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I looked at Hometap as a way to really extend my own runway personally, so that I could continue to go along and build out our business.

How Jeff of Shark Tank Fame Paid off Personal Debt After Building a Successful Business

Jeff McNeil, an entrepreneur in Newton, Massachusetts, was seeking a way to access his home equity in order to pay off personal debts he’d accrued while launching his business — and to potentially grow that business even further.

Jeff co-founded and currently serves as CFO of Qeepsake, a unique company with a very personal origin story. It provides families with an easy and comprehensive way to document their story through text-based prompts and personalized photo albums, and was inspired by Jeff’s own family.

“My wife and I at the time had four kids. We now have six. We were feeling like we were behind on capturing memories that were meaningful to us, and we didn't have anybody that would help us stay on top of [it],” he explained. “So that was the kernel of the idea that we started with, and we've continued on through today.”

Jeff appeared on the ABC television show Shark Tank to pitch Qeepsake — and even received offers from two different investors — but he walked away from the deals. Instead, he entered an accelerator program, which gave him the skills to raise $900,000. However, having put much of his own money into the business, he was looking to get his personal finances back on track by leveraging his hard-earned equity.

“In the early days of building a business…you don't really want to pay yourself a ton because of course, every dollar that the business has should — in a perfect world — go toward growing the business,” Jeff explained. “I was in a pretty hand-to-mouth situation financially.

"And so I looked at Hometap and I looked at a couple other options, but Hometap was the one that I went with because I really didn't want to take on another monthly payment. We had good equity built up in our home. And at that point, I had some credit card debt that I was servicing as well. So I had taken a hit on my credit score. So I looked at Hometap as a way to really extend my own runway personally, so that I could continue to go along and build out our business.”

While seeking a solution, Jeff weighed his options, including traditional routes. “I thought about a home equity line of credit or a personal loan, even [money] from family, but for the HELOC…I didn't feel like again, I wanted a monthly payment…and then from a personal standpoint, I mean, nobody loves to borrow money from family…so it made a lot of sense to have somebody who wasn't family involved in helping extend my own runway.”

As someone who serves in a financial capacity for his company and understands his options, Jeff appreciated the transparent and straightforward nature of the Investment process. “I'm big on communication, and I felt like I was communicated to very clearly all [throughout] the process.”

After receiving his Investment, Jeff was able to get financial relief — and peace of mind as well.

“We paid off all of our credit card debt, which was just so delightful. That feeling was just amazing. It's like building a business, really, paying off all the credit card debt, and I was also carrying a personal loan. I paid off a good chunk of that, enough, so I could put it in the back of my mind. That's for sure. Really wipe the slate clean on what was for us, hundreds of dollars a month in debt servicing payments, which were going nowhere.”

Jeff would recommend Hometap to other homeowners seeking a debt-free way to access their home equity.

“...The ability to not take on payments or more debt servicing can be so valuable, depending on where you are in an entrepreneur's journey — or for anyone in their journey…the idea that you can stay in your home, and not sell it, and lower your own stress level…those were real for me. And I experienced those things positively, and I wouldn't hesitate to refer Hometap to somebody else.”

Find out how much of your equity you could access to help grow your business, pay off debts, or achieve other financial goals.