Introducing Liabilities to help you build better debt management solutions banner


July 18, 2019

Introducing Liabilities to help you build better debt management solutions

Kate Adamson

Updated on July 22, 2019

As an industry, fintech has made managing money easier—from facilitating new ways to save, pay bills, budget, and so much more. Yet, innovation has lagged behind when it comes to a critical piece of financial health: debt management.

At the end of 2018, U.S. consumer debt reached record highs. Difficulty accessing real-time, consumer-permissioned financial data related to debt has blocked the progress that’s taken place in other sectors of financial services. Today, we’re excited to announce a new product to provide access to this data so you can deliver new services to your users.

Introducing Liabilities

Our new Liabilities endpoint will provide real-time information about users’ financial liabilities, starting with student loan debt. Over time, we’ll add data access for more debt categories from mortgages to auto loans to credit cards.

We’re launching with student loan data given the crisis levels it has reached in the U.S., where it is the second largest debt category behind mortgage. Today, over 44 million people¹, hold $1.6 trillion¹ in outstanding loans. This burden, averaging nearly $30k¹ per borrower, has long-term implications for consumers who often put off saving for emergencies or retirement, getting married, buying a home, or starting a family. As an industry, we can help.

With the Liabilities endpoint, fintech developers will have the access they need to help borrowers understand, engage with, and manage their student loan debt. The /liabilities/get endpoint will retrieve standardized student loan data across the largest U.S. servicers including Navient, Nelnet, FedLoan, Great Lakes, and many more.

With Liabilities, we believe developers can build new solutions that will help people better manage their debt. Accessing robust student loan information can help developers surface repayment opportunities for each consumer’s unique financial situation. Borrowers can better understand their options for debt forgiveness programs, consolidation, or refinancing for lower interest rates. Today, most people don’t know these options exist.

An early beta tester, Pillar focuses on addressing the student debt crisis by consolidating loans and payments in one place. Here’s how they are using Liabilities:

Pillar relies on Plaid’s Liabilities data to provide personalized student loan repayment recommendations and facilitate payments from users’ bank accounts to their loan providers without leaving the Pillar app. Liabilities has provided more reliable and comprehensive student loan data than any other solution on the market—in a single, easy-to-use API.  - Jon Levinson, Director of Product, Pillar

How it works

Once consumers connect their student loan account(s), developers can retrieve the following data:

  • Balances: how much is owed and over what pay period

  • Payment details: last payment date, next payment due date, and servicer address

  • Account details: original loan amount, guarantor, and more

  • Current loan terms: interest rate, maturity, and limits

  • Loan repayment history: Use the /transactions/get or /asset_report/get endpoints to retrieve payment history

Getting started

The /liabilities/get endpoint is available in the Sandbox, Development, and Production environments. If you’re new to Plaid, sign up for a free account to begin testing in Sandbox. For access to our Development or Production environment to test with real accounts, reach out to Sales or your Growth Account Manager.

Stay tuned as we continue to update the endpoint with additional debt categories. We look forward to supporting you in what you build next to make one of the most stressful parts of personal finance more manageable.

¹Forbes, 2019, ‘Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2019: A $1.5 Trillion Crisis’