Qoins Co-Founder and CEO Christian Zimmerman joins the Yahoo Finance Live panel to discuss how his company is tackling the U.S. debt crisis.
- Welcome back to Yahoo Finance. Now as we kick off our coverage of Hispanic Heritage Month here, we want to bring in Christian Zimmerman. He's a co-founder and CEO of Coins. And this is a Fintech company that helps people get control of their finances.
And Christian, it's great to have you here. Thanks so much for joining us. I know one of your priorities is going through the notes. One of your priorities is to help people get out of debt five times faster than what it typically takes. So the big question here is, how are you doing this?
CHRISTIAN ZIMMERMAN: Yeah. Thank you for having me. And yeah, our mission in Coins has always been focused around how do we help people achieve their financial goals and that being starting off with becoming debt free.
And so we started coins back in 2017 after I personally graduated from college had student loans, personal loans. And what we really found was that it's very simplistic. The more money that you put towards these debts specifically apply them towards the principal, the faster you're going to pay them down and less you're going to pay on interest.
And overall, time is going to take to actually cut that debt down. So that's really what we focus on thus far.
- When you-- I guess the impact of COVID right now. Are we seeing more people that are struggling with debt? Or are we actually seeing more people save as a result?
CHRISTIAN ZIMMERMAN: So if you would ask me that last year, right? Right as the pandemic was hitting know the government came in and helped a lot of consumers and customers just really have additional cash. You know, we did see an influx of credit card debt getting lowered.
But as we've now kind of opened up the market, open up the economy, we are starting to see spending habits kind go back to their normal habits. And we're starting to see a rise in overall credit card debt kind of starting to increase as well.
- Christian, you've paid off more than $20 million of consumer debt so far. What do you hope that number looks like say in two to three years from now?
CHRISTIAN ZIMMERMAN: Yeah, I mean, you know, that is such an impactful number. And one of the things that we want to continue doing is grow that number. Our goal is to hit to get to $100 million in overall debt paid off nationwide.
And so that's something that we're aspiring to do. We're slowly but surely getting there. And you know, that's what really drives us.
- And one of the ways you are going to get there. I know you're launching a debit card that's going to help people pay off every single time a customer uses. Explain exactly how this works because it's not too often that you hear about real innovation within the debit card space.
CHRISTIAN ZIMMERMAN: Yes, I mean, credit cards and debit cards have been around for such a long time. But one of the things that we've seen is that the debit card piece of rewards and being able to get cash back has been very, very much so, you know, the same-- same kind of rewards that you get back.
So what we've kind of done is kind of spin it on its head and say, hey, why can't we bring back these type of rewards that credit cards are getting without getting consumers in debt and work with retailers and merchants nationwide? To say you have to buy groceries. You have to go get gas. You have to go get coffee here and once in a while if you're not a morning person like myself.
And use those things to actually apply the savings and additional savings from the merchants more of a corporate social responsibility aspect to then pay down those debts even faster.
- Christian, when you talk about starting this company in the early 18x and Black founded startup, how do we get more minority businesses the support that they need? Because I know that this is a priority for you at least just in terms of being a leader in this space. But how do you get more businesses similar to yours on board and to see the same type of success that you're seeing?
CHRISTIAN ZIMMERMAN: I think the biggest thing that we've seen over the last four or four or five years has been the ability to get the amount of education and the resources for Latinos and Black founders. I think that's definitely available nowadays. And we've seen it. You know, we're based here in Atlanta and the resources are, you know, foreign and fruitful for us.
But you know, the other to think that has to catch up with that is also the investment in capital that are also helping fund some of these businesses to grow and grow efficiently and quickly.
- Well, one of the ways you've been able to do this so successfully. I know that you started this while getting out of your own student debt. If you could just say two or three words of advice or pieces of advice here for some people out there who may be in a similar type of situation that you were years back. What would you have to say to them?
CHRISTIAN ZIMMERMAN: I think the main thing I would say is, you know, everyone has, you know, debt. So if you have it, don't-- don't-- don't fear it. Use it as a way to better educate yourself and put yourself in a better financial situation by taking baby steps. And that's really what our whole thesis behind coins is-- is using small change to make big impacts.
- Well, Christian, it's great to have you on here at Yahoo Finance. We wish you all the best. Christian Zimmerman, Coins co-founder and CEO.