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NOW AVAILABLE:Innovation Brief

Debt Dragon guides students through relatable, interactive scenarios that show real-time financial implications and alternatives about their investment options with clear action items, next steps, and checklists. 


7 in 10 students graduating from college have some kind of student loan debt. The amount of student loan debt continues to soar leaving many graduates (and non-graduates) with a new burden to bear. 

75% of former college students age 40 and younger regret not doing a better job of planning how to manage their student loan debt leading to them having to sacrifice retirement savings, postpone home-buying, marriage and having children. 

How might we guide traditional, under-graduate students and their families to maximize their college investment? 


Filene i3 innovators partnered with Trabian Technologies to develop a website application that guides students through reliable, interactive scenarios that show real-time financial implications and alternatives about their investment options with clear action items. 

Debt Dragon is a dynamic calculator built to provide users a clear picture of the impact of the users monthly payment on their future selves. The calculator includes inputs for tuition, living commuting, books, scholarships, savings and additional expenses allowing users to feel more in control of their college decisions. 

“I think this is a really important topic. I work in the financial aid office of my school and see too many students come in with no understanding of finances and loans.” 
Credit Union Member

Debt Dragon is unique because it speaks right to students and breaks down each debt factor in ways they will understand. Each decision demonstrates in dollars and cents how even the little things can affect their final debt load. 

Filene then took the opportunity to test Debt Dragon further with i3 credit unions who invited their members to us the tool and collaborated with local high schools to test the tool in class. 84% of students in the testing said they learned something about managing their college costs. 

What are the credit union implications? 

  • By providing students and their families with Debt Dragon, they will have improved clarity about the impact of their college investment.
  • Debt Dragon provides a tool to have healthy conversations about finances. 
  • Students shared their potential debts and busted beyond faux pas that accompany financial discussions. 
  • Products like Debt Dragon highlight the value of their membership. Members stated their appreciation of the credit union investing in improving the lives of others. 
  • Credit unions have an opportunity to demonstrate their determination to invest in their communities. School staff expressed a strong interest in the tool, using it as a pre-requisite to each student’s college plan.  


Filene thanks Trellance for their generous support of the i3 innovation program and CU Student Choice & Trabian Technologies for their support of the innovation and the Filene i4 incubator.