggers and across all media channels, (3) engaging with the press and other topical media outlets, (4) social media marketing, (5) email marketing, (6) ambassador and influencer engagement.
The market opportunity on the most actionable level is the 20 million students attending college in the U.S. every year. Twelve million of those borrow in excess of $110 billion to cover the costs of tuition.
Additionally, Achieve Lending understands the consumer better, and knows that the definition of “education” is evolving beyond traditional undergrad and graduate programs. Consequently we define education more broadly, to include any pursuit of knowledge or personal development, which expands the target market beyond just students attending college. We also target the $47 billion annual market for certifications, apprenticeships, and other workforce training.
HOW WE’RE UNIQUE
In addition to having the widest selection of financing options available, Achieve Lending is faster, more intuitive and less complicated than its rivals, connecting consumers and lenders while simultaneously removing all the confusion.
Our strength lies in the simplicity of the process. In a Forbes article, Robert Farrington aptly put it: “What makes Achieve Lending unique is that they require little personal information to give you a snapshot of the loan and rate you may qualify for.”
We are driven by the desire to tackle four key evolutions in education: The exponential growth in the cost of education; the ever-increasing student population; the cutback on government lending; and society’s championing of lifelong learning. Also, we understand the consumer better – we know the definition of education is evolving beyond traditional ideas. This means we are the only platform that can truly connect people with their best options.
Education financing is an ever-growing market, worth billions of dollars each year. With so many potential borrowers, lenders are increasingly willing to pay large sums for vital connections to clients. Lenders pay Achieve Lending substantial referral fees, in certain instances nearly $2,000 per customer, in an effort to attract the right borrower, creating a highly profitable revenue model.
We are currently seeking to crowdfund $500,000 via Fundable to expand further into the education financing market and to add a Business Development executive to the team. And, of course, we are always looking for new customers!
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HEADQUARTERS: New York City
FOUNDER: Allen Kors
INVESTORS: Juan Sabater
YEAR FOUNDED: 2014