Loan Refinancing Site Admits 'Founder' Is Fake

April 25, 2018

Drew Cloud, the frequently quoted founder of a Delaware-based online student-loan news start-up, is a pseudonym, a personality created by several writers at a loan-refinancing company.

The revelation comes courtesy of The Chronicle of Higher Education, which reported on Tuesday that after it spent more than a week trying to verify Cloud’s existence, the company that owns the Student Loan Report admitted that Cloud was fake.

Nate Matherson, CEO of LendEDU, said Drew Cloud "is a pseudonym that a diverse group of authors at Student Loan Report, LLC use to share experiences and information related to the challenges college students face with funding their education."

Matherson said Cloud and the report were "very much a side project for our organization," but its surveys have seen wide circulation in mainstream media, including in The Washington Post, CNBC and Inside Higher Ed, which earlier this month featured a recent survey on college students and cryptocurrency.

The Chronicle reported that Cloud’s bylines have been replaced with that of "SLR Editor."

Matherson said he and a colleague, Matt Lenhard, started what would become LendEDU while they were both students at the University of Delaware. Today, LendEDU's website describes it as a “marketplace for private student loans, student loan refinancing and consolidation,” as well as other products.

“We created LendEDU to help student loan borrowers and consumers find transparency without damaging their credit,” the site says.

On Tuesday afternoon, Cloud’s author site read only, “Sorry, No Posts Found.”

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