ⓘ LendEDU is an online marketplace for a variety of financial products, including student loans, personal loans, and credit cards. It has been compared to Lending ..

                                     

ⓘ LendEDU

LendEDU is an online marketplace for a variety of financial products, including student loans, personal loans, and credit cards. It has been compared to Lendingtree.com, but for student lending. In 2018, LendEDU encountered controversy when it was revealed to be the undisclosed owner of "Student Loan Report", and its CEO was accused of "deceiving news organizations with a fake source".

                                     

1. History

Nate Matherson and Matt Lenhard, University of Delaware students, attended the Iowa Startup Accelerator in summer 2014 with the idea for an online tutor-booking platform they called ShopTutors. The original idea was dismissed, and LendEDU, an online marketplace for student loans and student loan financing, became their focus; as someone with nearly $50.000 in student loan debt, Matherson was looking to refinance his student loans and realized the potential business idea that would eventually become LendEDU. Through the program, LendEDU earned $50.000 in funding from Built by Iowa. Additionally, LendEDU received a $5.000 grant from the University of Delawares VentureOn program which focuses on the development of small businesses.

The University of Delaware spoke about LendEDU in the 167th Commencement for the 2016 graduating class.

Through 2015, the company expanded using resources from the Horn Program Venture Development Center. They were chosen to participate in Y Combinator in December 2015. At that point, it had raised a total of $120.000 in funding. At the start of the program, LendEDU received $120.000 for seven percent of the company.

As part of Y Combinators Winter 2016 class, LendEDU saw a 50 percent net monthly revenue growth. In April 2016, LendEDU was on track to reach $50.000 in monthly revenue and achieve profitability.

After Y Combinator, LendEDU moved to New York City area, specifically Hoboken, New Jersey.

                                     

2. Platform

The LendEDU platform operates with the same basic functionality for the different financial products it features on the website. What was originally a platform that only gave users the option refinance student loans, the platform now compares rates, terms, and qualification requirements for student loan refinancing, private student loans, personal loans, and credit cards.

The LendEDU platform matches those needing a specific financial product with a lender or financial company mainly through consumer credit information.

For example, a borrower looking to refinance their student loans would enter their current type of student loan, the highest degree they have obtained, and the loan amount.

                                     

3. Charitable works

LendEDUs philanthropic efforts include work with One Tree Planted, a reforestation program; the LendEDU Scholarship, which offers $1.000 scholarships to two students at the high school or college level two times per year; and local charities in New Jersey

                                     

4. In the News

LendEDUs data and research have been featured in press reports.

In June 2019, LendEDU released another study that evaluated how seriously student loan debt weighs on consumers that are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and this report was covered by media outlets like Business Insider and Diverse Education

LendEDUs "top 50 college financial literacy program" rankings are based on a multitude of factors, including the number of workshops and resources available, access to one-on-one financial consultation, and incentivizing programs available.

                                     

4.1. In the News Drew Cloud Controversy

Around 2016, a Web site called "The Student Loan Report" started conducting surveys and issuing reports. A 2018 report, quoted by outlets including Fox News, CNBC, and Inside Higher Ed, stated one in five had invested student loan money in digital currency. According to a subsequent investigation by the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Web sites ostensible founder, "Drew Cloud", despite having "corresponded at length with many journalists" to provide stories, turned out to be fictitious. The Chronicle accused LendEDU of "deceiving news organizations with a fake source" by using the pen name "Drew Cloud." The Chronicle also criticized that, despite LendEDUs ownership of the Student Loan Report, no association between the two had been disclosed. The Atlantic criticized that "The opaque process of managing student debt can be confusing, and LendEDUs strategy seized upon that confusion to encourage people to consider courses of action, including refinancing, that would make the company money."

The Boston Globe reported that "Pollfish, the company that performed the survey for Matherson, said it arrived at its results independently, and that the findings were accurate."

According to NPR, the Student Loan Report website received over 8.000 visitors in April 2018.

In March 2020, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it reached a settlement with operators of LendEDU over allegations of misleading ratings and reviews.

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