Candidly, the market’s leading student debt management platform, today announced its Federal Forgiveness Finder, which enables borrowers to determine how much loan forgiveness they are eligible for under the student loan relief plan announced by President Biden on August 24, 2022.
Candidly’s digital tool sets the industry standard in providing a personalized estimate of how much forgiveness a borrower can expect to receive. Distributed via financial services giants that serve the workplace and banking sectors, including Fiserv, UBS, and Vanguard, Candidly provides millions of employees and retail banking customers with guidance and information at this critical time. Its Federal Forgiveness Finder can be embedded into third-party applications via widget, integrated via APIs, or launched with a simple SSO to a branded solution for an even lighter product lift, getting 3rd parties to market same-day.
Candidly bases its forgiveness estimates on the borrower’s household income and an analysis of their federal student loan data, which includes a real-time search for evidence of Pell Grant receipt. Candidly then surfaces a personalized estimate of the forgiveness amount borrowers can expect to receive. The end-to-end experience takes less than two minutes. While the Department of Education has not yet released the application for forgiveness, Candidly will alert users as soon as it is available and they can take further action to complete and submit the application, which will include integration of income verification.
Though Biden’s announcement last week was met with relief and joy by millions of borrowers, it has also left people seeking answers to many questions, including how much relief they will receive, when, and what they will need to do to claim it. There is enormous pressure and preference for digital experiences among borrowers seeking information, guidance, and high confidence forgiveness. Candidly saw an 875% increase in logins the day of the announcement and will continue to serve borrowers as a trusted source of information and guidance in a dynamic environment.
“Based on consumer behavior, it is clearer than ever that borrowers are looking for answers via personalized digital experiences, just like they do in many other aspects of their financial lives,” said Laurel Taylor, Founder and CEO of Candidly. “Our user-friendly digital capabilities were made for this moment and present a critical opportunity to use modern technology and infrastructure to help borrowers claim their relief, and provide hard-working Americans with the clarity and confidence they need to move forward and into greater financial freedom.”
In addition to the new functionality announced today, Candidly also guides borrowers to take immediate action to prepare for upcoming deadlines, including the expiration of the limited-time PSLF waiver on October 31, 2022. Candidly uses data science to match borrowers to their optimal loan strategy, guiding, automating, and streamlining the PSLF application process for eligible borrowers, as well as their employers. Despite being in repayment for an average of 7 years and eligible to apply, 80% of users who apply for PSLF through Candidly are first-time applicants, further evidencing the essential role of digital experiences to reach, inform, and automate a system that is easily fraught with breakage in the path to forgiveness.
Candidly also helps users discover, select, and enroll in the most appropriate income-driven repayment (IDR) plan based on their own unique circumstances. This will include the newly-proposed plan announced last week, as soon as it is available. On average, Candidly users who qualify for an IDR plan save $358 per month. This capability is critical to borrowers who will be entering repayment for the first time in almost three years come January 2023.
According to Biden’s announcement, all federal student loan borrowers whose annual income is less than $125,000 (for individual borrowers) or $250,000 (for married borrowers or heads of households) are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in debt forgiveness. That amount increases to $20,000 for borrowers who are Pell Grant recipients. In addition, the Department of Education’s newly-proposed IDR plan will cap monthly minimum payments for undergraduate borrowers at 5% of discretionary income, and forgive loans with an original balance of less than $12,000 after 10 years of payments. This is, by far, the most forgiving IDR plan introduced to date, and will provide eligible borrowers with a sustainable go-forward plan in 2023 and beyond. President Biden also announced that the moratorium on federal student loan payments would be extended for a final time until December 31, 2022.
Candidly, formerly FutureFuel.io, is an AI-driven student debt and savings optimization platform that addresses the full lifecycle of education expenses and empowers people to make simultaneous progress on paying down student debt and building wealth. Candidly partners with leading employers, and financial services companies serving the workplace like 401(k) and 403(b) record keepers, financial institutions, retirement plan advisors, and more, to embed its experience anywhere a user works, banks, or experiences financial services. The platform supports flexible integration options and multiple branding options including white labeling and co-branding.
Candidly understands that education is one of the largest investments most people will make in a lifetime — whether for themselves or their children. Candidly brings compassion, authenticity, and confidence to Americans as they navigate their higher education pursuits — past, present, and future. Candidly is backed by leading venture capital and strategic investors including Aflac, Equal Opportunity Ventures, Impact Engine, Rethink Impact, Salesforce Ventures, UBS, Unum, and Vulcan Capital. For more information, visit www.candid.ly.