Pillar launches with $5.5M from Kleiner Perkins and others to tackle your student loan debt

A new startup aims to help you get your student loans under control. Today, an app called Pillar, backed by $5.5 million in seed funding led by Kleiner Perkins, is launching a simpler way for consumers to better understand their student loan debt — and even pay it off early. To do so, the app connects with your student loan servicer and bank, then makes personalized suggestions based on your loans, your income and your spending. When it finds a way you can make a bigger dent in your overall student loan debt, it will send an alert to your smartphone. Pillar co-founder and CEO Michael Bloch, an early DoorDash employee, said he came up with the idea after his wife graduated from law school with around $300,000 worth of student loans. “We struggled to figure out the right way to pay them back,” he explains. “We read blog posts and articles. We made spreadsheets. We even talked to a financial advisor. But there really was no easy way for us to figure out what was the right thing for us to do. And I realized there are 45 million people with loans, and millions of those people have had the exact same experience as I did.” Bloch decided then to drop out of Stanford Business School to i...