We are founded on the belief that many Americans are being failed by an archaic student loan system that relies on parental wealth for complete access to necessary financial products.
A.M. Money is founded and operated by Daniel Rogers, a Chicago native who once struggled to pay for college.
Daniel, our founder and CEO, enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school to finance his higher education aspirations. Over the next 4 years, he was able to complete 2 years of college courses, including 7 that he took online while deployed to Iraq. After the Army, Daniel transferred to American University in DC where he found immediate success with a 3.98 GPA in his first quarter of full-time studies. However, when he showed up for his second quarter he was informed that without $16,000 for tuition and other expenses, he would be unable continue his studies. He had to resort to begging his grandmother in a nursing home to co-sign on that loan.
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon story and we are committed to being part of the solution. We’ve designed a program that we wish we would have had access to when we were in the thick of it.
What we do
We provide customized and target financial solutions to high-potential, low-income students, enabling them to pursue higher education, and start their financial journey on the right foot. Our first financial product is a student loan designed for accessibility and affordability to those who need it the most.
Why we do it
The debt issue: According to Forbes, student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category. There are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. alone. The average student who graduated in 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt.
The drop out issue: According to the Gates Foundation, more Americans are going to college than ever before, but students face unprecedented challenges. Millions of Americans are taking on the debt described above, without a diploma to show for it. What are the challenges that are keeping students from graduation? A study by the National Center for Education Studies (NCES) submits they are income related. When they examined the high school sophomore class in 2002, only 14% of students from low income backgrounds graduated with a bachelor’s degree over 10 years. But 60% of high income students did. In 2009, only 1 in 4 students with scarce financial resources who entered a university actually graduated within 6 years. Again, 60% of high income students did.
So why do we do what we do? Because your family’s financial background should not hold you back from receiving the benefits of higher education.
Perks of working with us
We are proud to be the first private lender offering income-based repayment (IBR) plans to our borrowers, because we know that the path from graduation to employment is not always linear, nor is it easy.
If students struggle or have a set back when they are repaying their loans, they’ll have the opportunity to enroll in lower monthly payments when they need them so they don’t have to enter default prematurely, for reasons outside of their control. We also see students as more than financial customers: we are concerned with how they are doing as young people. We offer mentorship throughout the process and make sure all students are aware and focused on their overall success.
We also try to match every student with as many scholarships as we can. There’s an obvious benefit to helping students attain as much ‘free’ money as possible. A lot of our work is behind the scenes, making sure students understand the responsibility a loan brings, whether its private or government.