With a lack of courses on handling personal finances, it’s common for students to feel underprepared when entering the financial world after graduation.
Keeping these issues in mind, finance senior Jared Prevost set out to create a financial coaching application to help students and young professionals answer some of these questions.
After his sophomore year, Prevost decided to get serious about his own finances. But he realized along the way that there were very few resources for students.
“Most of my peers recognized that personal finance is important, but lacked the basic financial skills and education, and more importantly, didn’t have a reliable place to get these skills and education,” Prevost said. “I decided I wanted to create the solution, and that would be why I started Dime.”
Dime Financial has the mission of helping students start building wealth and coaching them in the steps to do so.
“It’s a focus on financial education and financial skill-building,” Prevost said. “We really educate people on the important parts about finance, and direct them towards resources that can help them start investing.”
Another aspect of Prevost’s coaching is helping students understand and navigate student loan debt. At the end of 2020, Americans have amassed over $1.7 trillion of student loan debt, according to research done by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
“The student loan crisis is a complicated issue, but I will say from a financial coach perspective, there are a variety of ways to minimize the loans you need to take out and avoid the ‘bad’ loans that have higher rates,” Prevost said. “The biggest thing that scares me is very few people know who their loan servicer is–many people have not even made an account–and do not know how to make payments toward their loans or really understand what they are signing up for.”
With the help of computer information systems senior Jacob Ernst and graphic design sophomore Sienna Parmelee, Prevost watched his vision become reality. The Dime Financial website, dimefinances.com, was launched on Dec. 28.
“It was a lot of research starting out and a lot of trial and error,” Ernst said. “We’re currently looking at ways and strategies that we can scale up preparing for the future. I definitely see it potentially growing into something where we hire more people onto our team and start to build up a growing company that really helps people reach their goals.”
Dime Financial services offers two different price points. The services within the two price points are the same, but the company does provide a student discount. The price for students is one payment of $149, or 12 monthly payments of $14.99. For professionals, the price is one payment of $249, or 12 monthly payments of $24.99.
“The single best investment you can make into your future, right alongside with getting your college degree, is getting financial education,” Prevost said. “Get started right now with investing and developing a strategy for how it is you’re going to get to that life that you want to live.”
Dime Financial services include one free preliminary consultation and three following sessions. The sessions are one-on-one consultations, currently being delivered over the phone. The sessions take place over 5 – 6 weeks and are anywhere from an hour to two hours each. Once the three sessions are finished, clients can schedule additional coaching sessions.
A handful of recent Ferris graduates have already started using the program.
“When I graduated, I had just started a new job. I had to figure out how I wanted to frame my benefits for that job. I’d never had a situation where I had to think about a 401k, so it was all new,” marketing graduate Emily Charles said. “He called me and talked me through each thing.”
“The biggest thing I’ve liked about the program so far is just how customized it is,” Charles said. “It’s not really general or a one-size-fits-all approach. He really listens to what I want to accomplish. He keeps that in mind with the resources that he shares with me and the advice that he gives me.”
Business administration graduate Cody Peterson was the first Ferris student to complete the program.
“I learned about robo-advisors, mutual funds, and index funds. All things I wanted to get into but didn’t know how – Jared gave me a good understanding of what all of those were and also pointed me in the direction of additional resources I could use to learn more,” Peterson said. “The program has helped me a lot. I have started investing into assets that are going to work for me and build my wealth.”