LOS ANGELES, Aug. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Sootchy, a mobile and desktop college savings platform, is launching this fall to help millions avoid crushing student debt through the gifting power of family and friends and the tax advantages of 529 college savings plans. With an enhanced gifting interface, Sootchy is designed to make it easy for underserved families to maximize community and reach their children's educational and financial goals.
A 529 plan is a tax advantageous option for families to save for their children's education, and can be used to pay tuition, fees and room and board at colleges, universities and trade schools across the U.S. For K-12 education, a 529 plan can pay up to $10,000 a year in private school tuition, and current college students or graduates can use 529 accounts to pay up to $10,000 in existing student loans.
Groundbreaking Features and AI Serve Parents and Professional Financial Advisers
Sootchy lets parents set up and manage a 529 account in their state in minutes, on their own and with guided help not available at most 529 plan websites. As a tax-advantaged educational accounts, the contributions grow tax-free.
An intuitive crowdfunding platform embedded in Sootchy lets parents and an extended network of friends, family and acquaintances contribute to a child's 529 college savings plan at the touch of a button. The crowdfunding features allow families and friends to set up paperless ongoing or one-time contributions as gifts for birthdays or graduations or to celebrate achievements.
Artificial intelligence maximizes the savings benefit for families. Over time, Sootchy uses artificial intelligence to suggest new ways friends and family can participate, based on the contributor's connection to the student and past activity.
For professional financial advisers, Sootchy offers a hassle-free and consolidated platform, removing the middleman to make a 529 savings plan more user-friendly and a must-have product for their clients. The financial adviser portal allows advisers to monitor client activity and provides regular prompts and goal setting for their clients.
Sootchy Can Break the Cycle of Student Debt for Underserved Families
College education is increasingly unaffordable and student debt continues to rise, causing a financial burden that can last decades. In fact, approximately 70 percent of college students are unable to afford college without taking out student loans, according to Marketplace. With a passion to make college debt-free through Sootchy, founder David Adefeso is determined to break the cycle.
"Student loan debt is preventing tens of millions of young Americans—and especially those from underserved communities—from fully achieving the American dream. Sootchy is a mobile platform designed to solve this dilemma," Adefeso said. "By investing minimal amounts—just $4 a month or $50 a year, for instance—friends and family members can set their loved ones up for success with fully funded college savings accounts. By following Sootchy's simple investing and gifting guidelines beginning at birth, a child's education fund can easily accumulate more than $100,000 by age 18."
Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Adefeso made his way to the United States in the early 1990s with an accounting degree and $250 in his pocket. He took the entire battery of CPA exams at 22, passing all four sections on the first try—a feat nearly 9-in-10 fail. Making the most of his accounting experience, he worked three jobs to self-fund a Harvard MBA. Yet he still found himself more than $100,000 in debt after graduation at age 26.
Now as Sootchy's founder and head of The Pacific Group, a financial investment advisory firm, Adefeso wants to raise financial literacy and prevent American families from sacrificing their futures for education. Sootchy's crowdfunding-inspired approach makes college savings simple for parents, extended families, faith organizations and educational partners.
"The last 16 years of corporate and personal financial planning experience has opened my eyes to the serious financial problems American families experience. The answer is very simple. The No. 1 factor to achieve a college savings goal is to consistently contribute to a savings account," Adefeso said. "College should be a springboard to prosperity and opportunity, not a financial millstone. Sootchy is the affordable solution that allows parents to give their children the gift of a paid college education."
Sootchy will be available to download as a mobile and desktop app on iOS and Android devices. For more information, visit Sootchy.com.
Sootchy is a simple, user-friendly fintech app that allows families to save money for their children's education by opening 529 college savings plans, within minutes, right through the app. With a built-in, enhanced, gifting platform that lets family and friends contribute to children's 529 college savings plans and maximize their benefit, it can be especially helpful in underserved communities. Less than 30% of Americans know what a 529 plan is, and only 13% use them because they have traditionally been difficult to set up and manage, recent studies show. Sootchy's five-minute set up and easy-access money management tools simplify the process and make tech-enhanced financial planning, the power of community and tax-efficient incentives to combat student debt, now at a historic high of almost $1.7 trillion, accessible to all. Sootchy, LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser, registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).