Joseph Gracia is CEO and Founder of Nickels, a company that uses behavioral science to help guide student-borrowers through managing their federal student debt. Their white-label digital service can be offered by credit unions to provide their members with triggered, timely, personalized guidance to help members always keep their federal student loans in good standing. Joseph was previously the VP of Product at WHOOP and also ran the Behavioral Marketing & Design team at OPOWER.
Federal student loan payments will restart for ~30 million Americans on January 31, 2021 after 10 months of suspended payments, it was announced in early December. This payment cliff has the potential to become chaotic. While credit unions don’t hold this federal debt, it impacts members’ credit, savings rates, financial well-being. The restart of these payments increases the risk that members won’t be able to afford their other debt obligations. There are free options available to all borrowers to lower their monthly payments and keep their loans in good standing, but most borrowers don’t know how to access these government benefits.
Credit unions are very well positioned to help their members manage this debt, which will not only improve their members’ financial health, but also unlock new business opportunities to improve credit unions’ bottom lines.