SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The cycle of debt is something a lot of people are desperate to break.
One of the biggest challenges is keeping up with credit cards, payments and beating the interest rates. Now, a San Diego startup is offering people an opportunity to make purchases on items they may need for themselves or their families, without interest rates, credit checks, or penalties.
Marc Schneider is the CEO of Zebit, an online shopping site designed to help people facing financial hardships, get on track, make payments and get what they need.
“We’re trying to provide sort of an Amazon for the under-served,” said Schneider.
While growing up, Schneider and his family faced financial struggles of their own.
“I’ve supported my mother since I was 15 years old. I grew up in a mobile home with a separated family. Ended up being homeless on food stamps,” said Schneider.
Now, Schneider is a successful entrepreneur, with Zebit hitting $21 million in 2017, and $45 million last year.
“Zebit was built to change how consumers get access to credit, to give them a fair deal and have zero gotchas,” Schneider said.
In order to make purchases on Zebit, you first need to create a profile which includes providing your current employment status and driver’s license. The company then uses that information to verify your employment and determine how much of a Zebit line you will receive. The Zebit line is similar to store credit or having a credit card, but without the interest rates and penalties and with the chance to make payments for purchases over a 6 to 12 month period of time.
For example, a MacBook Air on Zebit may cost around $1,273. The may break down to $318 upfront with 12 payments of $79 a month.
A five-piece dining set may cost around $57 up front, with monthly payments around $14 dollars.
“We’ve heard stories like you save my Christmas, my daughter wouldn’t have had a birthday present if it wasn’t for you, I couldn’t get married because I didn’t have a way to finance an engagement ring,” said Schneider.
Some of the items on Zebit can cost 5 to 10 percent more than some items on Amazon, however the company still stresses that their interest-free model and competitive prices makes it a great shopping experience that was designed with people who may not a lot of money, or struggle with credit card payments and interest rates.
“I wanna build a big company that makes an impact on a consumer base, a consumer base that tends to be invisible that tends to be neglected and a consumer base that tends to really rip people off over time,” said Schneider.
Schneider hopes his company will help others break their own cycle of debt.