Who is the team behind EdAid?

We are a passionate, entrepreneurially-led team who focus on building high quality and secure technology led solutions to solve the monumental issue of Higher Education funding and student debt. We don’t have all of the answers, but we do have the work ethic, track record, and the expertise to transform funding for Higher Education.

So what exactly is it that you do?

EdAid is a social FinTech business that provides crowdfunding for education, Interest Free. We have democratised the way that Higher Education is funded with the sole aim of reducing the cost of university and increasing access.

How can you help us?

Some students will never earn over the government repayment threshold of £21,000 in the UK. In these cases, we recommend that students do not use EdAid to fund their education.

Other students will choose to borrow funding for their education with no intention of paying it back. Again, EdAid is not for these students.

However, for some other students, EdAid can reduce the cost of university, help fund a PhD or perhaps fund a field trip that leads to a vital piece of research to complete your dissertation or thesis. We are 100% behind these students.

So how does it work?

A student who wishes to study an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at an accredited British university can register on EdAid and create a loan appeal for the funding they need.

Their ‘community’ - be it friends, family, colleagues, clients or companies - are then able to collaborate to crowdfund that student’s loan.

EdAid will gather up all these investments and package them into one loan for the student. When the student graduates we collect their repayments (10% of their monthly income), via direct debit, until the loan is repaid.

There are no interest fees, and all repayments are inflation linked. EdAid charges a 5% facilitation fee that is deducted from your loan upfront to cover our technology, security, platform, insurance and regulatory costs.

Simple. Fair. Transparent.

How did you come up with this idea?

The founders of EdAid are normal people, just like you. They funded their way through university whilst working 2 or 3 part-time jobs and they took out student loans. Like millions of students, they have struggled to repay their loans but have finally started to clear the debt.

Since the dramatic increase in tuition fees and the introduction of punitive interest rates, the quantum has shifted for students: the average student now graduates with £44,000 of student loans, and may repay considerably more over 20 years with the interest charges exceeding the capital borrowed to pay for their studies.

This is madness. The dice are loaded in the favour of big banks. The aim of EdAid is to break free from the shackles of corporate and government bureaucracy and to build a simple, efficient and sustainable platform for student finance.

What is the EdAid Foundation?

The EdAid Foundation is a registered charity that manages all of the donations we receive from corporate partners, education institutions, family trusts and endowments.

The EdAid Foundation then uses these funds to lend to students who would otherwise not have the access or opportunity to study at university.

Where are you registered as a company?

EdAid Ltd. is registered in England and Wales as a Limited Company: No. 07880016 and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, No. 673376, with registered offices at Kemp House, 160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX.

Where do you see the future of EdAid?

Our mandate is simple:

To reduce the cost of, and increase access to, Higher Education.

To increase the quality and employability of all students.

We envisage lending around £5 Million in 2017 with this number rising year on year as we help more students. Our ultimate goal is to provide at least 10% of all student loans in the UK & US by 2025.

What happens if a student decides not to repay?

This will depend on the reason why the student has decided not to repay.

If the borrower is permanently unfit to work then we will support that individual and their family to devise a sensible repayment plan that fits with their change in circumstances.

Once they have graduated, if a student chooses to dodge repayments, or fails to make repayments on time, our credit committee and student repayments team will work with that student to find a solution. If necessary, we will ensure that normal legal processes are followed to recover any outstanding loans on behalf of all supporters.

How do I know that the student I am lending to is not a fraudster?

We check and then check again. We undertake rigorous ID, fraud and anti-money laundering verifications on each user. Our payments integrator, GoCardless, also repeats all of these checks prior to facilitating any payments. In addition, EdAid does not keep any personal financial information.

What happens if EdAid as a business ceases to exist?

We have a business continuity plan and a long-term endowment via the EdAid Foundation to ensure the successful longevity of our business.

All loan agreements continue to exist and borrowers continue to be bound by the terms of the loans that they agreed to until all funds have been repaid. This will be administered by payment partners in the unlikely event of EdAid being unable to carry out administration until the end of the loan.

Can I borrow using EdAid if I am not a student?

No. EdAid is only for undergraduate or postgraduate students on UK accredited courses.

We suggest Kickstarter if you are looking to fund a product or JustGiving if you wish to fund a charity.

How do we get in contact?

You can call us on +44 333 344 3903, email us at team@edaid.com, hit us up on social media or pop in for a coffee.

If you would like to speak with someone specifically, just ask.

Funding Your Education

Why would anyone be crazy enough to lend to me?

This is a question that we hear time and time again, voicing a very common concern.

The great thing about EdAid is that it enables a broad range of people from the community to make a small micro-investment in your future. These might be friends, close family, distant relatives, neighbours, colleagues, team-mates, bosses, companies, or even strangers on the bus.  

We have seen every type of supporter investing in students, with the average investment being around £50.

EdAid then combines all of these small investments, packages them up as a student loan, and transfers the funds to your account. 

As you earn, you repay the faith that supporters had in you by repaying your debt. We hope that EdAid alumni can then go on to support and invest in others. 

When can I apply?

You can begin an EdAid appeal once you have a confirmed place on a Higher Education course or at any point during your course.

You will need your UCAS number, your course number, your National Insurance Number and your Passport or Driving Licence for ID verification.

We operate stringent ID checks and anti-money laundering prevention for the safety and security of all users.

How much can I borrow?

You should aim to borrow just enough to cover your costs. We advise that any extra funds required for hobbies and socialising are covered by part-time jobs, internships and vacation work.

You need to demonstrate that you are striving to pay your way through university. Supporters will be more keen to top up your own efforts to meet your living costs than to lend you the money for a daily pint.

I already have a government (SLC) student loan. Can I still use EdAid?

Debt should not be taken lightly. If you have already borrowed your full loan allocation from the Student Loan Company (SLC), we suggest that you contact our help desk prior to creating a loan appeal on EdAid.

Nonetheless, if you have borrowed your tuition fee loan from the SLC but would like to fund your maintenance or other academic costs (i.e. books and field trips) using alternative funding, then EdAid may well be the right platform for you. 

Drop us a line and our team will be happy to talk through your options with you. 

Repaying your loan

Can I repay early?

Yes.

You can make any number of over-payments or clear the entire balance of your loan early. There are no early-repayment fees. 

NB. Remember that the supporters who fund your degree do so to enable you to build a better future. They do not do so to make a financial return. As such, it is your obligation to repay as much of your debt as you can, as swiftly as possible.

When do I start to repay?

Your repayments will begin in the April after you graduate. For example, if you graduate in July 2019, your first student loan repayment will be in April 2020.

NB. As your repayments are based on your earnings, you will not start making any payments until you have a job.

What are the costs involved?

You will pay 5% of your loan to EdAid so that we can cover all administrative costs. You will pay CPI inflation to your lenders. That’s it!

How much will I repay?

Your repayments are based on your earnings: you will repay 10% of your net (after tax deductions) earnings, monthly.

For example, if you are earning £25,000 per year then you will repay approximately £167 per month in student loan repayments.

What is CPI inflation and what will it add to my loan?

CPI is the Consumer Price Index and it is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid for consumer goods and services. We add this on to all EdAid loans so that lenders receive their money back in real terms over the life of the loan. As the CPI changes all the time, we haven’t given an indication here of what it might be.

To set your loan’s CPI rate, we will use the government CPI number at the end of the financial year during which you completed your fundraising. You will then start to pay it back from the April after you finish your course. The outstanding sum of your loans will be adjusted annually in line with CPI.

How do I repay?

Your repayments will be collected via direct debit on the first working day of each month.

Your first repayment will commence on the 1st of April following your graduation. So if you graduate in June 2019 your first repayment will be in April 2020.

Are you crazy?

Probably.

We have to be a little bit crazy to believe that we can build a fairer, cheaper and more sustainable way to fund Higher Education.

The government and banks currently have all the power and control billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money. Conversely, we are just a small team of ambitious and creative techies and business people who work tirelessly to build a better system.

So, in short, we are crazy enough to put our many years of ‘old-school’ corporate work experience to better use by working our tails off to change the game and even the playing field.

What size is a typical investment?

We have had as little as £20 and as much as £5,000 invested via EdAid. The typical investment range is £30 - £70 for individuals and £200 - £500 for companies looking to back a current or potential future employee.

When will I receive my investment back?

Students begin to repay their supporters in the April after they graduate. Therefore if you make a £100 investment in a student in 2015 you receive your first repayment in April 2019.

You will typically receive 10% of your investment back each year until your investment is fully repaid.

What interest rate do I receive on my investment?

Zero interest. However, all repayments on EdAid are linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This means that you get back the same value for your investment over time, and you do not lose out for investing in a student.

So why would I invest?

In the same way you would support any family member, friend, colleague or random stranger. Because you want to, because you believe in that person, and you wish to see them succeed. Because you have the power to transform their future for the good. Because without you, they won’t be able to access higher education.

How secure is my investment?

As this comes down to the individual student that you are supporting, we urge you to take a level-headed view on the support that you give and only back a student who you truly believe in.

We will manage all collections on your behalf, and if a student defaults we will manage that process too. We anticipate that default rates will be in line with similar peer-to-peer lending platforms at less than 0.2%.

What happens if the student that I have invested in is permanently unable to work?

If the borrower is permanently unfit to work then we will support that individual and their family to devise a sensible repayment plan that fits with their change in circumstances.

How do I know that the student I am lending to is not a fraudster?

We check and then check again. We undertake rigorous ID, fraud and anti-money laundering verifications on each user. Our world class payments integrator, GoCardless, repeat all of these checks prior to facilitating any payments. In addition, EdAid do not hold any financial information.

Are my repayments inflation-linked?

Yes. We don’t believe that you should profit from someone else’s hard work, but neither do we believe that you should lose out. All repayments are linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

This means that you get back the same value of your investment over time, and you do not lose out for investing in someone.

Can I speak to someone?

You can call us on +44 333 344 3903, email us at team@edaid.com, hit us up on social media or pop in for a coffee.

We don’t do offshore call centres or mind-numbing hold music: if you would like to speak with someone specifically, just ask.

Why do you not accept credit cards?

Credit card processing fees are expensive (between 2.5% - 3.5%). If we were to accept credit or debit cards then this would increase the cost of a loan for the student. Through our partnership with GoCardless, we have secured much smaller processing fees (0.5%) and have increased security by only using ‘OneTime’ direct debit payments.

Are you a recruitment company?

No, but perhaps we should be. They all charge expensive fees and then buy fast cars, party on big boats and do all sorts of cool corporate hospitality.

So what do you do?

EdAid is a social financial technology business that provides crowdfunding for education, Interest Free. We have democratised the way that Higher Education is funded with the sole aim of reducing the cost of university and increasing access.

How can you help us?

In short, we are problem solvers.

We have spoken to thousands of recruiters, HR departments and business owners who all point to the same problem: identifying and recruiting not only the best talent available, but ensuring that the talent they recruit have the skills, aptitude, stamina, and emotional intelligence to work in the real world.

We enable you, as an employer, to directly invest in the talent you wish to hire. EdAid can help you to seed the future of your organisation, allowing you to identify, support and mentor the employee profile that you will want to hire in 2-5 years time. You will significantly reduce your hiring costs, reduce your churn rate and increase the quality of employees and overall performance of your organisation.

So how does it work?

A student who wishes to study an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at an accredited British university will register on EdAid and create a loan appeal for the funds they need to pay their tuition and/or maintenance.

Their ‘community’- be it friends, family, colleagues, clients and (here’s the cool part) ‘you’- are then able to pull together to crowdfund that loan.

EdAid gathers up all these investments and packages them into one loan for the student. When the student graduates we collect their repayments (10% of their monthly income) via direct debit until the loan is repaid.

What kind of investment are we talking about?

A very flexible one. There is a minimum £20 investment per student, though only loans above £50 are likely to stand out from the crowd. You can choose to invest in a few students, contributing a small or large amount to their student loan fund, or back a larger number of students.

In addition, EdAid is open to helping you to connect with these students and spread the word about what you do. Just get in touch and we can make it happen.

All investments are administered and managed by the EdAid Foundation so you don’t need to waste any staff time on this.

What is the EdAid Foundation?

The EdAid Foundation is a registered charity that manages all of the donations we receive from corporates, education institutions, family trusts and endowments. It then invests these funds in line with the aims and ambitions of the investor.

Our business model is evergreen. After you donate, the EdAid Foundation will get paid back and then re-invest the money again to new students. So your support will last in perpetuity providing a lasting legacy and continually increasing the quality and compatible gene-pool of employable talent. The added bonus is that we do all the admin!

What are the tax benefits to our organisation?

We are grateful that the UK government has developed a number of schemes that significantly enhance the value of charitable donations for companies and individuals. As a business, you may qualify for corporation tax relief whilst we, as a charity, qualify for GiftAid.

What kind of media / publicity exposure will this generate?

We are a commercially viable platform that has built a better, more sustainable way of funding Higher Education. We want to tell the world and, in turn, support you in providing strategically valuable exposure for your business.

Your brand will feature on the fundraising & profile page of each student you support. It will also feature on their social feeds each time you make an investment.

What happens if the student I have supported does not join my organisation?

Like in any business, there is a cost to acquiring a user. We create a connection between the company and the student. We spark a relationship. How you nurture that relationship is down to you and the student.

So much of recruitment is about ‘cultural fit’. EdAid will enable an elongated courtship between employers and students, enabling you both to make more informed decisions.

Either way, the student will repay their loan and those funds can, in turn, be re-lent to fund another student.

How do I know the student I am lending to is not a fraudster?

We check and then check again. We undertake rigorous ID, fraud and anti-money laundering verifications on each user. Our payments integrator, GoCardless, also repeat all of these checks prior to facilitating any payments. In addition, EdAid does not keep any personal financial information.

What happens if we do not wish to hire a student we have backed?

Nothing. There is no obligation or commitment to hire when supporting a student. Investing in a student and hiring a student are two very distinct actions. However, they do have the possibility of running in parallel should you wish them to.

Are we able to advertise on EdAid?

No. EdAid is entirely ad-free.

Are there alternative ways that we can partner with EdAid?

Yes. Just drop us a line and we can explore the possibilities.

How do we get in contact?

You can call us on +44 333 344 3903, email us at team@edaid.com, hit us up on social media or pop in for a coffee.

If you would like to speak with someone specifically, just ask.