Student Lending that Keeps on Giving
The First Pay-for-Success Private Student Loan
Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)
1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
We are a double-sided solution that solves the problem for the consumer and for financial institutions.
1). College students are struggling daily to stay in school, graduate on time and get their degree.
2). Only 20% of the scholarship funds ever hit the low-income student.
3). Very few financial institutions lend in the private student loan space due to risk of the product type.
4). Traditional products do not understand the community.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
PYT provides a solution for many university students that do not have a credit history or access to a qualified co-signer to secure educational loans and continue their education. Many of these students come from low- income and middle-class households. The PYT Proprietary Student Score captures data to create a student FICO score by incorporating the student’s social capital data, professional data and academic data to drive this internal score to recommend approval to our lending partner.
We also have a product called the "Loanership", trademarked to be solution and credit building product for our low-income community. With our scoring model, we can recommend to banks to use their grant money to lend to a student, and after 12 successful payments, grant the loan as a scholarship for the student. This helps the student to build credit as well.
Lastly, we are the only financial solution that uplifts the student with a workforce development tool that helps the students to highlight the key professional traits need to market and negotiate their first starting salary after graduation.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
Here’s an example from the perspective of the student:
Francina, a current Howard University student considered independent student due to foster care background and no credit, has a remaining $10,000 balance due by December 15th to complete the current fall semester and re-enroll for the upcoming spring semester. She is turned down by traditional bank lenders and has exhausted all financial-aid options from the Federal government and Howard University. She is referred to PYT via her social media outlet. PYT assists her in raising $2,000 in free and clear donations with our online crowdfunding platform. PYT works with the traditional lender to obtain a secured private student loan. Today, Francina was able to return to school, her G.P.A. increased, she is working a part-job, and she gives back to her supporters by doing community service. Francina is a citizen leader.
5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Our platform is emerging and trailblazing as a product that is beneficial to every user and customer who engages with our platform. We have created a process that will securely capture the data while maintaining transparency to prove the student's ability to succeed in a professional environment and work with them to better negotiate the starting salary. The high-tech platform that we are developing will allow us to create HR employer-based assessments to assess the level of employ-ability of the student at the time of the initial application to monitor progress.
6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
PYT has over 6,400 students and families on their platform who utilize their product as a solution to their need. On average, their organizations sees a 40-point credit score increase by students who engage in their program.
7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
Our next milestone is to be the first certified CDFI (community development fund) to truly serve this emerging underserved market and to create a disruption to a big problem. There are numerous ways we can innovate to find solutions to student loan debt once we are a community fund. The certification and the combination or our platform is the clear differentiator to our competitors other platforms similar to our model.
8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?
We believe capital support will help with the following milestones:
1). Building the key personnel roles needed to build a fund. The goal is to become a fund of funds for higher education.
2). Building and bringing our lending in-house to reduce overhead costs.
3). Establish and maintain relationships with CRA officers and the foundation executive directors.
4). Securing a small debt facility to originate loans to help apply for the CDFI certification.
5). Global adaptation of our model.
6). Exploring the blockchain industry to create a cutting-edge student loan platform.
7). Engaging with experts to create a strategy to license the model and be a fund of fund leader in the student loan startup space.
8). Launch of "Loanershiip".
9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
Donations less than $100
10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.
There are currently five students working full-time on our mission with skills ranging from data analysis, digital marketing, software engineering to business development. The students have been intrinsic to the quality and integrity of our product. The inclusion of students in our project has motivated these future young leaders to implement change in their communities.
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
Communities of color
How did you hear about this challenge?
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?
Cortni Grange, Executive Director of Future Leaders and Young Entrepreneurs (FLYE)