The cost of higher education continues to skyrocket and student debt has swelled to $1.6 trillion. One innovative North Hollywood-based startup is addressing the root of the issue. Saving for college should be at the forefront of any financial plan, even though it takes years to achieve goals.
We interviewed Ksenia Yudina, Founder | CEO U-Nest about how she took the complex process of college savings plans (529 savings accounts) and brought it to the mobile age. U-Nest simplifies the process from hours to minutes! It is an intuitive and easy-to-use mobile app that allows you to set up a tax-free college savings plan for your child and keep tabs as your investment grows.
A 529 account is a tax-advantaged investment vehicle designed to encourage saving for future education costs. The plans can be managed individually or offered through a financial advisor at most brokerages like Fidelity, etc. The process is manual, time-consuming and can be complicated. Many families have yet to learn about the program and U-Nest is generating awareness and improving the entire savings process.
What Are They Trying To Solve
With many years of experience in wealth management as a financial advisor with Capital Group specifically managing 529 accounts, Yudina saw an opportunity to solve this problem. She saw that creating simple mobile app families would have an easier time-saving. U-Nest came to life, as the solution to make 529 plans simple, easy to implement and available on your mobile device.
What makes U-Nest unique is the fact that they are hyper-focused on helping families achieve higher education goals, which Yudina believes is one of the first steps to financial security and responsibility.
How It Works
Users simply download the mobile app available currently on iOS (App Store). The Android version will be available in early-2020. The steps are simple. Create an account, select an amount you’d like to contribute and U-Nest does the rest.
Once the plan is created, the U-Nest app securely links to the bank account to automatically transfer money each month into the child’s plan. Now parents can understand with a quick glance at the app on their phone, how close they are to reaching their savings goal–lessening the cost burden of college or other educational expenses before college.
The company partners with financial industry leaders to offer parents a pain-free way to build the best possible educational future for their children. The U-Nest team has decades of experience as certified financial advisors, technologists, and entrepreneurs.
Impact on making kids Dreams Come True
By demystifying the college savings & investing process, U-Nest hopes to help more children reach their goal of attending college without having to be burdened with huge amounts of student debt.
Exciting Upcoming Features
U-Nest is actively working on enabling a gifting feature, that will allow friends & family to seamlessly contribute to kids 529 plans. This is an amazing feature, as most kids really don’t need yet another video game or toy, yet money gifted for a future doctor or software engineer will have a way bigger pay-off.
Super excited and proud of Ksenia for this amazing solution and know that there will be many additional features to come in the future.