Student loan startup offers free assistance to borrowers amid the coronavirus pandemic

Start ups are popping up to help student loan borrowers navigate a complicated system.

One of those startups, Summer, provides borrowers a full view of their student loan situation and suggests optimal ways to repay the debt. The service is free for now during the coronavirus pandemic and can be used by federal and private student loan borrowers.

“Unfortunately, with the loan servicer and the borrower, that’s a zero sum relationship,” Summer Co-Founder and CEO Will Sealy, who previously worked at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Elizabeth Warren’s senatorial campaign, told Yahoo Finance. “You either pay them or you don’t — and they’re trying to get as much money out of you as possible as a borrower.”

(Graphic: David Foster)

‘Many of our residents are facing unprecedented financial hardship’

There are about 44 million student loan borrowers across the U.S. holding $1.5 trillion in debt, with outstanding

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How one tech startup is helping banks process SBA loans

The influx of lending brought on by the economic fallout from COVID-19, has not only flooded the banking system, it’s also exposed a glaring flaw in the lending process — the need for human contact to conduct due diligence.

With loan officers limited by social distancing measures, lenders like the Opportunity Fund, a California-based non-profit business lender, are substituting on-site visits with image verification technology to ensure their funds get to the businesses that need it most.

“With the shelter-in-place order in California, loan officers and our sales team that were typically able to go out to the business and meet with the business owners now can’t,” said Anthony Giuliano, director of underwriting and credit policy at Opportunity Fund. “We were able to kind of quickly shift gears and pivot and use this technology even where we were doing more traditional in person lending.”

Craig Stack, co-founder of San Diego–based

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This startup is making millions helping Harvard and other colleges stage virtual commencements

Robots are graduating from college.

At least that was the scene at Japan’s BBT University earlier this month as telepresence robots donning cap and gown filled in for students walking the commencement stage to receive their diplomas during the coronavirus lockdown. Digital tablets strapped to robot faces featured the faces of real graduates on a video call in an attempt to experience the moment firsthand.

In a similar spirit, many colleges in the U.S. are now scrambling to find similar solutions that could still help students personalize and enjoy their commencement instead of just resorting to sad, cold video conference calls. 

One startup that quickly pivoted to help schools do just that is U.K.-based StageClip, a

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