After graduating from Butler in 2015, Phil Osolinski set out to solve a problem that impacts one in six American adults: student debt.
Not only are students graduating with debt, Osolinski noticed, but they’re also likely furnishing a new apartment, buying a work wardrobe, and purchasing other items during the transition into adulthood.
“How can we use those transactions to also help people pay for their student loans? That was the core idea,” Osolinski says. “People are spending this money anyway. Let’s try to turn that everyday spending into something a little bit more rewarding and powerful.”
In summer 2018, the former Finance and Entrepreneurship double major quit his job and worked out of his parents’ den to create Ryze Rewards, an app that enables users to earn up to 17 percent cash back on purchases and direct it toward their student loans.
“One of our missions is to make financial responsibility and living life no longer mutually exclusive,” Osolinski says. “We want people to live the life they want, buy the things they want, and earn rewards for financial good.”
So far, the app has partnered with more than 150 merchants ranging from Patagonia to Dell, with plans to include local businesses in the near future.