6 min 45 sec

Young Analyst Turns College Debt Into $100k Profit

While struggling to pay his student loans, this enterprising graduate finds a way to “round up” his spare change to a six-figure side income.
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What It's About

A business analyst creates a digital piggybank that helps people whittle down their debt.

Business Model
Skills Required
Finance & Communication
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

The average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, a number that is increasing every year [Source]. With so many people struggling to get out of debt, there are plenty of opportunities to help them and make money in the process!

Fun Fact

Savings accounts earn less than 1% interest, while student loans charge an average of 4-7%+ in interest, and credit cards can be higher than 10%!

Notes from Chris

Episode 286

Like many college graduates, Christian Zimmerman found himself struggling to get grips with personal finance. Despite having a good job at a tech startup as a marketing analyst, making payments to his credit cards and student loans was proving to be tough.

Christian had the idea for an app that rounded up the “spare change” from his monthly purchases and put them towards his debt. So if he spent $9.70 on a book, the app would round it up to $10 and put the extra 30 cents towards his debt. Kind of like having a piggy bank for your spare change, but you can’t forget to use it.

It took four months of development to bring Qoins to a browser-only beta-testing stage. This was an important step because it allowed the Qoins team to get feedback from their customers about bugs and faults, before launching to a wider audience.

Another four months later, and after working out all of the small kinks in the tool, Qoins was ready to launch with the first ready-to-use edition of the app, open to anyone with a US checking account and access to the Apple App store.

Qoins works on an automated payment system. They charge a small fee of $1.99 per month that is automatically deducted from the amount of ‘debt’ payments you make that month. So if you round up to $70 a month, they’d deduct $1.99 and send $68.01 towards your debt.

The first few months were rocky. They had made a large, high-risk investment in their side hustle and spent the first few months working at a loss. But by focusing on making small, but important, improvements to their business they were recently able to break $100,000 in annual recurring revenue this last year.

And all of it has been worth it for seeing the real change they’ve made to many people’s personal debts and the potential this tool has for the future. Let’s hope theirs is an investment that pays off!


  • Qoins: Learn more about Christian's money saving app on his website

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"Be patient and do your research before you move forward. Doing the small tedious stuff can really help you out in the long run."
—Christian Zimmerman #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau