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Student loans have always been a big stressor for recent or soon-to-be college grads. When you're navigating your first job, finding a place to live and trying to save money, the addition of thousands of dollars of student loan debt can feel like a dark cloud looming over your head.
The reality is that struggling to make your student loan payments can have negative effects on your financial and mental health. It can get overwhelming quickly, so your best bet is to have a plan in place for how to pay off your debt. That's why apps like Chipper were designed to help optimize your loans and chip away at debt at a speedier pace, making the journey to being debt-free more realistic.
Chipper is a student loan repayment app that helps users navigate their debt by introducing them to comprehensible loan forgiveness programs, lower monthly repayment plans and a "Round-Ups" feature so you can get rid of your debt faster. If you're in need of some guidance with paying back your student loans, especially as the federal loan forbearance period ends in May, Chipper is a good place to begin.
Below, Select reviews the features and fees of Chipper to help you decide if this platform is the right fit for you.
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Chipper's standout feature is its Round-Ups tool, which allows users to chip away at their student loan balance with their spare change from everyday purchases. Once linking their private or federal student loans to the app, as well as their bank account, users will have their purchases made from their debit card rounded to the nearest dollar and the difference will automatically go toward their debt payoff. This operates in a similar fashion to the investing app Acorns' round-up feature, which automatically deposits spare change into a diversified investment portfolio for you.
Chipper also connects you to federal student loan forgiveness programs that you probably didn't even know existed. After linking your loans and information to the app, it checks which forgiveness plans you would potentially qualify for. Then, you compare each program and after finding the one that feels right, Chipper will guide you through the application process step by step.
If you don't qualify for a forgiveness program, Chipper can still help guide you in finding an income-driven repayment plan, and potentially help lower your monthly payment.
Looking forward, eventually Chipper users will have access to cash-back rewards when they pay off their student loans. Plus, they will be able to use the app to boost their credit. Keep in mind that Chipper is not a lender and therefore does not offer student loans or student loan refinancing.
In order to save even more money, it may be beneficial to refinance your student loans. Refinancing allows you to potentially get a lower interest rate on your loan, which will lower your monthly payment as well as save you money in the long run. Select ranked SoFi Student Loan Refinancing as the best overall company to refinance your student loans. However, keep in mind that if you have federal student loans and you refinance them with a private lender that you can lose federal benefits, like income-driven repayment and public service loan forgiveness.
The Chipper app is available to download for free in both the App Store (for iOS), where it has 4.2/5 stars, and on Google Play (for Android), where it has 4.4/5 stars, at the time this article was written.
One of the main perks about Chipper is that it currently has zero fees for users to access its services.
While this is subject to change, no fees can be an advantage for anyone — especially those who are on a tighter budget but still want to be proactive about their student loans.
Chipper is ideal for those who want to ease their student loan anxiety and need some clarity on how to start. It gives you enough guidance to make sense of your federal loans and forgiveness programs, but also gives you that extra motivation to pay down debt consistently with the Round-Ups feature.
Beyond an apps, there are also financial products that you may want to also consider to really make a dent in your student loans. For example, with the SoFi Credit Card, cardmembers receive 3% cash back for a year when you set up direct deposit with SoFi. After that, earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases when redeemed to pay down SoFi student loan debt. Read Select's full review to learn more about the SoFi Credit Card.