These days, there’s an app for just about everything, even help with paying off your student loans. So if you’re looking for a smartphone tool for managing your student loan debt, the Chipper app can help with that. In fact, it’s nearly a one-stop shop for student loan management.
This student loan repayment tool can help you find the best student loan repayment plan, discover if you’re eligible for student loan forgiveness, and even round up your purchases to “chip” away at your debt and help you pay your student loans off faster. But that’s not all it can do.
Key Features of the Chipper App
The Chipper app has helped thousands of student borrowers pay off their loans by navigating available repayment and forgiveness plans and gradually chipping away at their debt through roundups (rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar).
Right now, Chipper is offering the app for free until student loan payments resume. After that, they may charge a subscription fee, which will include price tiers of a few dollars per month. So now’s the perfect time to take Chipper for a test drive so you know what to expect from the app and how it can help you pay down your student loans.
Student Loan Repayment Tool
Once you sign up for Chipper, you connect your student loans to the app by syncing with your federal student loan servicer. The app can also link to some private lenders. Then it sets to work analyzing your loans.
The app’s repayment plan tool guides you through exploring your options. It compares all the income-driven repayment plans side-by-side so you can easily compare and find the best repayment plan for your unique situation.
It then guides you through enrolling in your repayment plan of choice and auto-fills forms, all without ever leaving the app.
Loan Forgiveness Tool
Once you link your student loans with the app, Chipper also analyzes them to see if you’re eligible for student loan forgiveness through either public service loan forgiveness or teacher loan forgiveness.
Then, if you decide to enroll in one, Chipper makes it as easy as possible. It automates everything. This simple app includes a single search and record database for all eligible employers and loans. It also collects signatures digitally.
For example, in the case of public service loan forgiveness, the app evaluates your payment history and employer eligibility and automatically collects your signatures on the appropriate forms.
Without Chipper, you’d have to do it all on your own, including searching through webpages and databases to verify your eligibility against your loan types, employer information, and federal guidelines and manually filling out and signing forms.
Chipper’s namesake feature is Round-Ups, a tool that allows borrowers to chip away at their student loan debt by rounding up the spare change from their everyday purchases. Just link your debit card, and the app rounds up each purchase you make to the next dollar.
It then applies the money toward your monthly payments, allowing you to accelerate your debt payoff. The app claims this feature can help users pay off their debts up to four years faster.
Chipper doesn’t hold any money or touch any funds. It facilitates an automatic weekly transfer of the roundup amount from your linked bank account directly to your federal student loan servicer or private student loan lender.
Optionally, users can choose a maximum or minimum amount for roundup transfers per month. So you can adjust Chipper to distribute weekly deposits according to your preferences evenly.
But Chipper doesn’t initiate a transfer if your checking account has less than $50 in it, which helps you avoid potential overdraft fees.
The Chipper app syncs with your federal student loans. So you can use it to keep tabs on them: Track your balances and payment history and see how close you’re getting to being debt-free.
Note this feature doesn’t work for private student loans.
Chipper will soon launch a new feature to help monitor and boost users’ credit scores: Chipper Credit Insights. The tool helps borrowers maintain good credit by:
- Monitoring any changes to your credit score
- Alerting borrowers to improvements when negative student loan-related dings are removed
- Helping borrowers dispute negative information, such as late payments, when loans are no longer delinquent
- Simulating how your student loans impact your credit now and how forgiveness and repayment options, including paying off your loans early using the Round-Ups tool, could affect your credit in the future
Chipper Rewards is an additional feature coming soon. Like Round-Ups, Chipper Rewards earns you dollars directly applied to your student loan payments. But in this case, the reward comes from automatic rebates Chipper applies directly to your student loans.
Chipper is partnering with over 350 brands to bring you automatic cash-back rewards when you shop, dine, or book hotels with a linked debit or credit card.
Advantages of the Chipper App
Chipper has a lot going for it. It’s a nearly comprehensive tool for federal student loan borrowers looking to find the best repayment plan, see if they qualify for loan forgiveness programs, and pay off their student loans as fast as possible. Plus, it’s currently free to use and simplifies the whole process of managing student loans.
- Totally Free Until Repayment Resumes. Chipper is free to use until the federal student loan payment pause ends.
- Easy to Set Up. You can set up an account in less than two minutes. Just enter your name and email address on the website. Then, you can connect your student loan account. You can also download the mobile app to manage your loans on the go.
- Makes It Easy to Compare Repayment Programs. Once you sync the app with your student loan account, you can easily compare repayment programs side by side to see which one is the best fit for you. Plus, it autofills your enrollment forms once you choose a plan.
- Simplifies the Process of Applying for Forgiveness. There’s no guesswork. Just sync your loans and employer info, and the app tells you if you qualify. Then it guides you through applying, even filling out forms for you, improving your odds of approval for federal loan forgiveness programs.
- Round-Ups Work on Federal or Private Student Loans. Since Round-Ups are cash, you can apply them to any type of student loan — federal or private.
- Chipper Rewards Will Apply to Federal and Private Student Loans. Once the Chipper Rewards program is active, rewards will also apply to both federal and private student loans.
- Available for a Variety of Devices. You can access Chipper on the web using your PC or Mac or download the app on your mobile phone for iOS or Android.
Disadvantages of the Chipper App
There aren’t many drawbacks to the Chipper app. The biggest ones are related to limitations on features for private student loans.
- Repayment Tools Only Work for Federal Loans. You can’t really fault it since private lenders aren’t centralized like the U.S. Department of Education, but Chipper can’t sort through the gazillions of possible repayment options private lenders provide.
- You Can’t Sync Your Private Loans. You can’t sync private loans. That means there’s no access to payment tracking tools, and you can’t keep an eye on your balances. You can only use Round-Ups and (eventually) Rewards.
- You Can’t Pay Your Loans From the App. There’s no feature to make your regular monthly payments through the app. So while it comes close, it’s not quite a one-stop app for student loan management.
How the Chipper App Stacks Up
Chipper isn’t the only app that helps you pay off your student loans faster by rounding up your spare change. A close competitor is ChangEd. Here’s how they stack up.
|Repayment Plan Tool||Yes||No|
|Track Loan Balances||Yes||Yes|
|Cost||Free for now||$3 per month|
Is Chipper the best app to help you pay off your student loans? It depends on your goals.
Sending Round-Ups to your servicer might be a waste of effort if you enroll in public service loan forgiveness or an income-driven repayment plan since you could end up with a balance the government forgives. Thus, you might be better off micro-investing it where it can grow over time rather than do a whole lot of nothing.
But Chipper can certainly help you figure out if an income-driven repayment plan or forgiveness is right for you and even greatly simplify the application process.
And if you stick with the standard 10-year repayment schedule, chipping away at your student loan debt with Round-Ups is an ideal way to pay your loans off faster. That’s especially the case since you hardly feel the pinch of a little spare change here and there.