ReadyForZero

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ReadyForZero
Private
Industry Financial management
Founded San Francisco, California, United States (2010 (2010))
Founder
  • Rod Ebrahimi
  • Ignacio Thayer
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Area served
United States
Key people
  • Rod Ebrahimi (CEO)
  • Ignacio Thayer (CTO)
Website www.readyforzero.com

ReadyForZero is a San Francisco-based startup that provides online, personal financial management tools for paying off debt.[1][2] The company was founded in Summer 2010, and became available to the public in early 2011.[3][4][5][6][7]

In a 2013 study conducted with the help of a Top 5 US bank, ReadyForZero users were shown to be 20% less likely to be delinquent on debt payments than the study's control group.[8]

In March 2015, ReadyForZero was acquired by Avant.[9] Effective November 12, 2016, Avant will shut down ReadyForZero's credit score and debt planner tools. All user accounts will be deactivated and users will no longer be able to log in. As of this date Avant has not commented on the reason for shutting down the ReadyForZero platform.[10][11][12][13]

Overview[edit]

The free ReadyForZero web application was designed as a tool to help lead its users out of credit card, mortgage, automotive, and education debt by automating and speeding up the credit management process.[4][5][6][14][15] The service allows its users to create debt repayment plans, track finances, make bill payments directly, and monitor progress of debt paid off and interest saved via personalized graphs.[16][17]

History[edit]

ReadyForZero was co-founded by entrepreneurs Rod Ebrahimi and Ignacio Thayer in Summer 2010.[4][6] The first version of the online debt management tool became available to the public in February 2011.[3][5][7] Within the first six weeks of its launch, users of ReadyForZero had registered approximately $30 million of credit card debt with the online service.[18] After its first two years, ReadyForZero had helped its users pay off over $25 million in debt, and the company's number of users was growing at a rate of 15% month-over-month.[17][19]

In January 2013, the company collaborated with Stanford University economics students on an academic study about why individuals continue to stay in debt when they possess the means to get out. The ReadyForZero team participated by providing anonymous data for the study.[20]

In March 2015, ReadyForZero was acquired by Avant.[21]

Effective November 12, 2016, Avant will shut down ReadyForZero's credit score and debt planner tools. All user accounts will be deactivated and users will no longer be able to log in.[22][23]

Funding[edit]

ReadyForZero is a Y Combinator-backed startup.[5][24][25] Shortly after its beta launch in October 2010, ReadyForZero announced it had raised $260,000 in seed round funding. Angel investors in the round included Dave McClure, Steve Chen, Benjamin Ling, Nils Johnson, and Maneesh Arora.[3][24][26][27]

In June 2011, the company received $4.5 million from a Series A funding round. Polaris Venture Partners led the round.[28][29]

Partner companies[edit]

ReadyForZero features a Savings Platform to provide information about the company's financial partners (including Lending Club and Prosper), and connect lenders to users based on users' responsible finance management history.[30][31]

Lending Club and ReadyForZero have been partners since ReadyForZero's public launch in 2011, facilitating loans for many of the debt payment tool's users.[3][25][28][31]

In 2013, ReadyForZero forged a partnership with credit reporting agency Experian as part of its new credit report monitoring feature.[8] The same year, Planwise and ReadyForZero announced a partnership that would direct in-debt Planwise users to ReadyForZero's services.[32][33]

Products[edit]

Personal online debt management platform[edit]

Users enter either the date that they aim to be debt free by or an amount they are willing to pay each month.[24][34] The service connects to credit card, loan, and bank account information and calculates total debt and amount of time it will take to be paid off.[3][35] The user is provided a payment schedule, consolidation loan possibilities, and debt-reduction progress statistics.[24][35] All of the information is presented using graphs on the user's personalized dashboard.[6][35]

The company has also designed alternative psychological techniques for their users to spend more wisely, including mailing out stickers to cover the magnetic strips on credit cards that have high interest rates and displaying total interest owed per day across all debts.[1][36][37]

A mobile app for iOS and Android devices with push notifications and payment features has also been made available.[5][38]

ReadyForZero PLUS[edit]

ReadyForZero PLUS was released in October 2012.[16][34] The service includes all of the features of the freemium model as well as an automated payment system, allowing users to make direct payments to credit cards and loans.[2][3][17][19][39]

The ReadyForZero PLUS version is available as a yearly or monthly plan, the primary difference being that the yearly option allows users to access the credit score monitoring tool.[8][40]

Biweekly loan acceleration[edit]

In January 2013, ReadyForZero launched its student loan payment accelerator.[5][41] The option allows individuals with education debt or other large loans to enroll in a biweekly payment plan, which increases interest savings over time.[5][42] The loan accelerator works in conjunction with either the basic ReadyForZero service or the PLUS model, depending on whether or not the user wishes to have automated payments.[41]

Credit score monitoring[edit]

ReadyForZero unveiled a credit score tool in August 2013. The new function included a credit score as well as a premium service to help users monitor their creditworthiness develop while debt is paid down.[8][43] As a part of the expanded service, ReadyForZero was required to become fully PCI compliant, a process that included going through an audit to secure a partnership with Experian.[8][43]

Security[edit]

The company's security measures are compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards and comparable to those in place at banks and other financial institutions.[16][43]

Honors and awards[edit]

In 2012, ReadyForZero received an award from Interaction Awards in the Empowering category.[44][45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Big data: Crunching the numbers". The Economist. May 19, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Openshaw, Jeniffer (February 7, 2013). "Managing your debt online". MarketWatch. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Myers, Courtney Boyd (March 10, 2011). "Debt Disruption: Are you ìReady for Zeroî?". The Next Web. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Rao, Leena (September 1, 2010). "ReadyForZero Wants To Help You Get Control Of Credit Card Debt". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Carney, Michael (January 11, 2013). "ReadyForZero launches student loan acceleration, targets $1 trillion bubble". PandoDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d Roush, Wade (February 2, 2011). "ReadyForZeroís Free Service Eases Credit Card Troubles". Xconomy. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Rao, Leena (February 2, 2011). "ReadyForZero Launches Debt Management Platform To The Public". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Carney, Michael (August 13, 2013). "ReadyForZero partners with Experian, becomes the first debt reduction platform to integrate credit scores". PandoDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ Carney, Michael (March 31, 2015). "Chicago’s Avant acquires fellow Y Combinator alum ReadyForZero to bolster smart lending platform". PandoDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  10. ^ http://www.altfi.com/article/2393_avant_kills_off_readyforzero_one_year_after_buying_it
  11. ^ http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2016/11/92251-avant-quietly-shuts-readyforzero-credit-monitoring-debt-management-site/
  12. ^ http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-avant-ricketts-changes-readyforzero-bsi-20161115-story.html
  13. ^ http://www.lifehacker.co.in/life/Ready-For-Zero-Just-Shut-Down-Heres-Where-to-Track-Your-Debt-Now/articleshow/55438756.cms
  14. ^ Van Grove, Jennifer (February 28, 2011). "Startup Lets Users Anonymously Share Credit Card Debt With Potential Lenders". Mashable. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Today's Money 911". Today. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c Rapacon,Stacy (October 19, 2012). "Pay Off Debt Faster with ReadyForZero". Kiplinger. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c Perez, Sarah (October 15, 2012). "With New Payments Feature, ReadyForZero Begins To Automate Getting Americans Out Of Debt". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Data-driven finance: Go figure". The Economist. March 17, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Carney, Michael (October 15, 2012). "ReadyForZero adds secure payments to its already kick ass debt management service". PandoDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  20. ^ Theresa Kuchler (January 24, 2013). -have-enough-cash "Why You Can't Pay Off Your Credit Card Even When You Have Enough Cash" Check |url= value (help). Fast Company. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  21. ^ Sarah Perez (March 31, 2015). "Online Lender Avant Acquires Debt Management Service ReadyForZero". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  22. ^ http://www.altfi.com/article/2393_avant_kills_off_readyforzero_one_year_after_buying_it
  23. ^ http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2016/11/92251-avant-quietly-shuts-readyforzero-credit-monitoring-debt-management-site/
  24. ^ a b c d Lynley, Matthew (February 2, 2011). "Y Combinator-backed ReadyForZero goes live to help trim credit card debt". VentureBeat. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b Merino, Faith (February 2, 2011). "ReadyForZero launches to get you out of debt". Vator. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  26. ^ Rao, Leeena (October 28, 2010). "ReadyForZero Raises $260K To Help Cleanse Consumers Of Credit Card Debt". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  27. ^ "ReadyForZero Obtains $260,000 New Financing". Xconomy. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b Siegler, MG (June 14, 2011). "While Helping Others Erase $42 Million In Debt, ReadyForZero Raises $4.5 Million". Tech Crunch. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  29. ^ Key, Gan (June 15, 2011). "Personal debt management system ReadyForZero $ 4.5 million financing". Venture Data. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  30. ^ Perez, Sarah (March 21, 2012). "ReadyForZero Helps Users Pay Off $12.5M In Debt; Now Launching Offers Platform". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  31. ^ a b Renton, Peter (March 14, 2011). "Why ReadyForZero is the Future of P2P Lending". Lend Academy. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  32. ^ Wisniewski, Mary (January 11, 2013). "Planwise Now Suggests ReadyForZero to Some Users". American Banker. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  33. ^ Schicktanz, Julie (January 10, 2013). "Planwise and ReadyForZero Partner to Promote Debt Management as Part of Personal Finances". Finovate. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  34. ^ a b Ellis, Blake (September 23, 2011). "6 new tools to help you get out of debt". CNNMoney. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  35. ^ a b c Quain, John R. (January 3, 2012). "Resolution: Get Your Finances Straight Online". FOX News. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  36. ^ Rivero, Justine (January 10, 2010). "10 Financial Innovations That Make Your Life Easier in 2012". Forbes. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  37. ^ Maly. Tim (December 22, 2011). "ReadyForZero Helps You Fight Debt, Using Clever Mind Hacks". Co. Design. Fast Company. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  38. ^ Perez, Sarah (May 22, 2012). "Now On Your iPhone, ReadyForZero Is Ready To Save You From Debt". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  39. ^ Dachis, Adam (October 15, 2012). "ReadyForZero Calculates Your Optimal Debt Reduction Plan and Pays Your Bills Automatically". Lifehacker. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Debt Management WebApp ReadyForZero Now Monitors Your Credit Score". Itclips. August 14, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  41. ^ a b Jon (May 6, 2013). "view Learn How ReadyforZero.com can Help Recent Graduates Pay Off Student Loans ñ Ready for Zero Review". Pay My Student Loans. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  42. ^ Markowitz, Eric (July 30, 2012). "3 Start-ups Tackling the Student-Debt Crisis". Inc. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  43. ^ a b c Dachis, Adam (August 13, 2013). "Debt Management Webapp ReadyForZero Now Monitors Your Credit Score". Lifehacker. Retrieved August 30, 2013.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hacker_1" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  44. ^ Grignani, Raphael (December 6, 2011). "2012 Interaction Awards: Awards Finalists Announced!". Interaction Awards. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  45. ^ "ReadyForZero". Interaction Awards. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 

External links[edit]